March 15, 2008
ATLANTA – Following a one hour and six-minute rain delay, the #24 Virginia Tech softball team (18-8, 1-0 ACC) scored three runs in the fourth inning and held on for a 4-2 win over Georgia Tech (9-17, 1-3) Saturday afternoon at Glenn Field. The Yellow Jackets had five hits, including a home run by junior Whitney Haller, off Hokie All-American pitcher Angela Tincher but left six runners on base.
Due to the forecast for more severe weather later this afternoon, the two teams decided to play a single game today and then a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at Noon. There will be an audio broadcast of the games beginning at 11:55 a.m. and live stats will also be available at www.ramblinwreck.com. Today’s game did not go without interruption as the teams waited out a one hour and six-minute rain delay prior to the start of the fourth inning.
In the top of the first inning, the Hokies were able to manufacture a run. Jenna Rhodes led off by slapping a single into left field and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Erin Ota. Tech senior pitcher Whitney Humphreys got Charisse Mariconda on a ground out for the innings’ second out, but with Kelsey Hoffman at the plate, Rhodes scored on a Humphreys wild pitch.
Tech made Virginia Tech All-American pitcher Angela Tincher work hard in the first inning as she threw 27 pitches, but was able to get out of a two on with two out jam. After Tincher struck out senior Aileen Morales and freshman Christy Jones to begin the inning, junior Blair Shimandle got hit with the first pitch she saw from Tincher. Senior Savannah Brown then drew a walk to put two on for junior Whitney Haller. An illegal pitch, Tincher’s second of the inning, moved both runners into scoring position but Haller popped up to end the threat.
After Humphreys got the Hokies out 1-2-3 in the top of the second inning, the Yellow Jackets tried to mount a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning. Senior Becky McCraw doubled off the fence in left field, but Tincher was able to get senior Stephanie Butler out to end the inning.
The Yellow Jackets mounted another threat in the bottom of the third inning as back-to-back infield singles by Jones and Shimandle put two on with just one out. Brown then hit a shot up the middle that was ticketed for centerfield, but Tincher made a nice play to stab it and threw to third base getting the lead runner out. Another Tincher illegal pitch moved the two runners into scoring position again, but she was able to strike Haller out and get out of the jam. Officials then decided to pull the tarp as a line of thunderstorms was approaching the area.
Following a one hour and six-minute rain delay, the Hokies wasted no time in getting the bats rolling. Ota took the first Humphreys pitch over the right field fence and then two pitches later Mariconda made it back-to-back home runs when she took a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left. For both players, it was their first round-tripper of the season. In fact, Virginia Tech had just two home runs coming into the game. The Hokies added another run later in the inning when Misty Hall delivered a two-out RBI double.
The Jackets got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth inning. Morales recorded a one-out single, and was sacrificed to second base by Jones. Tincher then struck out Shimandle but the ball went to the back-stop allowing her to reach and Morales scampered to third. Another wild pitch with Brown at the plate allowed Morales to score Tech’s first run, but that would be it in the inning as Brown flied out.
Tech continued to chip away as Haller led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run, her fifth of the season. Tincher retired the next three batters so the game moved onto the seventh and Virginia Tech still leading 4-2.
Tincher (10-4) retired the Jackets in order in the seventh to complete the win. She was charged with two earned runs on five hits and one walk while recording nine strikeouts. Humphreys (4-9) took the loss for the Jackets as she was charged with four earned runs on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts.