The Virginia Tech Hokies Softball team went 41-7 during the regular season and entered the ACC Tournament as the heavily favored number one seed. Despite boasting a team of 11 All-ACC honorees, leadership from the ACC Coach of the Year, and national recognition, the Lady Hokies made an early tournament exit, losing 4-1 to No. 10 nationally-ranked Clemson in the semifinal.
Despite this disappointment, they’ve turned their attention to the NCAA Tournament. On Selection Sunday, they premiered as the No. 3 seed.
As a result, Blacksburg will host the first NCAA Regional in the softball team’s history where they will host Saint Francis, Kentucky and Miami (Ohio).
2021 ACC Pitcher of the Year Keely Rochard is excited to play at home. “It’s going to help a lot, especially in this environment,” she said, “Again, it really helps that this fan base has shown up so much this season. We’re used to playing in front of a packed home crowd and I hope that happens for regionals and supers.”
Their first game will be Friday when they will take on Saint Francis. The Red Flash finished the year 37-16, but many of those wins came at home, where they went 14-1. Their away record is 13-11, so the Hokies will look to use that home field advantage to its full potential.
If they can get past Saint Francis, they would take on either Kentucky or Miami (OH), two teams that they beat in the regular season. They took on and defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 6-1 in February, then went on beat Miami (OH) a few weeks later in an 8-0 five inning game.
Head Coach Pete D’Amour remembers those victories, and is ready for anything, saying, “There is some familiarity with those two teams, but obviously they’re very good. Those teams are playing well and we are, too. So, we’ll see how it goes.”
They would welcome either matchup, as they move past the downer of the ACC tourney and look to the bigger stage.