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Hokies Seal 4-3 Win Over Liberty With Walk-Off Hit

May 1, 2012
|  Blacksburg, Va.
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Hanna Nichols went 2-for-3 with two RBIs during Liberty's 4-3 setback at Virginia Tech, Tuesday.

The Liberty softball team led Virginia Tech, 3-1, after five innings on Tuesday, but the Hokies rallied for a 4-3 win, behind a walk-off single from Kylie McGoldrick during the nightcap at Tech Softball Park.

The Hokies advance to 38-18 on the season after their two wins on Tuesday. The Lady Flames are now 18-33 heading into their final doubleheader, Saturday.

Grace Nordan (0-3) pitched effectively in her second career start, yielding just one run through the first five innings. She ended up allowing four runs on seven hits during her first complete game.

Hanna Nichols went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Meredith Crisante hit 2-for-3 with a double and one run scored for the visitors. Kelly Strickland drove in one run on a squeeze play, moving her into a tie for second all-time at Liberty with 149 career RBIs. Bridgett Woods tripled, and Kelby Allen added a single.

For Virginia Tech, Jasmin Harrell (27-13) picked up the win, striking out seven Lady Flames while allowing just two hits in five relief innings.

Lauren Gaskill went 2-for-2 with a run scored, and Kelsey Mericka hit a two-run homer.

Allen singled to center as the leadoff batter, and stole second. The Hokies defused the rally with a double play and a strikeout to maintain the scoreless ledger.

Virginia Tech went ahead when Courtney Liddle hit a one-out RBI double in the bottom of the first. Nordan got the next two batters to ground out, bringing the first frame to a close.

The Lady Flames gained the lead, 2-1, with two runs in the second. Crisante reached on an infield single to open the inning. Jill Stephens then drew a walk, and Jenny Law sent each ahead a base with a sacrifice bunt. Nichols plated Crisante and Stephens with a single down the left field line.

Nordan worked a 1-2-3 second inning, on two groundouts and a lineout. Woods led off the third inning with a triple, leading Virginia Tech to replace Bailey Liddle in the circle with Harrell. Strickland drove in Woods on a squeeze bunt, stretching the Lady Flames' lead to 3-1.

The score remained at 3-1 through four innings, as Nordan held the Hokies off the scoreboard for three straight frames.

Nichols hit a leadoff single during the fifth inning, but the next three Lady Flames recorded outs. The Hokies then left a runner in scoring position at the end of the fifth inning.

Crisante doubled with two outs in the top of the sixth frame, before Harrell recorded a strikeout for the third out, leaving the score at 3-1.

Virginia Tech tied it up on a two-run blast by Mericka in the bottom of the sixth. Liddle walked to lead off the frame, and Mericka followed with a homer to right field. Nordan retired the next three batters, and the tie game went to the seventh stanza

A 1-2-3 Liberty seventh brought the Hokies to bat. Kristen Froelich led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. A walk to Gaskill put runners on first and second with one out. McGoldrick sent a single to left, driving in the winning run on a walk-off base hit.

The Lady Flames return home, where they will conclude the 2012 regular-season schedule with a doubleheader against Longwood on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Liberty Softball Field. Seniors Meredith Crisante, Jenny Law, Kelly Strickland, Kaylee West and Bridgett Woods will be honored in a Senior Day ceremony prior to Saturday's first game.