Dent bolts second grand slam of season; NC State sweeps No. 19 Virginia Tech
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Senior Caitlin Dent's second grand slam of the season spotted NC State sophomore pitcher Emily Weiman a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader against No. 19 Virginia Tech.
That was all the offense Weiman (12-12) needed in the 9-2 victory at the Tech Softball Park. She struck out three, walked only one and allowed a pair of unearned runs on a two-run triple in the bottom of the seventh.
Coupled with Saturday's 10-2 victory in the opener, it was the first time the Pack (13-13-1 overall, 2-3 ACC) has won two games in the same day against a ranked team since April 21, 2007, when it took a pair of shutouts (3-0, 5-0) against No. 22 North Carolina.
"We talked coming into [Saturday] about getting some runs early and putting pressure on them," first-year head coach Shawn Rychcik said, who picked up the first two ACC victories of his NC State coaching career on the day. "We did that in the first game, with a home run by Scout Albertson, and Caitlin's grand slam took away any momentum they might have had coming into the second game."
Dent came to the plate with the bases loaded after sophomore shortstop Renada Davis singled to left field to open the game, Albertson walked and junior Chelsea Tate landed a spinner behind the pitcher that the shortstop fielded but was unable to make a play at any base.
Dent lifted a long fly ball that cleared the centerfield wall with room to spare. The starting centerfielder hit her first career grand slam on March 2 in the Wolfpack's 20-0 victory against North Carolina A&T at Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Stadium during the Wolfpack Challenge. She now has three homers on the season.
The Pack added single runs on Davis' run-scoring double in the fourth and a bases-loaded wild pitch in the sixth. The Pack added three more in the top of the seventh, thanks to junior catcher Kirsty Grant's second homer of the season, a two-run shot off the left-field foul pole.
On the day, the Pack got homers from Albertson, Dent and Grant, three players that Rychcik moved in the batting order prior to the first game. Dent finished the day with two hits and five RBIs.
"We got great production in both games throughout the lineup," Rychcik said. "I was real proud of the way they played. We talked about not worrying about who we were playing and just playing our game.
"That's what we did."
Both senior Bethaney Wells and Grant had five hits in the doubleheader.