No. 3 Maryland Edges No. 6 NC State 4-3 in 2011 ACC Softball Championship Opener
May 13, 2011
ATLANTA, Ga. -- Maryland junior infielder Bree Hanafin singled through to left field in the bottom of the seventh to bring in senior outfielder Lauren Ghent, breaking up a 3-3 tie and sending the third-seeded Terrapins to the semifinals of the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Championship at Mewborn Field in Atlanta, Ga.
With the win, Maryland improves to 39-16 (12-7 ACC). The Terrapins advance to Saturday's semifinal round where they will face either second-seeded North Carolina or seventh-seeded Boston College. Game time is set for 1 p.m. NC State falls to 26-23 (7-12 ACC) on the season.
It marks the Terrapins' first tournament victory since 2007. That win also came against the Wolfpack and was by a one-run margin.
Junior pitcher Kendra Knight picked up the win. She tossed one hitless inning and struck out one batter. Senior Kerry Hickey, the 2011 ACC Pitcher of the Year, pitched six innings, surrendering three earned runs and striking out four batters.
Freshman pitcher Kayla Cox took the loss for the Wolfpack. She gave up three earned runs on six hits while striking out four.
Hanafin, a second team All-ACC selection, finished the contest 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. Junior outfielder Vangie Galindo, a first team All-ACC pick, also tallied two hits on the day, scoring once and driving in a run. Senior third baseman Marisha Branson also registered an RBI in the game.
Junior outfielder Toni Ann Williford and senior catcher Alyssa Allbritten led the Wolfpack at the plate. Williford finished the day 2-for-4, while Allbritten went 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI.
Both squads put runs on the board in the first inning. Allbritten got things started for the Wolfpack, sending a shot beyond the left field fence and scoring junior outfielder Landon Warren. The 2-0 lead would not hold for long as Branson singled up the middle with the bases loaded to put the Terrapins on the board. Maryland tacked on another run later in the inning as Hickey hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Galindo.
NC State responded in the top of the second with another home run, this time a solo shot by senior first baseman Alicia Abbott. Maryland tied it at three-all in the bottom of the third after Hanafin scored on an error by the shortstop.
Heading into the final inning, the score remained 3-3. NC State loaded the bases, but Knight struck freshman pinch hitter Chelsea Tate out swinging and got Abbott to ground out to second base. Ghent came on to pinch hit for the Terrapins and reached first after being hit by a pitch. She advanced to second on a sacrifice hit, and then reached third on a single by Galindo. Hanafin then hit her walk-off single, bringing Ghent home and giving Maryland a 4-3 win.
Maryland returns to action Saturday, May 14 at 1 p.m. where it will face either second-seeded North Carolina or seventh-seeded Boston College in the first semifinal game. A live web-stream of the game will be available via The ACC Network on theACC.com.