On Monday, D1Softball and D1Baseball updated their respective rankings, and Virginia Tech finds itself in the top ten in both sports.
Hokies softball did not move from its spot at No. 3 after winning two-of-three games from Virginia, while Tech baseball jumped up to No. 8 from No. 21 after taking two-of-three games from then-No. 2 Miami. It’s the highest-ever ranking for both programs, too. Baseball’s previous high was No. 9 in 1982, while softball’s was No. 13 before the start of the season, set in 2007.
Virginia Tech is one of three schools in the country that has a top-ten softball and baseball team, joining Oklahoma State and Arkansas. The Cowboys are No. 8 in softball and No. 3 in baseball, while the Razorbacks are No. 6 and No. 4, respectively.
The two Tech teams are a combined 55-15 (24-9 ACC) so far this season with 17 top-25 wins. Oklahoma State is 60-17 (20-4) while Arkansas is 60-15 (22-8).
Pete D’Amour & Co. got off to a hot start early in the season, holding a 26-3 (11-0) record heading into April. Since, they’re 6-3 with losses at then-No. 22 UCF, then-No. 3 Florida State and vs. UVa. In the updated RPI, however, the Hokies sit at No. 3. As of Monday, that puts the program in a solid position to host an NCAA Regional (top 16 teams) and potentially a Super Regional (top 8).
Virginia Tech currently has eight players hitting .321 or better and a team batting average of .325. That also doesn’t mention the dynamic duo the Hokies have in the circle with Keely Rochard (18-2) and Emma Lemley (12-4).
Designated player Meredith Slaw has been on a tear, too. She’s hitting .406 with an OPS of 1.238, and in her last seven games, she’s .609 (14-for-23) with five home runs and 14 RBIs. Slaw was named the ACC Player of the Week back on April 12 after going 7-for-10 over the weekend at Florida State.
On the other diamond, John Szefc’s program has been rolling as of late. After a 15-6 (3-4) start through March, April has been kind to the Hokies.
Virginia Tech is 8-3 in the last 18 days, 6-3 against the top 25. The team ranks second in Division I in batting average (.326), home runs per game (2.38), second in slugging percentage (.616), second in doubles per game (2.59) and fifth in on base percentage (.428). Like those stats suggest, the Hokies have shelled most pitchers they’ve faced.
Since losing five games in a row to Georgia Tech, James Madison and Pitt in March, Tech is 13-3 (9-3). In those 16 games, Tech is averaging 10.3 runs per game. Moreover, the Hokies have put up double digit runs nine times, highlighted by 22 vs. Pitt and 21 at NC State.
Like Slaw with softball, baseball’s Tanner Schobel has been on fire. He homered three times and had 10 RBIs over the weekend against the Hurricanes, and he earned ACC Co-Player of the Week honors on Monday. Schobel also had a hand in generating 17 of Tech’s 30 runs in the series vs. Miami.
On top of the elite hitting and pitching, both programs saw record crowds recently. Softball head coach Pete D’Amour said the environment “matched the best venues we’ve played in this year” and said there had to have been at least 2,000 fans in attendance for each game. At English Field, the Hokies welcomed 3,521 on Friday night, which set the regular season attendance record. It ranks third all-time behind Tech’s 2013 NCAA Blacksburg Regional game vs. UConn (3,566) and its 2008 exhibition game against the New York Yankees (5,311).
Baseball is back in action on Tuesday vs. VMI (6 p.m., ACCNX) and Wednesday at Radford (6 p.m., ESPN+). Furthermore, Tech has a three-game series at Boston College over the weekend, including Saturday’s game at the historic Fenway Park.
In addition, softball has its hands full this week. A trip to Knoxville and No. 14 Tennessee on Wednesday (7 p.m., ESPN) precedes the weekend’s series against Louisville in Blacksburg.