Well that’s a wrap. The 2019 school year is in the books. The graduates have walked, and are now busily emptying their apartments, prepping for their new jobs, and maybe sweating out the reality of being on the hunt for anything that will garner a paycheck.
Blacksburg has gone from a big city of 32,000 plus people to a sleepy little town of about 8,000 in just a few days. Just as the temperatures are regularly passing 80, (though we rarely get past the mid 80’s), we are reminded that the summer sunsets (it is nearly June, folks) are gorgeous, the breezes are lovely and the smell of a grilling meal will be the main activities for a while.
Well to paraphrase someone actually funny; I told you all of that to tell you this.
We are really proud of our Virginia Tech Hokie Softball and Baseball teams. 2017 and 2018 were near disasters for them. In both teams’ cases there were pieces in place, but the coaching just wasn’t meaning the needs on the fields. Fresh talent, wise mentors and coaches; Pete D’Amour and John Sfecz made differences.
On the softball side of things the move was much more dramatic. The softball team finished a rousing 47-11, with an ACC conference record of 20-4. They dominated at home, away, and in neutral territory. We’ve covered their stars, they’ve made some serious post season teams, and above all have completely turned around a foundering program that prior to 2016 was often in the NCAA tournament. Thanks to Coach d’Amour and the efforts of the team, that skid is now officially over.
We understand that the University of Kentucky just seemed to have the secret sauce for defeating the normaly fearsome Tech pitching, and Kentucky just seemed to know how to snuff out rallies. Tech defeated Illinois twice, but just couldn’t get by the Wildcats.
It’s still a wonderful run, and a great season. Next year the underclass players will get a chance to put their experience to work.
The baseball team had a head of steam going into the last 11 games of the season, but after the wins over VMI and Radford and 6 games over .500 as a pad, the Hokies just seemed to lose a bit of pop, drop a few gloves of luck, and struggle a bit in the final home stand after the three tightly contested but still disappointing losses in Coral Gables, coming back to the weird all turf field at Union Park just didn’t seem to relight the fires enough to put up enough W’s to keep the ratio above that magic .500 mark. The Hokies did manage a nice 8-4 win over the Wahoos for the final game of the series and season, with six seniors getting framed jerseys and some love from the fans assembled.
BALLGAME - #HOKIES ⚾️ WIN‼️— Virginia Tech Baseball (@HokiesBaseball) May 18, 2019
Jack Owens with 3 hits, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored in his final game at Tech. @Luke17Scherzer picks up the last win of his #Hokies' career, while @nickowens22 adds a pair of RBI, as well. pic.twitter.com/yAMAgmgyt9
Seniors come up big in final game for the #Hokies ⚾️ in 8-4 victory over Virginia | Jack Owens, @nickowens22 each with two RBI, while @Luke17Scherzer gets the win on the mound— Virginia Tech Baseball (@HokiesBaseball) May 18, 2019
& ➡️ https://t.co/7gLDxISAGE pic.twitter.com/QWhnLYe2jz
Jack Owens also earned 2nd team All ACC Honors to complement his final season.
Jack Owens is an All-ACC postseason selection for the second time in his career. He joins Mark Zagunis and Steve Domecus as the only two-time All-ACC #Hokies ⚾️ #ACCBASE— Virginia Tech Baseball (@HokiesBaseball) May 20, 2019
It’s always a bittersweet thing to see good players leave. But it really is refreshing to see them complete their eligibility with a degree in hand and prospects, no matter what they are, for moving into the activities that will carry them through their lives.
On an individual sport level we would be totally remiss to note that Amanda Hollandsworth is currently tied for 5th at the end of the 2nd round for her. She shot an Even par, today, and is currently +1 for the tournament. I couldn’t shoot par at putt-putt... that’s fantastic.
FINAL ROUND INFO— Virginia Tech Women's Golf (@HokiesWGolf) May 20, 2019
Amanda Hollandsworth plays the final round of the #NCAAGolf Championship today. 12:50 pm CDT (1:50 EDT) from the 1st tee. Currently T 6th, 5 strokes back.
Golf Channel: 4-8 pm EDT Live
LIVE SCORING: https://t.co/pg04xHZAh5 pic.twitter.com/YoYpJsIuD2
Go Amanda!...shhhhhhhhh... ohh sorry... go Amanda...