UCF Breaks Virginia Tech Softball’s Win Streak, But Hokies Win Series

Emma Lemley and Virginia Tech allowed just five runs in 25 innings vs. UCF over the weekend. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

No. 5 Virginia Tech (27-4, 11-0) registered its fifth series win of the year this weekend, but a lack of timely hitting in the series finale enabled No. 22 UCF to defeat the Hokies VT 5-4 in 11 innings on Monday night. The loss snapped the Hokies’ 16-game win streak.

The Knights (30-10) entered the series averaging 6.9 runs per game (14th in the country), but Keely Rochard and Emma Lemley limited UCF to five total runs in 25 innings, all of which were scored Monday night.

Freshman Bre Peck was the standout in the batter’s box throughout the series, registering six hits and two home runs in the final two games, including a first inning home run Monday. It was her team-leading seventh dinger of the year.

But the Knights battled back to tie the game twice and forced extra innings before winning on a Shannon Doherty double in the bottom of the 11th. Ironically, that hit scored Jada Cody, the nation’s RBI leader, who had recorded her only hit of the series (in 10 tries) earlier in the inning. Rochard and Lemley had struck her out eight times previously during the series.

Although the Hokies registered 12 hits in the Monday contest, they stranded 10 base runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the first and ninth innings. That ultimately proved to be their undoing.

The Monday setback followed two masterful performances by Rochard and Lemley on Sunday in the doubleheader sweep (1-0 and 7-0).

Rochard pitched her eight career no hitter in the first game of the series, throwing 60 strikes in 83 pitches, walking none and striking out 14. For her effort, she was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week on Monday. And ESPN+ Analyst Francesca Enea couldn’t stop singing Rochard’s praises as Rochard retired the last Knight batter.

Although the Hokies only recorded two hits of their own in the game, Kelsey Brown’s speed in the first inning generated the only the run that Rochard would need.

In the second Sunday game, Lemley almost duplicated Rochard’s mastery, allowing a single base hit and striking out 12. She got plenty of offensive support with Peck, Kelsey Bennett and Darby Trull each driving in two runs.

“The big picture for our team is we came on the road and took the series against a very good UCF team,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour told Tech Sideline after Monday’s contest. “Our pitchers gave us a chance to win tonight, but we just couldn’t string together enough good at bats. I’m happy with the effort – our players care. We have to figure out some things offensively moving forward, and I’m confident we will.”

The Hokies (27-4, 11-0), who just moved up to No. 4 in this week’s USA Today Coaches poll, will now travel across the state for a critical ACC showdown with No. 2 Florida State (35-2, 6-2) next weekend.

4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. FSU covered seating runs up to $80 a ticket. SRO for $10 along 3rd base and at berms in outfield.

    And Whit was surprised when asked why he didn’t charge for softball games. FSU competes with Oklahoma, UCLA, Florida and the rest of the blue bloods. They need the revenues so they charge for seating.

    I’m itching to attend one game this weekend but I can’t stand two hours due to disabilities. Very disappointing.

  2. They are fun to watch. I pick them up on YouTube, although a day or two late.

  3. Win 2 out of 3 from FSU & this will be a really good road trip. The most important thing is to win every series.

Comments are closed.