Softball struggles against Presbyterian and Tech

A Redford player prepares to hit the ball.

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Michael Marzzacco

Mmarzzarcco@Radford.Edu

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The Radford Softball team was in action this past week.  After taking two of three from Campbell in their home opening series, the Lady Highlanders returned home for a Wednesday night contest against New River Rival, Virginia Tech.  The Hokies had been on fire this season and came into the game ranked 25th in the nation, providing a tough match-up for the Highlanders.

Ultimately Radford lost 11-1 as they stranded 10 baserunners.  Nia Chiles, Mackenzie Blackwell and Summer Robinson each contributed with a hit, giving Radford a total of three in the contest.  Robinson drove in the Highs only run on a double in the fourth inning to score Lindsay Graham.

“We definitely needed to do a better job of taking advantage of opportunities to score when we have them.  We got plenty of runners on in this game, but the difference was Virginia Tech stepped up with runners on and got the big hit, which we weren’t able to do.  We need to learn how to consistently take advantage of those opportunities,” said head coach Maggie White.

During the weekend the Highs hit the road to continue their Big South schedule with a doubleheader on Saturday against Presbyterian.  Unfortunately they couldn’t get a win over the weekend.  They dropped game one 8-0 thanks to a seven run fourth inning by the Blue Hose.

Radford looked much better in game two of the twin bill.  After trailing 1-0 the Highs took their first lead on the day with a two run home run by Maggie Rowe in the top of the fourth inning.  The Blue Hose tied the game at 2 and in the seventh the Highs put some runners at the corners for Casey Burns.  Burns responded with a base hit into right-center field to give RU the lead right back.  Mantel put the Highs up by two with a RBI double to left.

Presbyterian tied the game in the bottom of the seventh at four and the game would remain that way into extra innings.  Both sides went 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth innings to force a 10th inning.  Because of tiebreaker rules a runner was automatically placed on second base.  With Chiles on second and two outs, Rowe hit a shot to left field to score Chiles and give the Highs the 5-4 lead.

Radford had a chance to close the game out but couldn’t get the job done in the bottom of the 10th.  An error put the leadoff runner on and advanced the runner on second.  One run came in to tie the game on a fielding error to play the bunt that was laid down by Hope Rogers.  Then a hit by pitch with the bases loaded ended the game as the Highlanders fell 6-5.

“The effort and communication was much better in the second game than the first, which is what we asked of them in between games.  We need to make fewer mistakes and take advantage of more opportunities,” said coach White.

The third game was supposed to be on Sunday but that got cancelled due to rain.  RU is now 6-15 overall and 2-3 in the conference.  After traveling to Elon for a game on Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. the Highs return home for a three game weekend series against Longwood.

Saturday will feature a doubleheader with game one starting at 1:00 p.m.  Game 2 will begin shortly after.  The teams will conclude the series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.