No Revenge for Rodon, Pack

Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

Softball opens ACC play with doubleheader sweep.

Despite a strong start from Carlos Rodon, N.C. State was unable to exact revenge in its rematch with national champion UCLA. The Bruins, who downed the Pack 2-1 en route to winning the College World Series last season, blanked the Pack 2-0 in the Irish Classic in a game played at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary.

Grant Watson and David Berg combined for the shutout, will Watson surrendering just three hits and a walk in eight frames. Berg allowed a hit and fanned a batter in the ninth to notch his third save.

The Pack's four hits were actually one more than UCLA managed, but an error by Rodon opened the door for a two-run second inning that gave the defending champs all of the offense they would need. After Ty Moore opened the inning with a single, Rodon hurt himself with an error and then hit a batter to load the bases with none out. A strikeout later, Trent Chatterton slipped a hard grounder past first baseman Kyle Cavanaugh to plate a pair.

Rodon surrendered just one hit after the second; he worked seven innings, allowing only one earned run while striking out eight and walking three. He also hit two batters. His effort against the Bruins brought the opponents' triple slash line to .173/.271/.212 for the season. That's not just against Rodon; that's against the entire staff.

Pitching has not been a problem for the Pack, but, though the team is slashing a respectable .267/.367/.361 line overall, scoring runs has been an issue at times. State has been blanked twice and held to three runs or less four times already this season. In their first 10 games a year ago, the Pack were held to three or fewer runs just twice; they didn't get shut out until the final game of the season.

Cavanaugh, Jake Fincher, Andrew Knizner, and Trea Turner contributed the Pack's four hits, all singles, and Turner drew the team's lone walk. Surprisingly, Turner did not attempt a stolen base.

N.C. State (8-2), which saw its eight-game winning streak snapped, completes play in the Irish Classic Sunday at one against Youngstown State.

***

Speaking of shutouts, the N.C. State women's softball team had rattled off 33 consecutive goose eggs before Virginia pushed two runs across in the top of the seventh Saturday. The Hoo rally was not enough to salvage a split in the ACC season opening doubleheader; the Pack held on to win game two 5-2 after taking the first game 3-0.

The sweep put N.C. State (7-6, 2-0) over .500 for the first time this year; Weiman, who had struggle a bit with walks in the early going, went all 14 innings of the twin bill without issuing a single free pass. Her ERA is down to 3.19.

Renada Davis provided all the offense Weiman needed in game one, leading off the bottom of the first with her fourth bomb of the season. Molly Hutchinson went yard, her third, and Chelsea Tate took out her first home run of the season to supply the offense in game two.

The ladies look for the three-game sweep and their seventh straight win Sunday at noon.

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