DURHAM, N.C. – An eight-run second inning, highlighted by two Raine Wilson home runs, helped Duke take down NC State in the second game of a Saturday doubleheader to even the series at the Duke Softball Stadium.
The Wolfpack (24-22, 5-12 ACC) captured a 2-1 extra-innings win in game one before the Blue Devils (24-26, 11-9 ACC) stormed back for a dominating 8-1 victory in game two to force a Sunday rubber match. The two sides will face off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday with the game being broadcast on ACC Network Extra.
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NC State 2, Duke 1 (Game One)
Despite 12 strikeouts from Shelby Walters, which tied the program single-game record, the Blue Devils could not overcome a late score from NC State, dropping the series opener, 2-1.
The Wolfpack struck first, plating a run off an RBI single in the first. That lead would not last long, as the Blue Devils answered in their first time up at bat, with Rachel Abboud driving home Marissa Gagliano to even things at 1-1 through the opening inning.
Pitching would become the name of the game over the next seven frames, as both sides totaled seven hits during that stretch with no runs. Tied 1-1 heading into the final inning, the Wolfpack used a hit to put runners on the corners and eventually stole home after the Blue Devils tried to catch the runner stealing second. NC State would take its 2-1 lead to the end, putting Duke down in order in the home half of the ninth.
Walters (5-11) threw all 9.0 innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits. Her 12 strikeouts tied Peyton St. George’s single-game mark, set last season against Morgan State on Feb. 23, 2018. Deja Davis, Abboud and Caroline Jacobsen each tallied a hit to pace Duke’s offense.
Duke 8, NC State 1 (Game Two)
The Blue Devils responded strong in game two of the day, plating eight runs in the second inning to even the series with an 8-1 victory.
Duke tallied the eight runs on seven hits and one NC State error, with the inning being bookended by two home runs from Wilson. The junior sent the first pitch thrown in the frame over the wall in straightaway center to lead things off. She punctuated the inning with a two-run bomb to left, becoming the first player in program history to hit two homers in a single inning.
After Wilson’s solo shot to lead off the second, Jameson Kavel followed with a single to left center and moved to third on a wild pitch. Jacobsen brought her home with a base hit to left, pushing Duke out in front, 2-1. Brianna Butler upped the lead to two with a single up the middle in the next at-bat. After a Jazmine Moreno base hit and walk to Gagliano, Davis dropped a bunt single to reach safely and Moreno came home on a throwing error on the Wolfpack. A double steal would score Gagliano and make the lead 5-1, before a throw to home on an Abboud grounder would not be in time to catch Davis, making it 6-1. Then came Wilson’s two-run shot to left to push the advantage to 8-1.
NC State would only get three runners on base for the remainder of the contest, as Butler closed out her eighth win of the year. The righty upped her season record to 8-3 after tossing the full 7.0 innings, allowing just one run on three hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Duke finished the contest with 11 hits, improving to 10-2 this year when cracking the double-digit hits mark. Three Blue Devils tallied multi-hit games, led by Wilson’s two home run showing, marking just the second time in program history a Blue Devil has hit two home runs in a game. Wilson achieved the mark for the first time in Duke softball history last year on March 10, 2018 at North Carolina. Davis also tallied a pair of hits, garnering her team-leading 15th multi-hit performance this year. Abboud rounded out Duke’s multi-hit performances with her 10th such showing of the year.
- With their win in the day’s second game, Duke picked up its first conference victory in program history against NC State.
- The eight runs in the second inning are the most scored in a single inning by a Blue Devil team in program history.
- Saturday’s game two loss was the first for NC State this season when scoring first.
- Raine Wilson became the first player in program history to record multiple home runs in the same inning, hit a solo shot and a two-run blast in the final contest of the doubleheader.
- Wilson’s Saturday performance marks the second time in program history a Blue Devil hit multiple home runs in one game. Wilson did it last year on March 10, 2018 at North Carolina.
- Deja Davis tallied two hits in the day’s second game, upping her team-leading multi-hit games total to 15.
- With a hit in both games, Caroline Jacobsen has set a new career best with a five-game hitting streak.