The women of Virginia Tech softball started the season with an undefeated performance during the Northern Lights / Southern Nights tournament held in Leesburg, Florida. Over the weekend the Hokies faced off against five squads, three of them ranked, and finished the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record. The last time VT started the season with five wins was 2019 and they went on to win the ACC Coastal.
ICYMI: The Hokie pitching staff combined for 62 strikeouts ( ) this weekend, compared to only 17 by opponents.— Virginia Tech Softball (@HokiesSoftball) February 14, 2022
cc: @_keelsss_, @Emmmaaclairee, @mackenzieosbor4 pic.twitter.com/JhoWTzAPOe
On Friday, Virginia Tech opened against the Wisconsin Badgers. Freshmen pitcher, Emma Lemley, made her Hokie debut, pitching 16 strikeouts, on the way to a 5-4 VT victory. The second game of the day was against the No. 24 Northwestern Wildcats. Pre-season All-American pitcher, Keely Rochard took to the field and struck out 15 Wildcats, winning 3-2 to finish the first day of the tournament.
The Hokies started their Saturday with Lemley back on the mound against the Michigan State Spartans. Virginia Tech held all Spartan base runners scoreless and would have had a shut out if not for a home run by Michigan State’s Jessica Mabrey during the final inning. Virginia Tech’s second Saturday game found them against their toughest foe of the tournament, the No. 11 (USA Today / NFCA Coaches Poll) / No. 12 (ESPN / USA Softball Collegiate) Missouri Tigers. MIZZOU jumped out to an early two run lead until the third inning when the Hokies tied it up 2-2 and then took the lead in the fourth. Rochard notched another 11 strikeouts to her belt, and Virginia Tech won, 4-3.
VT closed out their weekend on Sunday with their most dominant performance thus far, cleaning No. 19 / No. 20 Kentucky’s clock, 6-1. The highlight of the weekend came from Meredith Slaw who crushed a grand slam during the sixth inning.
PINCH HIT GRAND SLAM FOR MEREDITH SLAW!!!! pic.twitter.com/4TYbbKpgA9— Virginia Tech Softball (@HokiesSoftball) February 13, 2022
The Virginia Tech Hokies are 5-0 overall. They are ranked No. 10 in the ESPN / USA Softball Collegiate poll, No. 13 in the USA Today / NFCA Coaches poll, and No. 8 in the D1 Softball poll. A fantastic start for the softball program who next faces the No. 2 (both polls) Alabama Crimson Tide this Friday, down in Tuscaloosa, at the Easton Bama Bash Tournament.