Colleges

SB: Van Dyken's walk-off lifts NC State past ECU, 5-4

Posted April 10

— Sophomore Lana Van Dyken could not have picked a better time to hit her first home run of the 2014 season, as her solo homer in the bottom of the 11th inning helped the NC State softball team earn a 5-4 win against East Carolina Wednesday night at Dail Stadium. The Wolfpack completed the sweep of the doubleheader in the second game, following a 7-2 win in game one.

“We were waiting for that big hit and we finally got it in the 11th,” said head coach Shawn Rychcik. “ECU gave us a very tough battle in that second game and credit to them they’re a good team. We just happened to get the one hit that alluded both teams until the very end, so I’m very happy to get the win.”

It was the Wolfpack’s (25-10) first extra inning game of the season and first for the Pirates since March 11, 2014. The 11-inning affair was the longest game for State since March 7, 2012 against College of Charleston.

After East Carolina (20-15) tied the score at four in the fifth inning, five scoreless innings were played before NC State was able to capitalize. Van Dyken worked the count full in the bottom of the 11th before depositing the next pitch she saw from ECU starting pitcher Caroline Umphlett (5-4) over the fence in left center for a walk-off home run.

“It felt amazing,” said Van Dyken in reference to hitting the walk-off home run. “It was the icing on the cake from the first game and it feels great to get the sweep. The energy in the dugout was my motivation before stepping to the plate and I just wanted to come through for my team.”

The Pirates struck first in the contest due to a leadoff homer from its left fielder Jill Jelnick. State bounced back in the third inning with four runs to take a 4-1 lead. Van Dyken ripped an RBI double in the frame followed by a run scoring single from junior Renada Davis, before freshman Molly Hutchison smashed a two-run blast to center field. It was Hutchison’s eight homer of the year.

In the top of the fifth, ECU knotted the score at four with three runs in the inning thanks to home runs from Shelby Johnson and Alex Fieldhouse.

Freshman Courtney Mirabella started the game in the circle for the Wolfpack and pitched four innings before giving way to junior Emily Weiman (22-8), who earned the win, in the fifth. The two combined to strike out 11 hitters and only allowed five walks in the 11 innings played.

Van Dyken led the team at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance, including two RBI and two runs scored. Davis and senior Leah Jones went 2-for-5 in the game, while Kirsty Grant, Hutchison, Hanna Sommer and Hannah Yeager each had one hit.

NC State will return to action this weekend when it travels to Gainesville, Fla., for games against the host Florida Gators and Florida A&M. Both games are slated for Saturday, April 12 with the first game against Florida A&M at 12:30 p.m. and the contest against Florida to follow.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
DET 109
PHI 103
Final
NOP 88
DAL 85
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
VT 6
MIAMI 30
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
SFLA
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
TROY
9:00pm Tonight
BSU
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
OREG
Final
BOS 2
NYI 3
Final
DET 4
PIT 3
Final
MIN 2
ARI 0
Final
NAS 3
CHI 2
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
Final
LOS 2
BUF 0
Final
SJS 4
CLB 5
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
VAN
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CLB
 
Final
DEN 35
SDC 21