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BLACKSBURG, Va. - Pitching was the theme of the day as the Virginia Tech softball team swept a pair of games from East Tennessee State University Wednesday afternoon at Tech Softball Park. The Hokies won the first game, 8-0 in six innings, before winning the second game 2-0. For the two games, three Virginia Tech pitchers limited the Bucs to four hits.
In the opener, Bronwyn Blair, Shanel Garofalo and Maura Green each had three hits and Mindi Wylie had two hits to pace the offense. But it was freshman walk-on Courtney Brinkman who made the biggest noise. With the Hokies leading 6-0 in the sixth, Brinkman stepped to the plate in her first-career at-bat and doubled home two runs to end the game.
Clarisa Crowell got the start on the mound, going four innings to get the win. She improved to 6-4 on the year with her eight-strikeout performance. Ashlee Dobbe came on in the fifth with the score 2-0 and pitched the rest of the way to pick up her first save of the year. Melonie Collins and Miranda Byerly had the lone hits for the Bucs (8-19).
In the second game, Tech once again got strong pitching as it came away with a 2-0 win. Dobbe got the start, but went a pre-planned three innings, striking out four. Catherine Gilliam (W, 8-4) came into the game in the fourth inning and went the rest of the way. She struck out two and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. But Collins singled to lead-off the inning and Byerly doubled shortly after to break up the no-hitter.
At the plate, Garofalo went 2-for-2 with an RBI and Crowell went 2-for-3. For the day, Garofalo went 5-for-5 with two RBI. Blair had three steals on the day for the Hokies.
Tech (25-13) is back in action this weekend, taking to the road for four BIG EAST games. The Hokies (5-1 BIG EAST) are scheduled to face Rutgers on Saturday and Villanova on Sunday. Both doubleheaders are scheduled to begin at noon.