“To come from behind and to be in the position late in a game where we do have a shot against a good team is great,” said Lady Bisons coach Kristin Peck. “To actually come through and get it done is what you hope for.”
Virginia Tech, from the Atlantic Coast Conference, played in the College World Series last season. The two teams were originally scheduled to play a doubleheader, but played a single game instead.
The Lady Bisons fell behind 3-0 in the third inning.
They rallied for two runs in the fourth. Christen Campbell led off with a single to center. Caroline Mason reached base on an error by the shortstop. Mollie Mitchell and Megan Rottler followed with infield ground outs. Mackenzie Tucker singled to left field to score both Campbell and Mason.
In the fifth Virginia Tech struck for one more run to take a 4-2 lead.
The Lady Bisons trimmed the lead to 4-3 with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Mason tripled to right center to bring in Campbell who had reached base on a fielder’s choice.
In the seventh Peck couldn’t have asked for a stronger group of hitters with No. 3 batter Kellie Sirus, No. 4 hitter Abby Keese and No. 5 hitter Christen Campbell set to come to the plate.
Sirus doubled down the left field line to open the inning for the Lady Bisons. Abby Keese, usually known for her power hitting, put down a bunt in front of home plate and beat the throw. Campbell walked to load the bases.
Mason singled deep to center as the ball just barely went over the glove hand of Jessica Everhart as she went back to try to make the play.
“Kellie has come through so many times for us this year, whether it has been a big hit or finding a way to get on base,” said Peck. “Abby laid down a perfect bunt and then beat it out. That was huge. If we had one out there it would have changed things for us.
“Christen was very disciplined at bat and walked. And then Caroline comes up and gets the big hit.”
Making a last inning comeback for a win was even more special since the Lady Bisons had fallen short in the seventh Monday in a 3-2 loss to Tennessee Tech in the first game of a doubleheader.
“We were right there against Tennessee Tech in that first game and didn’t get it done,” said Peck. “Our girls were down a little bit and we came back and fought hard as a team and got the second game against Tennessee Tech (7-4).
“We knew we were going to only have one shot at Virginia Tech, maybe for several years. We wanted to make the most of it. To see us come from behind against a good team kinds of gives us a little momentum going into next week.”
Sirus, the leading hitter for the Lady Bisons, finished with three hits. She leads the team in multi-hit games with 10. This was her fourth time to get three hits in a game.
Mason had a season-high three runs batted in. It was her fourth multiple RBI game of the season. She is second on the team in RBI with 15. Both Mason and Mackenzie Tucker had two hits. In the fifth inning Mason hit her first collegiate triple.
“Caroline has really worked this week on keeping it simple,” said Peck. “She had a big day. That is what she is capable of every day as a hitter.
“To see somebody like that come through in that kind of situation is huge for her. It is definitely good for our team. We are going to need a lot out of her as a hitter.”
Lauren Dortwegt’s hitting streak ended at six as she was hitless in three trips to the plate.
Freshman Whitney Kiihnl raised her record to 7-2. She pitched all seven innings, giving up three earned runs, scattering nine hits, walking one and striking out three.
“Whitney had a few rough patches, but kept at it,” said Peck. “She really gave us her best.
“She has a lot of pitches and she uses them well. She has good movement on her pitches.”
The Lady Bisons are 15-5. Virginia Tech slipped to 8-13.
The Lady Bisons are back in action Sunday afternoon at 1 when Middle Tennessee State visits Draper Diamond for a doubleheader.