Feb 23, 2013
Atlanta — Sophomore shortstop Renada Davis, for the first time in her career, blasted two home runs in a game, leading the NC State softball team to a 9-1, six-inning victory over Troy on Saturday in the rain-shortened Phyllis Rafter Memorial softball tournament.
After Friday’s games were washed out because of rain and Saturday’s games were shifted to on-campus fields at co-hosts Kennesaw State and Georgia State, the Wolfpack played the final game of the day against the Trojans at Georgia State’s Heck Field.
Davis, last year’s ACC Freshman of the Year, started the game off with a blast over the left-field wall, hitting her fourth home run of the season for a 1-0 lead. It’s the second time this season Davis has hit a lead-off homer for the Pack.
Not to be outdone, freshman designated player Hanna Sommer also hit her fourth homer of the season with a solo shot deep over the centerfield wall to give her team a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, junior first baseman Leah Jones hit her first homer of the year, a two-run shot after junior Chelsea Tate singled. After senior Caitlin Dent walked, Davis hit her second homer of the day, much longer than the first, over the left-field wall.
Davis now has five homers on the season, matching her total in 2012's well-decorated inaugural campaign.
The Pack (7-4) loaded the bases – thanks in part to Davis’ third extra-base hit of the day, a double to centerfield – with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Senior left-fielder Bethaney Wells hit a two-run double to centerfield to end the game on the eight-run rule.
“It was good to see everyone swing the bat like that, right out of the gate,” said first-year head coach Shawn Rychcik. “After sitting around the hotel for a day and a half, because of all the rain delays, we came out swinging and put a couple of runs on the board in the first inning.
“That opened it up a little bit and we were able to keep pressure on them and get the six-inning win.”
It’s the second time this season the Pack has hit four home runs in a game. It also hit four in a 5-1 season-opening win over Georgetown at the FIU Panther Invitational in Miami.
Sophomore pitcher Emily Weiman (7-3) struck out six and gave up five hits and one walk to pick up her seventh win of the season. She pitched out of a jam – with the help of junior catcher Kirsty Grant – in the fourth inning after Troy put runners on second and third with one out.
Weiman struck out one batter, but Grant got the putout by picking up the final strike and throwing out the runner at first. On the next play, Grant picked up a one-hop stop in front of the plate and threw the batter out at first.
The Trojans (4-6) loaded the bases in the top of the sixth and scored an unearned run on a two-out infield error. Weiman ended the threat with her sixth strikeout of the day.
“I thought Emily threw pretty well, even though it wasn’t her best game of the year,” Rychcik said. “There was a little sloppiness out there where she let some runners get on base that could have been outs.“But as she has done all season, she was able to make a big pitch when she needed it. We’ve played good defense all season, so she has confidence that if the ball is put in play we can get out of innings, even if there are runners on base.”
The Wolfpack will play two games on Sunday, facing Northern Colorado at noon and Georgia State at 2 p.m. back at Heck Field.