Virginia Tech has always been known as primarily a football school. There is no denying the success the Hokies have had on the gridiron over the past 20 plus years. Recently, in the past 10 years, since joining the ACC the Hokies have started to create a tradition of winning bigger games, and having some success on the hardwood as well. The Hokies have been to the NCAA, and NIT tournaments, as well as defeating several big name programs along the way. However, the odd sports out of this winning equation were the Hokies Softball and Baseball programs.
May 26, 2013; Durham, NC, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Pete Hughes (right) watches first inning action against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the ACC baseball tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
For the most part each one of these programs have been forgotten by fans. Virginia Tech is not seasonally a powerhouse in either sport. Each program has however, had some milestones which fans may remember. For instance when I was a student Angela Tincher, and the Hokie Softball team one hit, and defeated the USA Olympic softball team. You did read that right the Olympic team, which went on to win the Silver Medal in the 2008 Olympics. The baseball team has not yet achieved a mile stone of beating an Olympic team but they have had several big wins, and more frequent appearances in the national spotlight.
The Softball team of the two has been the most successful with consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament for the last three years. The only Women’s College World Series appearance came in 2008 the same year as their victory over the USA team. During that season Virginia Tech Softball was also conference champions for two years straight. The Softball team continued their success this year winning 34 games before losing their first game in the ACC tournament. The Hokies participated in the NCAA tournament this year, but were defeated in their two games.
The Baseball team has not had as much success as the softball team but they are on the rise as an ACC team. In previous years the team has had successful seasons. They made the NCAA tournament as recently 2010 and 2013. The Hokies struggled to make the ACC tournament this year, getting in on the last day of the season play. Even though they were bounced in the first round by a tough UNC team the season was an exciting one.
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The Virginia Tech Baseball team competed all season long and racked up wins against several ranked opponents throughout the season. The Hokies even got an early season sweep over a number one ranked UVA team at English Field. The Hokies seemed to be in most games with the top dogs of the ACC conference. The Hokies even had some top conference performers getting two players on the all-conference teams in Brenden Hayden getting first team honors, and Saige Jenco grabbing third team honors.
Even with big wins and players grabbing all-conference honors both the baseball, and softball programs operate with relative anonymity when it comes to Virginia Tech Sports. Both programs are trending upward as far as competition goes. In the upward trend both programs look to grab the attention of the Hokie fans in the spring. Let’s face it fans we need another sport to get us through the slow crawl from the end of basketball season until the start of football season. The excitement that is starting to build with both programs should be more than enough to get and keep fans interested for years to come. Just think how nice it would be to have three or four major Hokie sports in the national title conversation year round. Soon that dream might just become a reality