Over the past weekend the No. 10 (USA Today / NFCA D1) / No. 12 (ESPN / USA Softball) Virginia Tech Hokies were in Austin, TX, participating in the Lone Star State Invitational. VT’s first game found true freshmen, Lyndsey Grein, as the starting pitcher. She threw and impressive one-hit game against the Abilene Christian Wildcats, and the Hokies won by mercy rule, 11-0, at the close of the fifth inning. Teagan Thrunk led the bats for Virginia Tech with two hits, two runs (one of which was a homerun), and four RBIs.
Over the invitational the Hokies twice faced off against the No. 9/No. 11 Texas Longhorns. Initially, things looked bleak for the Hokies with the Longhorns leading 5-2 at the end of the third. The Virginia Tech defense rallied and shut down the Texas bats, while the Hokies added three runs during the seventh to force extra innings. Cameron Fagan hit Emma Ritter in for the go ahead score, at the top of the eighth while pitcher Emma Lemley struck out the final two Longhorns, swinging, taking the VT win. The second matchup against the Longhorns was not as successful as the Hokies struggled against the Texas offense and to find their own offense. UT jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the close of the third inning, but the Hokies were unable to respond as they had before. A Texas four-run sixth inning sent the Hokies to the seventh with an 8-1 deficit. Kelsey Bennett homered, but the Hokies ultimately fell with an 8-2 final.
Virginia Tech collected two more wins during the Lone Star State Invitational. VT Sophomore Pitcher, Molly Jacobson, earned her first collegiate win during VT’s second mercy rule win of the weekend. Defeating Texas Southern Tigers, 8-0, in five-innings, Jacobson only allowed three hits while the Hokies offense featured three home runs (Ritter, Jackson, and Thrunk). The Hokies finished the weekend with another win over Abilene Christian where Emma Lemley earned her sixth win of the season and struck out 15 ACU batters on the way to a 4-1 victory. Lemley’s performance in Austin, giving up only two hits and an opponent batting average of 0.164, earned her ACC Pitcher of the Week accolades. This is her first ACC Pitcher of the Week for the 2023 season and her fourth total.
The Virginia Tech Hokies enter conference play with an 11-4 overall record. The Hokies the ACC this Friday when they host the NC State Wolfpack, in Blacksburg, for a three-game series.