2007 ACC Softball Championship: Tincher Sets Strikeout Record as Hokies Advance in 2007 ACC Softball Tournament
May 10, 2007
Tincher set the ACC mark for strikeouts with her 60th toss of the game in the top of the fifth inning. The junior's strikeout was her 1,399th, passing Georgia Tech Jessica Sallinger's mark of 1,398, which was set from 2002-2005. With 11 strikeouts on the day, Tincher now has 1,403 in her career. That mark makes her the first ACC player to ever reach the 1,400 strikeout plateau.
Virginia senior Meghan O'Leary, who has played centerfield, third base and short stop for the Cavaliers this season, started the offensive charge with a single to shortstop en route to collecting her 22nd run this year. O'Leary advanced to third base off of teammate and catcher Michelle Salmiery's sacrifice bunt and an error on Hokie first baseman Stephanie Savre. Then, with two outs on the board, first baseman Kelly Haller singled to left field, sending O'Leary home and putting the Cavs on the scoreboard first.
"I think we escaped one right there," stated ACC Coach of the Year and Virginia Tech mentor Scot Thomas. "We didn't catch or throw the ball real well, and that almost came back to bite us."
It took six innings before the Hokies tied the ball game, as the squad was jump started by designated player Callie Rhodes, who picked up a single to open the bats for the ball club. After Virginia substituted Coty Tolar for starting pitcher Whitney Holstun, the Hokies loaded the bases with a walk, a hit by pitch and a fielder's choice, despite collecting the first out as Rhodes met the catcher at home plate.
Virginia Tech scored on the next three consecutive plays as center fielder Jessica Everhart singled up the middle, sending second baseman Erin Ota home, while Carolina Stolle and Everhart followed behind to make the score 4-1, in favor of the Hokies. Stolle rounded the bases with a single to left field by teammate and shortstop Charissa Mariconda, while Everhart tallied an unearned run when teammate and third baseman Kelsy Rokey reached first on an error by Savre.
"We faced one of the top pitchers in the country and had the lead," said Virginia head coach Karen Johns. "We dug ourselves a big hole in the sixth inning and that was the difference in the game."
Mariconda went 1-for-3 on the day for the Hokies, adding a team-high two RBI. Tincher earned her 34th win of the season (34-5), displaying seven solid innings of work for the Hokies.
With the win, the Hokies advance to the second round of this year's tournament and will face the winner of No. 5 seed North Carolina and No. 4 seed and host Florida State. The game is slated for tomorrow, Friday at 3 p.m. ET. The Cavaliers will play in an elimination contest Friday at 10 a.m.