Softball takes on I-75 Classic

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by Jason Blocker |

The Radford softball team traveled to Georgia this weekend to showcase their talents. First came a doubleheader against Kennesaw State, followed by a two-game series against ACC-foe Georgia Tech. The Highlanders then capped off their weekend with one last road contest against Georgia State.

The weekend began for the Highlanders just as they had hoped: with a 10-6 decision over Kennesaw State. After both teams met in the Chattanooga Challenge last week, Radford looked to avenge their loss in the early-going. After a quiet two innings—in which Radford led Kennesaw State 1-0—Radford used a heavy bat to open the floodgates in the third. Scoring five runs off five hits in the third, the Highlanders began to build an insurmountable lead.

Along with a heavy bat, came a brilliant closing performance by freshman pitcher Hunter Mundy. Relieving for Mallory Marsicek, Mundy allowed only three runs off of five hits during her four innings of playing time. Kennesaw was unable to produce runs late in game one, as Radford held on to win the first contest 10-6.

The Owls weren’t going to allow Radford to celebrate for too long. In their second contest of the afternoon, Kennesaw State again met Radford in what turned out to be a significantly different story than game one. The Owls put their foot on the Highlanders’ throats in the second inning, racking up six runs. Strong final efforts from Marissa Gagliano and Hannah Medlam were not enough for Radford to overcome the early lead, as Kennesaw State split games with Radford in an 11-3 victory for the Owls.

The next contests came with some familiar territory for coach Aileen Morales, as Radford traveled to Morales’ alma mater, Georgia Tech. The Highlanders relied heavily on the right arm of senior pitcher Abby Morrow in game one, as she recorded a shutout against the ACC opponent. Morrow only allowed four hits all game—all of which were single-base outs. Morrow also recorded her career-high in strikeouts, tallying up seven against the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech’s best opportunity to score came in the fourth inning, as they had the bases loaded with a key hitter up to bat. But Morrow’s arm eliminated the Jackets chances, striking out the last batter to end Tech’s hitting streak. The 4-0 Highlander victory in their first contest marks the first time Radford had ever beaten Georgia Tech in the seven times the schools have met.

Radford unfortunately felt the blunt-end of a shutout in their second contest against the Yellow Jackets, as two Georgia Tech pitchers combined for a one-hitter. Junior catcher Maggie Rowe displayed why she is Radford’s most reliable hitter, lining up the only hit for the Highlanders late in the seventh inning.

The Highlanders ended their weekend with a convincing 7-1 victory over Georgia State. In another fantastic pitching performance from Morrow, Radford never let Georgia State get within a hair of the Highlander lead. For the second game in a row, Morrow allowed only singles throughout the contest.

Brittany Wratchford put her name on the map in this contest, recording a double and a three-run homer that was bombed late in the fourth inning. The fourth inning was host to a majority of the Highlanders scoring, as they racked up five runs off of five hits.

Radford will play host to Virginia Tech on Wednesday at 3 p.m. before traveling to Spartanburg, S.C. for the Upstate Classic where they will play four games.