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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Senior Bethaney Wells, NC State's top home run hitter the last two seasons, laced a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning of Friday's NCAA Knoxville Regional opener against James Madison, giving the ACC-champion Wolfpack a 2-0 victory over the Dukes in its first game.
It's the first time in school history that the Wolfpack (34-18-1) has won its opening game in an NCAA Regional. In both 2006 and '07, the Pack lost its opener and won its second game in the loser's bracket at Baton Rouge, La., and at Columbia, S.C., respectively.
The Pack, which has won 13 in a row and 20 of its last 22 contests, moves on to face the winner of Friday's second game between No. 5 Tennessee and fourth-seed Longwood. Saturday's game between the winners will be at 1:30 p.m. at Tennessee's Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
MOBILE, Ala. (seminoles.com) - The efforts of sophomore pitcher Lacey Waldrop and junior catcher Celeste Gomez ignited the 19th-ranked Florida State softball team to a key 5-2 victory over Mississippi State on Friday evening in the opening game of the South Alabama regional at Jaguar Field.
Waldrop (23-8) put together a dominant postseason performance by fanning 11 Bulldog (32-23) batters and allowing two unearned runs in a complete-game seven-inning performance. Gomez contributed mightily with a towering two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth while being the focus of a wacky two-run scoring play that set the tone for the Seminoles (42-16) early.
"That first game in the NCAA Regional is so important, as they all are. Getting yourself off on the right foot is imperative and we were able to do that today against a good SEC team," head coach Lonni Alameda said. "I'm proud of the way Lacey pitched. She pitched her heart out, changed speeds so well and stayed poised in the circle. Her performance along with Celeste's big home run were huge for us today."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (hokiesports.com) - Virginia Tech rallied for three runs in the fifth inning to complete a comeback and defeat second-seeded Notre Dame Friday evening on the first day of the NCAA Tournament, being held at John Cropp Stadium on the campus of the University of Kentucky.
Tech struck first in the third inning when junior Kat Banks connected on a solo home run - her third of the season - to give Tech a 1-0 lead. The Irish rebounded, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. After an RBI single to tie it up, Banks committed an error in right field to allow the Irish to take a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, right after giving up the three runs, the Hokies clawed their way back into it. Lauren Gaskill was hit by a pitch and then Dani Anderson singled up the middle. After Courtney Liddle reached on a fielder’s choice where Gaskill was put out at third base, Kylie McGoldrick was also hit by a pitch to load the bases for Banks.
EUGENE, Ore. - After No. 3 Oregon shut out UNC 3-0 earlier in the day, No. 25 Wisconsin ousted the Tar Heels from NCAA Regional play with a 6-2 win Friday night at Oregon's Howe Field.
Lori Spingola's solid pitching in both games and Amber Parrish's solo shot in game two highlighted Carolina's final day of play. The Tar Heels finish their season 40-21, tallying their sixth 40-win season in the last seven years as they close out their 11th NCAA appearance.