Virginia Tech Softball, ranked No. 20 in the country and fresh off a 45-9 season, received an invitation to the 64-team NCAA Tournament Sunday night. The Hokies will travel to Lexington, KY for a double-elimination four-team regional May 17-19.
The Kentucky Wildcats (33-22), seeded No. 14 overall in the tournament, will host the regional, which also includes Illinois (32-23) and Toledo (29-26). The Hokies will open with Illinois Friday, May 17 at noon on ESPN3.
Here’s the Lexington Regional bracket.
Only the top 16 teams in the 64-team field are seeded, and those teams host Regionals, so Virginia Tech’s overall seed is not known. If you go by RPI, Kentucky is No. 16, Virginia Tech No. 25, Illinois No. 41, and Toledo No. 114.
This is the ninth NCAA appearance for Virginia Tech softball since (and including) 2005, and their first since 2015. The Hokies advanced to the Women’s College World Series in 2008, Angela Tincher’s senior season.
Virginia Tech was one of the most improved teams in the country, going from 23-30 last season to 45-9 this year and winning the ACC regular season championship under new coach Pete D’Amour. Virginia Tech bowed out quickly in this year’s ACC Tournament, losing as a No. 1 seed to No. 8 seed NC State 3-2 last Thursday, but the NCAA invitation gives the team new postseason life. Per ESPN’s tournament selection show, Virginia Tech is the only team in the 64-team field with two 20-game winners in the pitching circle: Keely Rochard (20-3) and Carrie Eberle (25-6).
After Regionals, 16 teams (one from each region) will advance to Super-regionals, and from there, eight teams will advance to the Women’s College World Series.