BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Playing at home for the first time in exactly two weeks, No. 15/13 Virginia Tech softball defeated Longwood twice in a doubleheader on Wednesday at Tech Softball Park, winning the first game 2-0 and the nightcap 11-6.
Pitcher Keely Rochard (19-3, 1.05 ERA) turned in her nation-leading 10th shutout of the season, pitching 7.0 innings and throwing a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and no walks in the first game versus the Lancers (15-18).
In Game 2, Tech (25-6) saw three pitchers take the circle, including Ivy Rosenberry (5-3, 3.09 ERA), who started and got the win, Mackenzie Osborne (1-0, 2.44 ERA) and Molly Jacobson (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who threw for the first time this season.
At the plate, catcher/third baseman Alexa Milius (.289 BA, 3 HR) led the Hokies with the most hits in both games combined, racking up three via a single, double and home run and also scored three runs, while second baseman Addy Greene (.322 BA, 11 R), shortstop Kelsey Bennett (.279 BA, 21 RBI), first baseman Jayme Bailey (.344 BA, 34 RBI) and left fielder Kelsey Brown (.417 BA, 28 R) all had two hits.
On the day, Tech tallied seven extra-base hits, including a home run from Milius and Bailey, and slugged .469.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Scoring for the 14th time in the first inning of a game this season, Tech got a solo home run down the left-field line from Bailey on the second pitch she saw to give it a 1-0 lead early.
In the bottom of the fourth, on the second pitch she saw as well, Milius sent a rope to left for her third homer of the season to make it a 2-0 game.
Rochard allowed a single in the top of the fifth with two outs, then proceeded to get the seven batters out to seal it.
The first game lasted an hour and 24 minutes, marking the second-shortest game of the year (Radford in Game 1 on March 17; 1:20).
Tech had a huge inning in the bottom of the first, scoring eight runs, which took about 30 minutes to complete. Bailey started it off with a single through the right side to score center fielder Darby Trull. Then three doubles in a row by designated player Grace Chavez, Bennett and Brown pushed the lead to seven.
Trull would bat again, as Tech batted around, and reached on a fielding error by pitcher, which allowed Brown to score and make it 8-0 after one.
The Lancers answered in the next inning with a single up the middle and the runner on second scoring on the play, but not without some drama. Trull, who threw a runner out at home from center last weekend in Durham, did it again, momentarily, gunning the runner down and catcher Mackenzie Lawter applying the tag to the head, but Lawter was out in front of the plate towards the third-base line and was deemed blocking the plate by the home plate umpire, who called obstruction, thus allowing the run to score despite being tagged out well ahead of home.
Then Greene singled down the left-field line for two runs, scoring Bennett and Milius, in the bottom of the second, and Brown hit a double to left to score Greene and right fielder Emma Ritter, making it 11-1 after two.
From then on, Longwood would be the lone team to score the rest of the way, getting one run in the third, fourth and sixth, and scoring two in the fifth for the 11-6 final.
– With Rochard hitting the 10-K plateau again, that marked her eighth game this season reaching double-digit strikeouts.
– Brown recorded a career-high four RBIs in Game 2, topping her previous high of two, which she set twice this season (Radford, Pitt).
– Tech hit two home runs in Game 1, marking the ninth time this year it has hit two or more in a game. The last time it hit two was on March 28 at Louisville, spanning five games without doing so.
– The Hokies extended their winning streak against Longwood to five games, dating back to March 27, 2018. Tech leads the all-time series now 16-12.
– The Hokies will continue their seven-game home stand after a bye this weekend, with their next contest being on Wednesday, April 14 versus Liberty (23-12, 4-2 ASUN) at 6 p.m. ET on ACC Network.