Yesterday, the Wildcats forced the Hokies into the losers’ bracket when Kentucky’s Renee Abernathy homered off Keely Rochard, defeating VT, 5-4. Today presented satisfying symmetry with Rochard and Abernathy facing off during the final game of the Blacksburg Regional. Abernathy hit a ground ball and was tagged out at first base, during the top of the seventh inning, sending the Hokies to the NCAA Softball Championship Super Regionals with a 5-4 victory of VT’s own.
After a weather delay game seven started with adversity. True freshmen Emma Lemley returned to the mound after pitching all seven innings during today’s early game. Kentucky’s Kowalik, the first Wildcat at bat, homered out of right field before Coffel followed with a homerun to center. UK didn’t hold on to the lead long when a two-run homer by Jayme Bailey sent her and Ritter at the bottom of the second. Virginia Tech’s head coach, Pete D’Amour, was tossed out of the game at the top of the second inning for arguing with the umpires over an illegal pitch call against Lemley. The Wildcats regained the lead, 3-2, during the third inning. Virginia Tech’s preseason All-American pitcher, Keely Rochard, took over the mound during the fourth inning. Mackenzie Lawter crushed a three-run homer to send herself, Trull, and Pearson to Homeplate, putting the Hokies up 5-3 entering the sixth.
LET'S GOOOOOO— Virginia Tech Softball (@HokiesSoftball) May 22, 2022
THAT'S OUR CATCHER pic.twitter.com/FkBx9QakZb
Emma Ritter had an absolute SportsCenter moment, during the sixth inning, after she saved a near Kentucky homerun from leaving the field.
With the arrival of the seventh inning cortisol levels rose when Kentucky’s Tobias scored, bringing the Wildcats within one, 5-4, with runners in scoring position. That’s when Renee Abernathy grounded out and the Hokies held on for the win!
The Virginia Tech Hokies will now host their first ever NCAA Softball Championship Super Regional! They definitely did it the hard way, but the VT softball team showed grit and determination all weekend long! Well done, Hokies! Get some rest and we will see you next weekend when you host the No. 14 Florida Gators!