No. 3 Virginia Tech Softball Defeats No. 14 Tennessee In Knoxville

Keely Rochard and Virginia Tech continue to rack up ranked wins. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

No. 3 Virginia Tech (33-6, 15-2 ACC) went to Knoxville Wednesday night and accomplished something that a Hokies softball team hadn’t done since 2008 – beat the No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers.

That 2008 Hokies squad made it to the College World Series, and this year’s team has similar aspirations.

Based on this season’s resume, that CWS trip is looking more and more realistic. The Hokies have now recorded 11 wins over teams currently in the RPI top 25:

No. 6 Northwestern
No. 7 Florida State – twice
No. 9 Clemson – three times
No. 12 Tennessee
No. 14 UCF – twice
No. 16 Kentucky
No. 22 Ohio State

Virginia Tech sits at No. 3, and if it takes care of business the rest of the season, it should be in position to host NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals in Blacksburg.

Tech wasted no time jumping on the Vols Wednesday night as Meredith Slaw drove in Emma Ritter in the first inning. Bre Peck followed it up with a two-run shot to center field, her team-leading ninth home run of the year, which gave the Hokies a 3-0 lead.

Tennessee made it interesting, scoring runs in the third and fourth innings to make it a 3-2 game. But Jayme Bailey hit a two-run bomb in the sixth to provide the Hokies with some insurance runs.

Emma Lemley (13-4) started the game in the circle for the Hokies and gave up a single earned run before being relieved by Keely Rochard for the final three innings. Rochard allowed just one base hit and struck out five in three innings to record her fifth save of the year.

“Tennessee is very hard to beat, especially on their field,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour told Tech Sideline after the game. “We were ready to play today. Emma and Keely pitched well and we scored 4 runs on two swings of the bat. That’s a recipe for success moving forward. Get in good counts and see if we can put a good swing on something.

“It’s important to have a good day of practice tomorrow. We need to be ready to play Friday.”

On Friday, Louisville (24-17, 8-7) visits Blacksburg for a three-game series. Tech is 11-8 all-time against the Cardinals, 5-2 under D’Amour, and took two-of-three games in last year’s series in Louisville. First pitch is at 6 p.m. on the ACC Network Extra at Tech Softball Park.

Box Score: Link 

17 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Looks like the Vols have a nice crib to play in. That SEC football money trickles down.

  2. Please hit up your friends to donate what they can to the team. It’s important to provide everything we can to these ladies.

  3. This team is, I think, special!!!
    Great to watch them compete at such a high level and be successful!
    Thanks for the article Chip.

  4. What I like about the lead in picture, I appears that she takes her eyes off of her target. That must be a little unnerving for the batter.

  5. To be fair, the photo that leads into this article should have had Emma Lemley on it. She started this high profile game and pitched through early innings when she had to keep Tennessee at bay

    1. I’ll give you credit, you have a knack for finding something to criticize or complain about.

      1. I agree with NMB. He has knack to criticize every athletic team VT has.i wish he would go to UVA.

  6. Enjoyed having dinner with your and Bonnie last night before the game. It’s not often we get to break bread with a celebrity like you. We had a great time at the game.
    Go Hokies.

  7. That UVa loss in game 2 of that series may turn out to be a blessing. D’Amour didn’t like how Tech prepped for that series and it definitely showed in games 1 and 2. that splash in the face got them back in focus and the Tennessee game speaks for itself as a result. These girls are a lot of fun to watch.

  8. What’s left unsaid in this article is that the team traveled by bus to Knoxville earlier in the day and apparently traveled back to Blacksburg once the game was over. (That information was “courtesy” of the ESPN announcers, so take it with a grain of salt.) If the team did travel to Knoxville earlier in the day and came away with that win, that is just simply amazing! And regardless of travel time, this team is just amazing and fun to watch!

    1. I can confirm that they bussed down before the game, played the game, got back on the bus a little after 10:00 and had pizza on the bus, and probably made it back to Blacksburg after 2:00am. Them they got up this morning and went to class followed by practice later today.

      I spoke briefly to Emma Lemley after the game to congratulate her and she was gracious as always, but was worried about a project on windmills that she had to complete for her ENGINEERING class.

      Unreal!!!! True student athletes!

  9. What a great win! We had the entire family watching on ESPN. Fun season. I’m going to choose to not think about regionals, or super regionals, and just enjoy watching one game at a time. It’s clear that this special group of Hokies is going to stay focused and compete at a high level each game and when that happens everything else has a way of working out. What a great season to be a Hokie.

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