GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Freshman Courtney Mirabella of NC State made the most of her opportunity to pitch in her home state again as she threw her first career no-hitter in an 8-0 win against Florida A&M on Saturday afternoon.
It was the 14th no-hitter thrown by a Wolfpack (26-10) pitcher in the history of the program and only the third by a freshman.
“I thought Courtney [Mirabella] was really good today,” head coach Shawn Rychcik said. “She was getting ahead of the FAMU hitters and did a good job of keeping them off balance, so I’m happy that she was able to get the no-hitter. At the plate, we swung the bats well and had some really good at-bats and we were clean defensively.”
Pitching in front of her family and friends, she baffled hitters at the plate throughout the game. Of the 15 outs she recorded, only three balls left the infield as the remainder were strikeouts, groundouts or popped foul balls.
The only minor blemish in Mirabella’s outing was a hit-by-pitch in the second inning which prevented her from throwing a perfect game. She finished the game with six strikeouts and did not allow a walk.
“It was a really good confidence builder and it felt great,” Mirabella said in reference to her first no-hitter. “I felt really comfortable pitching in the state of Florida again, especially with my family and friends in the crowd. My curveball was working really well today, so I was able to get ahead of hitters and that helped me a lot.”
The Wolfpack (26-10) jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead on Florida A&M (15-23) thanks to six runs in the bottom of the first. Junior Renada Davis led off the inning with a single through the left side and senior Kirsty Grant followed suit with a single of her own in between the shortstop and third baseman.
Freshman Molly Hutchison reached on a fielder’s choice and Davis scored from second base on a throwing error by the FAMU shortstop to make it 1-0. Sophomore Hanna Sommer followed with a walk before senior Leah Jones hit a double to deep right center plating Hutchison and Sommer.
With the bases loaded and the Wolfpack leading 3-0, sophomore Lana Van Dyken dropped a bases clearing single in right center to collect three runs batted in. Her single scored Jones, Sara Lippard and Scout Albertson who both walked earlier in the inning to make it 6-0.
State added to its total in the bottom of the second after freshman Hannah Yeager lined a single through the left side to score Davis from third base. Van Dyken slashed a single to right field in the bottom of the fifth plating Yeager from second base to end the game and make the score 8-0.