Pitt Softball Drops ACC Opening Doubleheader at Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The University of Pittsburgh softball team dropped a pair of games to Virginia Tech on its opening day of ACC play, as the Panthers fell to the Hokies 8-0 (five innings) in game one and 10-7 in game two.

Pitt [16-7, 0-2 ACC] struggled at the plate in game one, as they were unable to push across a run but made adjustments in game two and was able to score seven runs against Virginia Tech [8-14, 3-2 ACC].

“There are a lot of things that need to be different for tomorrow,” head coach Holly Aprile said. “We need to have an overall better performance on the mound. Everything starts in the circle and the team knows that. We have had good performances on the mound throughout the year so far so there is no reason for us to think we can’t do that.”

Pitt struggled across the board on the mound, as all three pitchers saw playing time. Harris threw four innings before being relieved by Modic in game one, while Dawson was removed from the second game following just two innings. Modic also replaced her.

Offensively, sophomore Giorgiana Zeremenko led Pitt at the plate with three hits, including a double, in six at-bats. The Canonsburg, Pa., native hit .500 on the day with two RBIs.

“Giorgiana [Zeremenko] played real loose today and she’s been doing that,” Aprile said. “She is freeing herself up to see good pitches and put a good swing on it. She’s putting herself in a great position to succeed.”

Sophomore Erin Hershman, redshirt senior Shelby Pickett and freshman Olivia Gray each added two hits apiece for the Panthers. One of Herhsman’s hits was a solo shot over the center field wall.

“In game two, we got the bats going and made some adjusts,” Aprile said. “We were in that game. We scored seven runs but unfortunately on the mound we can only recover from so much.”

Game One: Pitt 0, Virginia Tech 8

· Pitt fell to Virginia Tech 8-0 in its conference opener, in five innings of play.

· Harris earned the loss on the mound, giving up two earned runs in the fourth. She was relieved of her duties in the top of the fifth by Modic, who gave up six runs in the fifth.

· After three innings of scoreless play, the Hokies jumped on the board in the fourth thanks to a two-run home run by Kelsey Mericka.

· Virginia Tech posted a six-run frame in the bottom of the fifth to bring its total to eight, which ended the game. The Hokies loaded the bases right off the bat with three consecutive singles and scored their first run on a throwing error by freshman Alexis Solak, who attempted to get the runner out at home on a ground ball in the next at-bat. A second throwing error by Pitt, this time from the outfield, allowed three more runs to be added on. Virginia Tech closed out the game on a two-run shot by Lauren Duff.

· Pitt left runners stranded on base in all but one inning.

Game Two: Pitt 7, Virginia Tech 10

· The Panthers dropped game two of the doubleheader, 10-7, with Modic earning the loss after relieving Dawson midway through the third.

· The Hokies continued their success at the plate in the first inning of the second game, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Virginia Tech posted three doubles in the inning to bring around the runners.

· Two more base runners crossed the plate in the second inning for the Hokies to extend Tech’s lead to 4-0. With runners on first and second with two outs, Caitlyn Nolan doubled to center field, scoring both of her teammates.

· Pitt tied the game in the top of the third inning, plating four runs on four hits and an error. Hershman got things going for the Panthers with a solo shot over the center field wall. With one away, Duran doubled to left and was joined on the bases by Pickett who smacked a single to left. The bases became loaded after a walk was issued to Taylor. Duran scored on the next play, an error by the shortstop. The bases remained loaded for Zeremenko, who then ripped a single to right center to add two more runs to the board. After the top half of the third, Pitt and Virginia Tech were tied at 4-4.

· The Hokies reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third, as Dawson and Modic combined to give up six runs. The freshman let up a two-run homer and left runners on second and third for Modic who replaced her midway through the inning. The senior gave up a double to the first batter she faced, which scored the leftover runners from Dawson’s time on the mound. A single to center with two outs later than inning brought around the final two runs to make it 10-4, Hokies.

· In the top of the fourth, Pitt added three to its run total but that would be all for the remainder of the game. The first two runs scored on a passed ball, as Gray scored initially and Hershman came around as the catcher lost control of the ball on her throw to the pitcher at the plate. Pickett remained on second following the play, but wasn’t there long as moved to third on a Taylor single and then scored on a sac fly by Modic.

· Both teams were scoreless in the remaining innings.

Up Next

· Due to potential inclement weather on Sunday, March 13, the series finale between Pitt and Virginia Tech will now begin at Noon. The game was originally scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

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