Virginia Tech Softball Prepares For Fall Ball

Virginia Tech softball head coach Pete D’Amour is excited for the Hokies to be challenged in fall ball. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

Fresh off one of the most successful seasons in program history, the Virginia Tech softball team has started preparation for the 2022 campaign.  Fans can get an early look at this year’s team starting next week in Salem as the Hokies begin their fall ball schedule.

Virginia Tech opens play Friday night, October 8 at Moyer Field in Salem against Carson Newman.  The game, which is scheduled to be a 6:30 p.m. first pitch and last 10 innings, is being played in conjunction with a USA Softball Travel Tournament being held that weekend featuring 26 teams from the Mid-Atlantic Region.

“It’s a great opportunity for all fans in the Roanoke Valley to see us play,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour said, pointing out that it’s essentially a road game, which should help with preparation in the future.

The Hokies will then return to Tech Softball Park to play their remaining fall ball games: 

Tuesday, 10/12             Wingate                                    11:30 a.m.
Friday, 10/15                Shepherd                                   5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 10/17              King                                           12:00 p.m.
Friday, 10/22                UVA-Wise                                   6:30 p.m.

Expectations are high for this year’s squad after last year’s run to the Super Regionals, only the second such appearance in program history.

“We were close to the World Series,” D’Amour said. “There’s an extra 2% that we need to do in everything in our entire program. There’s nothing to hang our head about, but we have to get better in the weight room, get better at practice, get better at scouting.”

He later added that he wanted to see more consistency in hitting and infield defense, as well as more pitching depth behind ACC Pitcher of the Year and NFCA All-American Keely Rochard, who is returning for her fifth year.

D’Amour has often said that the fall is the time for player development, and he likes what he has seen so far.

“I like where this team is headed,” he said. “We seem to be focused on steady improvement. We’re better now than our first practice a month ago – we just have to keep at it.”

The Hokies return all their primary starters from last year, including six players who batted .297 or better: Cameron Fagan (.409), Kelsey Brown (.384), Alexa Milius (.330), Kelsey Bennett (.314), Jayme Bailey (.309) and Addy Greene (.297).  They will be joined by one of the highest ranked recruiting classes in school history.

“The returning players have been awesome from a leadership standpoint,” D’Amour said. “They’ve been really helpful to the newcomers in all aspects on and off the field.”

The newcomers include six high school signees and senior transfer Ally Repko (Broadway, Va.). Repko, who played travel ball with the Williamsburg Starz, played primarily third base and catcher last season for Elon, where she hit .340 with nine home runs.

The freshmen class is highlighted by two players in Extra Innings Softball Top 30 Recruits for 2021: Infielder Brianna Peck (#21) from Royersford, Pa., and pitcher Emma Lemley (#30) from Forest, Va. 

Peck was a three-time Pennsylvania 6A first-team all-state player, the 2019 PA Gatorade High School Softball Player of the Year, and a First Team Extra Inning Softball High School All-American. Lemley, a powerful right-handed pitcher who has been clocked in the upper 60s, had a tremendous summer pitching against some of the best talent in the country in the Alliance Championships, not giving up a run in 15-plus innings and striking out 29 batters. 

They are joined by fellow freshmen and utility players Alison Carter (Stafford, Va.), Rachel Castine (Chesapeake, Va.), and Ari Wright (Canton, Ga.), and infielder Catie Hopkins (Woodbridge, Va.). 

“I’m also excited about our newcomers,” D’Amour said. “They are all athletic and quick learners.  I’m anxious to see them against outside competition.”

That opportunity will happen next week.

11 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Thanks Chip I am new fan of women’s softball
    And this seems to be a first class operation if you could do to football that you have done with Softball we would have a first rate football operation Thanks

  2. Coincidentally, just walked by the USA softball field in Oklahoma City this morning. Checking to make sure it’s ready for a VT!

  3. Great synopsis! Really excited about the newcomers.

    Curious: do other programs play a more ambitious fall schedule? e.g., against conference or P5/comparable opponents?

    1. Every coach has their own preference with regards to scheduling – especially Fall Ball. It’s more important to Coach D’Amour to see his newcomers in action than to be competing against an ambitious schedule. Let’s say we schedule Tennessee for Fall Ball. We would all want to win that game and that might be at the cost of playing time for the youngsters that need it.

      Speaking of scheduling. Hokie Nation is going to be pumped when the regular season schedule is officially released. There are some big time programs that the Hokies are going to tackle, including a couple of games against #2 Alabama.

      It’s exciting times!

  4. It’s great that Coach D’Amour allows you access to the program along with the confidence to allow you to publish this info on TSL. This enhances interest in the program along with increased donations which is key to non revenue sports. I applaud you and Coach in your efforts to highlight and build up our softball program.

    1. Thank you very much. Coach D’Amour certainly recognizes the value of TSL and the Hokie passion of our readers. He and the ladies are also very, very appreciative of the financial that the TSL family has provided.

  5. Wife and I will be in town for the football game on Oct 8th and plan to go to the game at Moyer.

    Do we needs tix due to the event’s association with the Tournament?

  6. Thanks for the update! This is an exciting time for the program. I’m going to try and get out to Moyer next Friday to see them in action.

    1. We’ll please come over and introduce yourself. I’ll probably be wearing a white TSL shirt.

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