After a rough stretch of losses, which included series sweeps by No. 7 Florida State and No. 20 Notre Dame, the Virginia Tech Hokies finished their conference schedule against the Virginia Cavaliers. When UVA came calling at Tech Softball Field in Blacksburg the Hokies entered the series with an overall record of 25-27, and were hoping to earn their way back to 0.500. Facing their bitter in-state rival was exactly what the Hokies needed to achieve that goal. The women of VT Softball won all three games, sweeping the series, including a brutalizing 15-0 victory in game two. The first game of the series started off on Friday with the last two matches as a double header on Saturday.
The Cavaliers kept the first game close, but ultimately fell 2-1. Senior pitcher, Maggie Tyler, earned her 20th win on the season. Olivia Lattin and Kelsey Mericka handled things on the offensive side, scoring the two runs the Hokies needed to send UVA packing.
#HOKIES WIN!!!@vgonzo7 with two great saves in left field in Tech's 2-1 win over UVA! #GoHokies pic.twitter.com/fJLhVi5eMM— VT Softball (@VT_Softball) April 30, 2016
In the second game the Virginia Tech Hokies pulverized UVA, 15-0, to start the double header Saturday off strongly. VT came out swinging, scoring three in the first. Things started to get out of control in the second inning when the Hokies found themselves winning, 5-0, before Kelsey Mericka sent one over the fence… while the bases were loaded! Grand Slam Hokies! At the completion of the third, after Davenport and Duff both homered with two already on base, the Hokies were leading 15-0. The score remained static until the top of the fifth inning, when the game was called. All fifteen points were scored via homeruns and RBIs from the associated homeruns. On top of all that offense, Maggie Tyler, threw a shutout to win her 21st game.
#HOKIES WIN!!!— VT Softball (@VT_Softball) April 30, 2016
Kelsey Mericka slugs a grand slam in Tech’s 15-0 rout of UVA with five homers! pic.twitter.com/xEofaCV56e
During the last game of the double header UVA struck first at the top of the first. Once the Hokies took the field they continued their hail storm of points. In the first three innings the Hokies scored ten points, including homers from Lattin and Mericka. Although the Hokies were up 10-1, the Cavaliers were able to find the temerity to answer back. They held the Hokies scoreless for the remainder of the game, and scored another six of their own. Virginia Tech was able to hold them off and won, 10-7. Maggie Tyler racked up her 22nd win.
#HOKIES WIN and SWEEP UVA on Senior Day! pic.twitter.com/nlkJPoRyK9— VT Softball (@VT_Softball) April 30, 2016
With the sweep of the Cavaliers the Hokies finish out their conference play with a record of 13-11 (conference). In addition to cresting 0.500 in conference they were able to repair their overall above the 0.500 mark with a record of 28-27. The Hokies have one last regular season game, against East Tennessee State, this Tuesday. The Hokies have a historical record against the Buccaneers of 12-1, but ETS is another team on the cusp. They are 18-17 overall, and like the Hokies they would love to head into their conference championship tournament on the back of a victory.
After the East Tennessee State matchup, the Hokies will travel to Raleigh, NC for the ACC Softball Championship tournament, which starts on Thursday, May 12.
Thank you Kelsey, Katey, Maggie, and Kiara for all your hard work and leadership! #HokieNation pic.twitter.com/v2K7gffQtl— VT Softball (@VT_Softball) April 30, 2016