Knoxville, TN — ACC Pitcher of the Year Angela Tincher pitched 12 shutout innings and struck out 19 batters to lead the Virginia Tech softball team to a first-round win over Louisville, 1-0 on Friday. The Hokies advance in the winners’ bracket and face 6th-ranked Tennessee today at 1:30 pm. Tech’s Callie Rhodes singled with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning to knock in the winning run.
Tincher (26-8) allowed three hits, gave up two walks, and retired the last 21 Louisville batters she faced. The sore left leg she has been suffering since April wasn’t a problem. Her 19 strikeouts gave her 500 on the season. Tincher broke the ACC season strikeout record a long time ago and continues to extend it every time she pitches.
The win raises Tech’s record to 39-19 on the year, and they face a Tennessee Lady Vols team that is 54-9 and features two All-Americans, outfielder Sarah Fekete and pitcher Monica Abbott. At 6-3, Abbott strikes an imposing figure on the mound. She is 37-7 on the year and pitched a nine-inning shutout win over the Hokies in the 2004 regular season.
VT is the second seed in the four-team regional. Tennessee is the #1 seed, Louisville is the #3 seed, and Tennessee Tech is the #4 seed. The winner of today’s Tech-Tennessee matchup will move on to Sunday’s final, while the loser will play the winner of Louisville-Tennessee Tech at 6:30 tonight.