The No. 2 (USA Today / NFCA D1 Top 25 Coaches Poll) / No. 2 (ESPN / USA Today Softball Collegiate Top 25) Virginia Tech Hokies swept the Louisville Cardinals, at Blacksburg, during VT’s final home series of the season.
Preseason All-American Virginia Tech pitcher, Keely Rochard, struck out 12 Cards on the way to her 19th win of the season. The Hokies got on the board early, during the bottom of the first, when Meredith Slaw hit Cameron Fagan to home. Louisville tied it up, 1-1, at the top of the third before the Hokies scored one run during the next three innings. Louisville pushed to tie the game during the seventh, but VT held the Cardinals to a single run, winning the series opener, 4-3.
During game two, freshmen pitcher, Emma Lemley, earned her 14th victory while shutting out the Louisville bats and allowing only three hits. At the bottom of the third, Bre Peck sent Emma Ritter and Cameron Fagan home with a double RBI. VT added another run, from Jayme Bailey, during the fourth, to finish Louisville, 3-0.
The final game of the series found Rochard and Lemley combining to defeat the Cardinals, 7-4, sweeping the ACC foe. Rochard collected her 20th win and Lemley earned her second save, on the year. Virginia Tech leapt out to a 3-0 lead before Louisville retorted with a four run performance at the top of the third inning, putting the Hokies behind for the first time in the series. Louisville did not retain the advantage for long, allowing four unanswered Hokie runs and never again finding home. Mackenzie Lawter homered to tie the game during the fourth (her second run of the game) while Ritter, Overaitis, Brown, Peck, and Trull also scored.
Emma Lemley was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week, for the third time this season, after her win against the No. 10 / 13 Tennessee Volunteers and the shutout of Louisville. VT is riding a five game winning streak and features an overall record of 36-6 and a conference record of 18-2! In addition to jumping to the No. 2 spots in the polls, the Hokies are No. 2 in the Softball RPI. This weekend VT travels north to face the Boston College Eagles, their final conference series before the ACC Championship Tournament in May.