CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 19 Virginia Tech (17-4, 1-0 ACC) used a three-run fifth inning to pull away from Virginia (8-10, 0-4 ACC) and take the series opener, 4-0, on Friday (March 6) at Palmer Park.
Sophomore Aly Rayle (Herndon, Va.) was electric in her return to the circle before running into trouble in the fifth. Rayle (5-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on nine hits, while striking out eight.
Jayme Bailey led the Hokies at the plate with a pair of solo home runs. Grace Chavez added a two-run shot to round out Virginia Tech’s scoring. Keely Rochard (12-3) tossed a one-hitter in the circle for the Hokies.
Two-out trouble in the fifth helped Virginia Tech pull away. A double from Darby Trull was followed by a two-run homer from Chavez. Both hits came with two strikes in the count. Bailey then made it back-to-back shots for the Hokies, extending the lead to 4-0.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Bailey opened the scoring with a lead-off homer in the top of the second to put Virginia Tech in front early. Bailey took a 1-0 offering deep to center field for her first homer of the day. The Hokies would put two more in scoring position during the frame before Rayle ended the threat with a strikeout.
Virginia Tech would use three, two-out hits in the top of the fifth to extend its lead to 4-0.
Virginia’s lone base runner came on a Donna Friedman (Orange, Calif.) single in the bottom of the second.
ON THE LINES
• Rayle’s eight strikeouts were her second-most this season.
• Friedman’s single marks the 12th time she has recorded a hit in the past 13 games.
FROM THE TOP STEP
“Aly’s done really well for us,” head coach Joanna Hardin said. “She’s tough, she wiggles her way out of jams and she has this look in her eyes. She’s super competitive and I’m going to go down with Aly in the circle. She’s proven herself to me. Her team trusts her and I trust her. She’ll be back out there again at some point this weekend. She’s going to come in and watch film tomorrow, she’s going to learn from it and she’s going to get better from it. That’s who she is.”
Virginia and Virginia Tech continue the series on Saturday (March 7) with a 1 p.m. first pitch from Palmer Park.