Pack Advances To Super Regional

HARRISONBURG, Va. – What seemed to be a lofty goal for the NC State softball team at the beginning of the season has now come to fruition, as the Wolfpack is heading to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in program history.

Junior first baseman Maggie Hawkins hit a walkoff homerun in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Pack to a 2-1 win against Fordham in the regional final of the Harrisonburg (Va.) Regional Sunday afternoon.

NC State compiled a perfect 3-0 record in the regional to earn the program’s first trip to an NCAA Super Regional. The Wolfpack will head to Eugene, Ore., to play the Oregon Ducks next weekend. Dates and times for the super regional have not been announced.

The Wolfpack moves to 38-20 on the year, while the Rams end their season with a 38-20 record also.

Rychcik’s Review
Opening Statement…

“I’m just really proud of my girls and my coaches,” said head coach Shawn Rychcik. “It takes everybody to get to this point and there are a lot of things that happen over the course of the year to help us get to this point.

“When I came here, I knew this would be a new challenge so to get to the super regionals in my third year is really exciting for me.”

On where this rates in his coaching career…
“This is number one. We’ve had some good moments and I’ve had some good players, but this top’s everything I’ve done so far.”

On the performance of Maggie Hawkins…
“She drove in everything today. She had good at-bats and got in good counts. Her first hit came on a 3-0 count, her second came on a 2-0 count and the homer was on a 1-0 count. She swung the bat well this weekend and has the last couple of weeks.”

Quoting the Players
Senior Emily Weiman, pitcher

“I got off to a tough start, but I settled in nicely after the first couple of innings. I just got the jitters out and got into a bit of a groove. The game came down to one swing today and I’m really proud of Maggie [Hawkins] for getting a pitch to hit and driving it out of the park.

“We’ve been in this spot before, so we knew what we had to do and we were able to push through into super regionals for the first time in school history. We’re excited to be heading to Oregon. They’re a great team and we’re going to put up a good fight and see what we can do.”

Junior Maggie Hawkins, first baseman
On the hit being the biggest moment of her career…

“Yes, this is definitely the biggest hit of my career. I don’t even have words to describe how I feel right now. Everything we’ve worked so hard for all season has paid off and it’s just really exciting. I think I ran around the bases as fast as I ever have on that home run.”

On helping the team advance to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time…
“It means the world. It’s a dream of all of ours to play under this spotlight and play against and with some of the best players in the country and it’s just incredible.”

Moments of the Game
- Hawkins came up big for the Wolfpack twice in the contest, as she drove in both runs for the Pack. She had an RBI single in the fourth to score pinch runner Macauley Prickett and then smacked her 11th home run of the year to end the game in the bottom of the seventh.

- In the top of the seventh, senior Morgan Tharrington made a diving catch along the right field line to retire the leadoff batter of the inning. The play stymied any momentum Fordham looked to create, as the next batter struck out swinging.

- Fordham scored its lone run of the contest in the top of the first, following an RBI single by Rachel Gillen. The second batter of the frame singled and advanced to second base on an error, so the run was unearned.

In the Pitcher’s Circle
- After hurling a shutout on Saturday against James Madison, senior Emily Weiman was again up for the task and she turned in another brilliant performance. She runs her record in the circle to 31-15 and has now reached 30 wins in three consecutive seasons.

- Weiman settled in nicely after the first two innings to retire 15 consecutive batters, as the Rams did not have a baserunner from the third to the sixth inning. She struck out eight batters, walked just one and allowed one unearned run. Inside the Box Score
- Hawkins led the Wolfpack at the plate with a perfect 3-for-3 performance, highlighted by two RBI and a run scored. Seniors Renada Davis and Morgan Tharrington had one hit apiece in the contest.

- Davis’ hit broke the NC State single season record for hits with No. 70 and also extended her hitting streak to 15 consecutive games.

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