The Virginia Tech Hokies were defeated by the Florida Gators during game three of the NCAA Softball Championship Blacksburg Super Regional. The Hokies turned in their worst statistical game performance of the year, allowing a season high 12 runs and a season high 13 hits. Until today VT had not permitted a team to score double digits.
The Hokies looked sloppy on defense and offense. A multitude of miscues by the VT fielders opened the door for the drubbing by Florida. The largest was a collision between Hokies, during the first, that caused VT’s starting short stop, Kelsey Bennet, to sit out the rest of the game. Virginia Tech had an uncharacteristic three errors, on the day. VT’s ace pitcher, Keely Rochard, was replaced by freshmen Emma Lemley, during the third inning, after Florida was up 6-0. The Gators figured out how to hit Rochard and she had two pitches get away from her and strike batters. Lemley’s illegal pitch issue raised its head again and she struggled to retire the Gators. Florida earned six total runs, in the third, and the Hokies entered the fourth inning down 10-0. Sophomore, Mackenzie Osborne, entered for the Hokies and pitched the fourth and fifth innings where the Gators grabbed two more scores before VT was run-ruled, at the bottom of the fifth, with a final of 12-0.
As they did yesterday, the Hokie bats struggled mightily against the Florida pitching combo of Delbrey and Lugo. VT never seemed able to get ahold of much and what they did get a piece of was almost always a pop-up fly out. Meanwhile, the Florida Gators seemed as if they could do no wrong. They had one error, but it came when they were leading 12-0 and only needed two outs to end the game.
It is certainly disappointing to see the Hokies suffer their worst game of the season as their last, but what a fantastic season it was! Two consecutive appearances in the Super Regionals did not seem realistic a few years ago. Virginia Tech will say goodbye to All-American Keely Rochard and starting catcher Mackenzie Lawter. Head coach, Pete D’Amour, and his staff, have these Hokies operating at a high level and on a definitive upward trend. Congratulations on a great season!
And who knows? Maybe next year we will have some more VT softball photos to choose from...