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Softball Knocks Off No. 15 Virginia Tech

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BLACKSBURG, Va. Emma Kauf homered twice and Blake Neleman threw her sixth complete game of the season to lead Georgia Tech softball to an impressive 6-4 win at No. 15 Virginia Tech on Friday evening at Tech Softball Park.

Kauf hit a solo home run to open the scoring in the second inning then blasted a two-run shot in the fifth to give Georgia Tech (13-20, 7-16 ACC) a commanding 6-2 lead. She also singled and scored in the fourth inning to finish 3-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored. With her two homers, the freshman pulled into a tie for the team lead with eight on the season.

Neleman kept Virginia Tech (25-7, 16-7 ACC) off-balance all night, limiting the Atlantic Coast Conference’s top-hitting team (.324 for the season) to just seven hits and nearly two runs below its ACC-best 5.6 runs-per-game average.

Neleman allowed a two-run homer to VT’s Cana Davis in the third inning, then retired nine of the next 10 batters that she faced before surrendering two runs in the bottom of the sixth to allow the Hokies to pull within two. However, the freshman struck out VT’s Grace Chavez on three pitches to end the sixth and keep the Yellow Jackets’ 6-4 lead intact.

The Hokies loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh on a single and two hit batters, but Neleman worked out of the jam once again, inducing a pair of infield pop-ups to end the game and secure the Jackets’ first win over a nationally ranked opponent since a 7-1 victory over No. 11 Kentucky on Feb. 22 of last season.

In addition to Kauf’s three RBI, Crosby Huckabay, Bailee Zeitler and Mallorie Black all drove in runs for GT.

Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech continue their four-game ACC series on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at VT’s Tech Softball Park.

Softball at Virginia Tech

April 16, 2021 - Blacksburg, Va. (Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech photos)

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