KNOXVILLE, TENN. — It took the longest NCAA regional game in Tennessee history for the fifth-ranked and host Volunteers to beat N.C. State pitcher Emily Weiman and the Wolfpack on Saturday in the winner’s bracket game of the NCAA Knoxville Regional.
The Volunteers took the 1-0 victory in the bottom of the 11th on designated hitter’s Rainey Gaffin’s triple off the right centerfield wall, scoring Cheyanne Tarango for the four-hour game’s only run.
The loss ended the Wolfpack’s 13-game winning streak, the second longest in school history, and sent N.C. State to an elimination game late Saturday against James Madison.
Weiman, the Wolfpack’s workhorse throughout the season, allowed eight hits and two walks in her 10 2/3 innings of action, matching the longest outing of her collegiate career.
“I’ve been in fastpitch softball since I was 15 years old and played in some big games on the national and international level,” said first-year N.C. State coach Shawn Rychcik. “That’s one of the best softball games I’ve ever been involved with.
“Em’s performance against one of the best lineups in the country, to make the pitches she needed to when they have a lineup of .400 hitters four or five times in a game, it’s one of the best efforts I’ve ever seen in any level, whether I was coaching or playing.”
She went the same number of innings as a freshman last season against College of Charleston, when she struck out a career-high 15 hitters.
Saturday, she was going pitch-for-pitch with Tennessee junior Ellen Renfroe, who did not allow a run in her 11 innings of work.
Renfroe (17-4) allowed four hits and four walks and struck out 13 Wolfpack batters.