No. 15 Virginia Tech Softball Fends Off Syracuse 7-3 In Extras

Cori McMillan hit the game-winning home run for Virginia Tech on Saturday against Syracuse. (Virginia Tech athletics)

In a wacky game of twists and turns, No. 15 Virginia Tech softball clawed past Syracuse on Saturday in a 7-3 win in eight innings.

The Hokies (38-10-1, 18-5 ACC) went hitless through the first five innings. But they got on the board in the second when right fielder Cori McMillan walked, stole second base and advanced to third on a sacrifice fly. She scored when catcher Kylie Aldridge hit a ground ball to the pitcher. 

Although the Hokies clung to a 1-0 lead, they were staring down their first no-hitter since March 9, 2018. 

This was sustainable, until the bottom of the fifth, when Orange (24-21, 6-14 ACC) catcher Laila Morales-Alves reached on an error. Two batters later, third baseman Rebecca Clyde singled to bring home Gabby Lantier β€” who ran in Morales-Alves’ place. Soon after, Clyde scored on a wild pitch to give Syracuse its first lead at 2-1.

Tech notched two runs in the sixth β€” when center fielder Emma Ritter and left fielder Addy Greene hit back-to-back homers β€” but the Orange tied it at three in the seventh, forcing extras. The game only required one additional frame, however, since McMillan hit a three-run homer to blow it open. 

McMillan’s blast was her 20th of the season, the most on the team. She broke the program record for single-season homers, which she tied on Friday, and has hit five in her last four games.

Emma Mazzarone pitched the first six innings β€” plus the first batter in the seventh β€” and notched a career-high nine strikeouts. She allowed three hits, three runs β€” one earned β€” and two walks.

Lyndsey Grein relieved Mazzarone in the seventh and inherited a save situation. Although she walked two of the first three batters and allowed the tying run to score, she struck out the last two batters to escape the frame with the bases loaded.

Madison Knight threw 142 pitches across all eight innings for the Orange and held Tech in check until the wheels came off in extras. She allowed seven earned runs and three walks while striking out four batters.

The Orange was on the verge of its second-consecutive win over Tech after Friday’s first ranked victory in over two years. If the Hokies allowed another run in the seventh, they would have dropped a series to the ninth-ranked team in the ACC, diminishing their chances to host an NCAA regional. Instead, they now have the opportunity to take the rubber match on Sunday, clinch another ACC series and live to fight another day.

The third game of the series is on Sunday at noon ET.

Box Score: No. 15 Virginia Tech 7, Syracuse 3 (8 innings) 

4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I would think they are right on that edge for hosting, losing that first game didn’t do any favors (of course not) Win the final two games, play to their seeding in the ACC tourney – a third seed? – and fingers crossed. I would be down for that series.

    1. and I believer that puts McMillan in a tie for 4th place nationally among softball home run leaders.

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