Kat Banks' Grand Slam Sends No. 4 Virginia Tech to the Semifinals
May 10, 2012
CHAPEL HILL N.C. (theACC.com) - A grand slam by Kat Banks in the sixth inning broke open a pitchers' duel as the fourth-seeded Virginia Tech Hokies beat No. 5 Maryland, 5-2, in the last quarterfinal of the 2012 ACC Softball Championship.
With the win, Virginia Tech improves to 39-18 and advances to face No. 1 North Carolina Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Hokie starting pitcher Jasmin Harrell (28-13) held the Maryland offense to two runs on four hits for the complete-game win. Maryland's Kendra Knight notched nine strikeouts to become the first Terrapin to reach the 300-strikeout milestone in a season.
Virginia Tech threatened to break the scoreless tie first when the Hokies loaded the bases in the bottom of the third, but Harrell struck out Courtney Liddle and induced a lineout from Kelsey Mericka to end the threat.
Maryland finally broke the deadlock in the top of the fourth. Shannon Bustillos ripped a line drive over second base, advanced to second on a passed ball, and then scored on a single to center from Candice Beards. Harrell got out of the inning with the bases loaded to escape further damage.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Hokies loaded the bases again on a hit batter, a walk, and a hit from Liddle. Catcher Betty Rose lined a single up the middle to even the score. Banks stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, and launched a shot to right center for her third home run of the year and a 5-1 Virginia Tech lead.
Terrapin senior Sloane Van Meter hit her first-career home run in the top of the seventh to make the score 5-2.