For most of Thursday’s game against Virginia Tech in the Panthers’ first ACC Tournament opener, Pitt’s offense was lifeless. The team not only was scoreless but hitless until the sixth inning. That’s when things changed. Pitt scored six runs in the final two innings, capped by a walkoff grand slam by star McKayla Taylor to win the game, 6-4.
The Panthers trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth thanks to two home runs by Virginia Tech in the fifth and sixth to break a scoreless tie. Pitt pushed a run across in the bottom of the sixth but still faced a three-run deficit heading into the final inning. The Panthers loaded the bases with a couple of singles and a walk. Another walk sent a run home to make it 4-2 and Taylor hit the game-winning grand slam.
It was a surreal win for the team that was on the brink of being sent home early and being upset as the No. 2 seed. It was also kind of surprising to see Pitt’s bats held in check for so long. The Panthers didn’t put a ton of offense up against Virginia Tech earlier this season but managed to score four runs in each game of a two-game series that Pitt swept. Fortunately they got hot at the right moment.
Pitt will be back tomorrow in the semifinals to face the winner of No. 3 North Carolina and No. 6 Georgia Tech. That game got a late start to poor weather. You can catch Pitt’s next game on Friday at 3:30 p.m. on WatchESPN.