Virginia Tech 4, Miami (Ohio)
Virginia Tech 4, Miami (Ohio) 1May 21, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Solo homeruns by Megan Evans, Stephanie Savre and Caroline Stolle supported seven strong innings from starter Katie Maynard, as the Virginia Tech Hokies eliminated the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, 4-1 at the 2005 NCAA Regional No. 11. Virginia Tech will play the College of Charleston at 6:00 p.m. today for the right to play Tennessee, Sunday at 1 p.m.
Virginia Tech (44-24) began the scoring in the second with back-to-back homeruns from Evans, a senior catcher, and Savre, a freshman first baseman. Evans lined a solo shot to straight away centerfield and Savre followed with an opposite-field drive off the scoreboard in left field.
Miami head coach Angie Jacobs then lifted starter Courtney Salmon (13-10), who took the loss for Miami (34-26), lasting just one inning.
Senior Jackie Poggendorf entered the contest in relief, but could not stop the Hokie long ball. Stolle, a freshman outfielder, blasted a pitch over the wall in center field to open up a 3-0 lead in the third inning.
Virginia Tech padded the lead in the fourth, scoring a run aided by three Miami errors. Senior Ciara Chaffee reached on an error by RedHawk shortstop Bianca Paz and later scored on a throwing miscue by Poggendorf.
The four-run lead was more than enough for Maynard (18-13), who went the distance allowing just one run on five hits.
The RedHawks lone run came in the sixth, with one-out singles by freshman Halle Popson and Poggendorf putting runners at first and third. After Paz fouled out to first, junior Kristen Hays came through with an RBI single, scoring Popson, to cut the deficit to 4-1. Maynard squashed the rally, inducing freshman Breanna Robinson, representing the tying run, to fly out to right to end the threat.
Evans led the Hokies on the afternoon, going 2-for-4 with a homerun and an RBI. Poggendorf pitched six innings in relief, surrendering just two runs, one earned, on six hits and went 1-for-3 from the plate.
Virginia Tech Head Coach Scot Thomas
(opening statement) I was pleased with the way we came out and took care of business. We had to send Kelly Brown to the hospital. Its always a concern when you have lose your leadoff hitter and the person leading our team in batting average. We just came back and did a great job. Katie did a great job in the circle. It got us back on track after a tough night last night.
(on Katies 7-0 record against Ohio teams) Weve been keeping track of that for a few years now. I cant remember who she pitched against in the first game, but then she had a big game against Ohio State in the leadoff. You go with whatever works for you. We knew coming in to today that both pitchers were going to have to give us good games so we can play on Sunday. It was kind of a no-brainer [going with Katie] considering the streak she has going. I thought Katie pitched pretty well yesterday. I knew she had it in her to take care of business.
(on making the decision to start Katie) We wanted to see where we stood first. We wanted to see who was going to win [the Tennessee vs. College of Charleston] game before we made any decisions. It is standard procedure to not tell the pitcher until about an hour and a half before the game so we dont have anyone thinking too much.
(on winning the first NCAA game) We kind of cracked the egg a little bit. We were disappointed in the way we played last night. I am more concerned today that we came out and took care of the ball like we have all season instead of playing the way we did last night.
(on the game) We knew we had to come out here and get the job done. We knew we had to win a few games to move on to tomorrow. That is our ultimate goal; to get to tomorrow. We were a little more focused and went out there and made sure we were aggressive. I think that is what the biggest factor was today.
(on the emotion after the first inning) It takes a little pressure off the pitcher when we put runs on the board. Everybody loves to see homeruns so its a lot of fun. Then when other people get up there and do their job too, it makes it even better.
(on her performance today) I love starting against Ohio teams because I am from Ohio. I am 7-0 against Ohio teams now. I was not about to make it 6-1 in NCAA regionals...Everything was working for me. I kept them off-balance a lot with my curve and busted them inside with my drop. Everything was working for me. I felt really good.
(on the motivation of the team) I think we were up a lot more. We knew a lot was riding on this game. I felt good and I think the whole team felt good.
Miami Head Coach Angie Jacobs
(opening comments) Its been a tough two days and I dont think we put our best foot forward. I cant think of the last time we made 11 errors in two days, but our kids played hard and we finished. We are looking forward to learning from this experience.
(on being in the tournament for the first time) We have an awesome senior class this year that has turned this program around. We have been knocking on the door for three years now and finally got a bid by winning the MAC tournament.
(on how getting to the tournament affects the university) This effects the university in many ways, especially the womens softball program because we have done something that has never been done before and I am really proud to be a part of that. My players have said that we have set the standard now, and there is nowhere else for us to go but up.
Freshman outfielder Breanna Robinson
(on her NCAA experience) For me, being our first year there was no turning back. We were setting the bar and cant go back from here. We have to keep improving and keep getting better.
Senior pitcher Jackie Poggendorf
(on being her senior year) There was no better way to end my senior year. We would have liked to go further in the tournament, but knowing that as a senior class we brought the program to this level of competition is a good feeling.
-- Courtesy University of Tennessee, Knoxville