Saturday was a weird day for the Virginia Tech Hokies. After a dominant win Friday over Saint Francis in the Blacksburg Regional, the Hokies were up on Kentucky, 4-1, late in Saturday’s regional semifinal.
However, the Wildcats scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to shock the Hokies and take a 5-4 lead. that meant the Hokies would play Miami (Oh.) Saturday night in an elimination game.
The Hokies struck first, as Meredith Slaw drove in the first run in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.
The RedHawks answered, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. Miami came back in the bottom of the third, scoring two more to take a 4-1 lead, and Blacksburg was uncomfortable.
Finally, Tech’s bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth. Jayme Bailey cranked a two-run homer over the left-field wall to cut Miami’s lead to 4-3. A couple of batters later, senior catcher Mackenzie Lawter crushed another two-run home run over the center-field fence, giving Tech the lead, 5-4.
Star pitcher Keely Rochard, who lost the Kentucky game in relief, entered the game in the bottom of the fourth, replacing Ivy Rosenberry on the mound. Rochard was her dominant self, allowing only one base-runner in four innings as Virginia Tech held on for a 5-4 lead, advancing to the Regional Final Sunday vs. Kentucky.
THAT'S OUR CATCHER pic.twitter.com/2fTgRZ30AX— Virginia Tech Softball (@HokiesSoftball) May 22, 2022
As a result of Tech’s loss to Kentucky Saturday, the Hokies will need to defeat the Wildcats twice, whereas Kentucky only needs to win one.