The NC State softball team survived and advanced against Syracuse in the ACC Softball Tournament Wednesday afternoon, earning a tightly contested 4-3 win.
Syracuse (21-32) would strike first, scoring one run in the first inning on a play where the Orange stole second base and also sent a runner home.
The Wolfpack (30-26) answered quickly in the bottom of the first, capitalizing off of early mistakes given up by the Orange. Freshman shortstop April Visser started the big inning off for the Pack, stealing second which, in turn, forced an error by Syracuse catcher Gianna Carideo who tried throwing to third to stop sophomore left fielder Sam Russ from also stealing third.
The double steal paid off for the Pack as the error by Cariedo allowed Russ to score the first run of the game and allowed Visser to get from first to third on one play.
Visser would follow Russ by advancing home on a passed ball that also allowed sophomore third baseman Logan Morris to advance from first to third. NC State was capitalizing on every single mistake the Orange made.
Junior first baseman Skylar Johnson would immediately follow with a sacrifice fly to right field that would score Morris. The first four batters for the Wolfpack would account for its first three runs of the game. Unfortunately for the Pack, Syracuse would stop the bleeding and keep the Pack’s lead at 3-1 heading into the second inning.
Syracuse would answer in the third inning with a solo home run from Gabby Teran that would narrow the Pack’s lead to 3-2. However, just like in the first inning the Pack would have an answer for the Syracuse offense.
Syracuse could not get out of their own way, loading the bases and then hitting sophomore Chandler Garner who came in the game to pinch hit. The run given up would put the Pack’s lead back up to two runs going into the fourth inning.
Syracuse would again produce another run in the fourth inning, this time with an RBI double that brought the Pack’s lead back down to one run. After the one run scored, junior pitcher Devin Wallace was able to get out of the inning, protecting the Pack’s 4-3 lead.
Wallace’s day would be done after the fourth inning, allowing sophomore pitcher Kama Woodall to close out the game for NC State. Woodall was phenomenal for the Pack, allowing no runs in three innings of work on only 27 pitches.
While the Pack would not score any more runs for the rest of the game, Woodall’s strong performance would preserve a tight 4-3 win. Wallace ended up getting credit for the win, her 12th win of the year while Woodall would earn her first save of the year.
With the win, the Pack advances to the ACC quarterfinals to face top-seeded Virginia Tech at 11 a.m. in Tallahassee, Florida on Thursday, May 9.