McKayla Taylor's walk-off grand slam leads Pitt into ACC softball semifinals
Survive and advance!— Pitt Softball (@Pitt_SB) May 10, 2018
Senior McKayla Taylor blasts a walkoff GRAND SLAM to send Pitt to the semifinals of the @ACCsoftball Championship after battling back from a 4-0 deficit! #SCtop10 #riseUP pic.twitter.com/SDbiq76b1m
The ball sailed off McKayla Taylor's bat and over the right-field wall. But coach Holly Aprile doesn't remember much more than that about the most dramatic at-bat in Pitt softball history.
Only this: Taylor's walk-off grand slam carried No. 2 seed Pitt to a 6-4 victory against Virginia Tech on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. The Panthers (32-17) will play No. 3 North Carolina in the semifinals at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Mewborn Field in Atlanta.
"I don't even remember what happened on McKayla's hit," Aprile said. "I was just euphoric to tell you the truth. It was absolutely amazing."
Pitt opened the bottom of the seventh inning trailing, 4-1, but the rally started with back-to-back singles by junior Alexis Solak and sophomore Kaitlyn Kruger. A one-out walk to junior Gabrielle Fredericks loaded the bases and senior Erin Hershman drew a full-count walk to trim Virginia Tech's lead to 4-2.
Taylor hit the next pitch over the wall.
"It was an amazing effort by our girls to figure it out there at the end," Aprile said. "We were struggling and working to make our adjustments at the plate, while our pitchers were battling.
"We couldn't get things going early on, but were able to put together an amazing performance in the final inning. The poise of our hitters was incredible."
Taylor's grand slam is the third of her career and second this season.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.