LEXINGTON, Ky. —
Virginia Tech softball pulled the upset to start its day on Sunday, but the Kentucky Wildcats bounced back and claimed the NCAA Lexington Regional with a 1-0 victory in the “if necessary” championship game, ending the Hokies’ season.
“We did what we needed to do to compete and try to move on and obviously I thought coming into this regional we matched up well with Kentucky,” Tech head coach Scot Thomas said.
“I think we proved that today. Hats off to them, hats off to my team for battling all last night and battling all day today. I am proud of our bunch for sure.”
In the first game, Tech (38-21) got a three-hit shutout from freshman Kelly Heinz and a big RBI double from Lauren Gaskill as the Hokies pulled the 2-0 upset.
Heinz shut down the high-powered UK offense, giving up just three singles as she struck out three and walked five to finish her freshman year with a 17-8 record.
The two teams were scoreless as they headed to the fifth inning when senior Betty Rose led off with a single and moved up on senior Bkaye Smith’s sac bunt. Gaskill then drove a 3-2 pitch to the gap to plate Rose and give Tech a 1-0 lead.
After Dani Anderson was hit by a pitch and Courtney Liddle walked, Kylie McGoldrick drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 2-0. That would be all Heinz would need as she shut down Kentucky the rest of the way. Gaskill had three of Tech’s six hits in that game.
In the first inning of the final game, Kentucky’s Sylver Samuel got aboard via a Virginia Tech error and scored the only run of the contest on a hard-hit single by Lauren Cumbess. Cumbess pitched into the fourth inning, but reliever Kelsey Nunley took the pitching win.
Virginia Tech loaded the bases in the fourth inning but could not score.
Jasmin Harrell, who pitched 13 innings in the Hokies’ 3-2 win over Marshall on Saturday, was on the mound again Sunday. She gave up eight hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
The 17th-ranked Wildcats advance to next weekend’s NCAA Super Regionals. Virginia Tech was playing in its second straight NCAA Regional Final.
NCAA Division I Softball Glance
By The Associated Press
(Regional teams only)
Lexington (Ky.) Regional
Friday, May 17
Virginia Tech 4, Notre Dame 3
Kentucky 2, Marshall 1
Saturday, May 18
Kentucky 6, Virginia Tech 2
Marshall 3, Notre Dame 1, Notre Dame eliminated
Virginia Tech 3, Marshall 2, 13 innings, Marshall eliminated
Sunday, May 19
Virginia Tech 2, Kentucky 0
Kentucky 1, Virginia Tech 0, Kentucky advances