We aren’t going to get into too much detail here but be on the lookout for roster reviews and some notes and highlights for the Hokie Baseball and Softball teams. We are covering and will do our best to get some live reporting going as well. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get permission to warm up the camera and get some pictures again this season. We were trying to get some live shots from the Softball team when the curtain rained down on my ability to cover 2021.
Let’s see where things ended and where they are likely to start for the squads. We’ll take it in alphabetical order to be fair.
There isn’t much that will salve the end of season bruise that constituted the end of the season for the Hokies. Going into the final eight games there was a good possibility for making the ACC Tournament with a good seeding (it’s a double elimination tourney so seeding is really critical). Tech had just come out of a solid non-conference performance against Toledo with a series sweep against the Rockets. But the final 8 games were back to the ACC. The Hokies just couldn’t even manage any splits between the final two opponents, Duke and Notre Dame. Both teams swept Tech (in Durham, and then to close out at home) which put the team in the lower seeding of the ACC Tournament that guaranteed a start against league busters, Notre Dame and Virginia. The Hokies battled UVA but the Hoos took the game 3-2, and I suspect that once they faced the Golden Domers again, they had pretty much run out of gas. They dropped that game 8-0, and the Hokies’ dreams of some sort of deeper post season run evaporated.
There was a really good note, however. That was the record, because even with the skid at the end of the season, the Hokies finished above .500 for the first time in a while, with a 27-25 record. Their ACC showing was better than it had been for a while, as well, with a 16-20 balance.
This season, Coach John Szefc (pronounced: chef for new readers), is looking to improve upon last season’s much improved finish. We’ll see how that all goes starting February 18th when the season opens up at English Field at Atlantic Union Park. A home opener in the middle of winter can be an interesting fan and player experience, let us hope that UNC-Ashville is a good warm-up non-conference game. The ACC is always a tough baseball league, and the Hokies are eager to get better again this season.
Not everyone is completely interested in Softball. Well, that’s sad, I’d like to see someone not interested stand in the batter’s box while Hokies’ star pitcher Keely Rochard whips a 65mph rise ball past you, and you try to make contact. This young lady means some business, and this team is seriously good. Head Coach Pete D’Amour has really gotten this squad into a zone, and that zone ended up going deep into the college softball playoffs in 2021. The Hokies made it to the NCAA Super Regionals before being eliminated by UCLA, but not before the Virginia Tech presence was known.
The team finished the season 37-15 and had a conference record of 23-11. Keely Rochard is back again this season, and this team has some serious depth and experience. Look for them to have an outstanding year, again, in 2022. Again, if we can figure out who to talk to, we are going to get to some games with the camera and get some pictures of some games. These Hokies deserve better coverage from the sports media world, and we intend to do that for them.
The Softball team starts its season off on February 11th in the Northern Lights/Southern Nights Tournament held in Leesburg, Florida. The first pitch will be against the Wisconsin Badgers. Followed by Northwestern, Michigan State, Missouri, and Kentucky. The early season away tournaments continue, and the opponents stay stiff. Alabama will be hosting their own named tournament, before the ladies come home to face a one off against our friends and neighbors at Radford on February 23rd. That’s a long time on the road.
We’ll be keeping you up to date on the goings on.
You can almost smell the popcorn, peanuts and hot dogs. Almost time to PLAY BALL!!!