The Virginia Tech Hokies softball team will start their 2023 efforts as the preseason No. 13 team in the country (D1 Softball rankings). Bracing the Hokies are the Tennessee Volunteers at No. 12 and the Texas Longhorns at No. 14. There are four total ACC programs represented in the D1 Softball preseason rankings. Highest among them, at No. 4, are the Florida State Seminoles. At No. 9 are the Clemson Tigers, and lastly, at No. 22 are the Duke Blue Devils.
Last year, Virginia Tech finished the season No. 9 (ESPN / USA Collegiate Top 25) / No. 10 (USA Today Coaches), and reached program highs, including spending several weeks being ranked as the No. 2 team in the country. 2022 was also the first time Blacksburg hosted an NCAA postseason game. While the Hokies did have to say goodbye to two-time First Team All-American pitcher, Keely Rochard, they do return sophomore, Emma Lemley. Lemley, who struggled with her foot lifting while pitching (in the NCAA that is an illegal pitch), seems to have tamed that complication and will look to step even more into the pitching spotlight. Emma Ritter (Jr.), a Third Team All-American outfielder, returns as well.
Foot stayed down… it’s gonna be a good season https://t.co/GFFcV7Ja6x— Emma Lemley (@Emmmaaclairee) September 24, 2022
Through 2022, VT finished with an overall record of 46-10 (0.82) and a conference record of 21-2 (0.91). During the post season the Hokies forced a game three, against the Florida Gators, during the NCAA Super Regionals, but were unable to come up with the series’ win and move deeper into the postseason. Moving forward the Hokies look to continue their upward trend of the last four years. The 2023 season opens Friday, 10 February, in Wilmington NC, against the East Carolina Pirates.