On March 27, No. 24 Virginia Tech (28–4) geared up to take on New River Valley foes, Radford University (12–19), at Tech Softball Park. Radford defeated Virginia Tech in Blacksburg during the 2018 season, but earlier this season, the Hokies defeated the Highlanders 10–0 in Radford. Head coach Pete D'Amour’s squad was definitely favored in its second matchup of the season, cruising to an 8–0 victory and swept the Highlanders in its two game series this season.
The Hokies were quick to score in the first inning. Darby Trull scored a run off a double from Emma Strouth. Then, with bases loaded and two outs, Caitlyn Nolan hit the first home run of the game, sending herself and three other Hokies to home plate, giving Virginia Tech an early five-run advantage. Carrie Eberle then pitched a one-two-three inning, striking out three straight batters. Eberle almost made it two in a row, but Radford’s Destiny Freeman was able to get a hit before the third inning concluded.
In the fourth inning, Radford was able to get a couple players on base, but a few quick outs at first base ended the inning before home could be reached, and the Highlanders remained scoreless through the fourth. During the bottom of the fourth inning, Jayme Bailey homed to center field allowing herself and Al Velazquez, who was previously on second, home for two more. A pop-up hit by Nolan was caught to end the inning, keeping the score at 8–0 after four innings.
The Highlanders were unable to score a run through the top of the fifth inning and the eight run rule concluded the game. Radford was only able to get five hits out of 21 at bats.
Eberle’s pitching shone throughout the game; she racked up six strikeouts in just five innings. “She’s been trying some things in the bullpen. I think it finally clicked… it was a big game for her” D’Amour said.
Virginia Tech looks to extend its current win streak of 10 with big ACC games against Louisville this weekend back at Tech Softball Park. The Cardinals are strong ACC contenders and wins this weekend can keep the Hokies atop the ACC standings.