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SB: NC State Wins 12 in a row; Sweeps Pitt in Third Game, 5-1

Posted March 9

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— The NC State softball team extended its win streak to 12 games with a 5-1 win on Sunday at Dail Stadium to sweep a three-game series with Pittsburgh. The Wolfpack improved to 13-6 overall and 6-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while the Panthers fell to 8-11 on the year and 0-3 in ACC play.

For the first time this season, Wolfpack hitters led off every inning with a single to put runners on base in every frame.

“Three conference wins is a great weekend,” said head coach Shawn Rychcik. “I thought we hit the ball really well and had a game plan all the way through. We were well prepared for Pitt and I give a lot of credit to my assistant coaches for that. We played well defensively and did a good job of controlling the game and getting ourselves out of some jams.”

Junior shortstop Renada Davis led off the bottom of the first for the Pack with a double down the left field line to ignite State’s offense. She moved over to third on a groundout and scored on Hanna Sommer’s sacrifice fly to deep right field to give the Wolfpack a 1-0 lead.

State added to its total in the second inning after freshman Nadia Kemp singled to start the frame and scored on a throwing error by Pitt’s catcher attempting to get Kemp out at third base.

The Wolfpack scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth, following three hits and two walks in the frame. Lana Van Dyken opened the inning by legging out a single to the shortstop and freshman Molly Hutchison followed with a walk. A passed ball moved runners over to second and third before Sommer smacked a singled up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home to plate Van Dyken and senior Hayley Stowe, who pinch ran for Hutchison.

Hannah Yeager replaced Sommer at second base to pinch run and scored later in the inning when senior Leah Jones lined a single through the left side to make it 5-1 in favor of the Pack.

“We’re starting to get more comfortable at the plate and starting to produce when we need to,” Rychcik added. “I think we’ve found a rhythm and are in a good spot right now.”

Pitt scored its lone run of the contest in the bottom of the fourth when a throw down to second base skipped off of Ashlee Sills’ helmet and went to the wall in left field, allowing her to score from second. An error was charged to the catcher on the play so the run was unearned.

Davis led the Wolfpack at the plate with a 3-for-4 outing, while Jones, Kemp and Van Dyken each had two hits in the contest. Sommer had one hit in the game and collected three RBI.

“I’m very happy with the way I hit and the way we hit as a team,” said Davis. “Yesterday, I felt like I could have played better so I came out with more focus and I hit very well.”

Junior Emily Weiman picked up her 11th win of the season in the circle with another stellar outing. She had 11 strikeouts in the contest, highlighted by striking out the side in the fourth. Weiman retired eight batters in a row at one point in the game, spanning from the final out of the second inning to the first out of the fifth inning.

NC State will return to action on Tuesday, March 11 when it hosts the Radford Highlanders in a doubleheader set for a 2 p.m. start.

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