Virginia Tech Receives Historic NCAA Softball Tournament Invite

The Virginia Tech softball team applauds after seeing its name flash across ESPN2 on Sunday night. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

For the first time in program history, Virginia Tech is hosting an NCAA Softball Regional.

The NCAA made it official on Sunday night, selecting the Hokies as the No. 3 seed, only the second time the program has earned a national seed. The 2007 team (49-16, 15-5 ACC, ACC Champs) also earned a national seed (16) but was sent on the road to No. 2 seed Ohio State because the VT facilities at the time did not have lights.

The Hokies will host Northeast Conference Champion St. Francis (Pa.) (37-16) in Friday’s opening game at 2 p.m. ET on the ACC Network, while at-large selection Kentucky will take on Mid-American Conference Champion Miami at 4:30 p.m.

The NCAA bid is the 11th in Virginia Tech history and the third consecutive under ACC Coach of the Year Pete D’Amour.

“Hosting a regional is a big deal,” D’Amour told Tech Sideline after the selection show. “The regional tournament is the equivalent to March Madness. This would be like hosting the first round of March Madness in Cassell. I know our start time Friday isn’t ideal, but the stands need to be packed. I’ll personally write an excuse letter from work/school if it will help. We’re expecting to play in front of a packed house at TSP every game we play this weekend.”

The Virginia Tech players were understandably excited about being chosen to host with catcher Mackenzie Lawter describing it as “exciting” and “a tribute to what we’ve been doing all season.”

Battery mate Keely Rochard added that “playing at home means a lot. It’s important to our fan base and they’re a big reason that we’re here. … They showed up all season and hopefully will again for the Regionals and Super Regionals.” 

Virginia Tech has added additional bleachers for the Regional down the left field line and in the outfield that will increase seating capacity to approximately 2,000 fans.

Additional seating is being added down the left field line and in the outfield at Tech Softball Park. (Chip Grubb)

Playing in the NCAA Regionals will be a new experience for some of the Virginia Tech freshmen, but Kelsey Bennett isn’t worried that the stage will be too bright for them. 

“I just tell them to stay relaxed and play your game,” the veteran Hokie shortstop said. “You’ve been waiting your whole life for this moment, so make the most of it. Besides, we’ve already played in front of some large, rowdy crowds this season, including at home. This week should be fun.”

A quick look at the four teams in the Blacksburg Region shows squads that averaged over 38 wins this season:

“We have a formidable regional,” D’Amour said. “I’m not sure there is such a thing as an ‘easy’ region. There’s no question that the aggressive scheduling helped us host this year. We put ourselves in a good position; now we need to go out and play.”

“At the beginning of the season, we had a tough schedule,” designated player Meredith Slaw said, “but it worked out for us. When you play teams that are good, you’re better in the end.”

The Hokies are one of six ACC teams that received bids to the NCAA Tournament, the most for the conference since 2015. Virginia Tech joins No. 2 Florida State (52-5), No. 10 Clemson (39-15), and No. 12 Duke (41-8) in being awarded national seeds, while Georgia Tech (43-16) and Notre Dame (39-10) will start NCAA Tournament action on the road.

Winners of each Regional will advance to Super Regionals that will be held May 26-29 on eight campus sites. Should the Hokies win their regional, they will also host the Super Regional round in a best-of-three tournament format.

The winners from each Super Regional advance to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) from June 2-9/10 at OGE Energy Field at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, Okla.

11 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. What a wonderful opportunity to see the VT Softball Team excel in academics and on the field. Thank you, and VT Fans are very proud of you. Best of luck in the NCAA Regionals! Go Hokies!!!

    1. Yes 2:00 Friday,
      Saturday 3:00 if we win; 5:30 if well…you know
      Saturday again at 8:00 or later if we’re 1-1 after 2 games
      Sunday 12 noon, 2:30 or so IF NECESSARY

      1. Thanks a lot. Hoping to take in all these and as many baseball games as possible. Looks like we are clear for Thursday and Friday Duke games.

  2. Just got my tix for my first ever VT softball game!!! Note: the easiest time I’ve ever had getting any kind of tickets from VT. Weather looks nice – and the crowd should be pumped. Go Hokies!!!

    1. Definitely don’t jinx the weather! When I last looked, was rain in the forecast.

      We’ve driven up for a few weekends to watch the games this season. You guys will have a blast.

      Go Hokies!

  3. Who is that guy in the back making a perfect “V” with his arms? (I know who it is, and I’m glad to see Arthur made it to the watch party as well!) Congrats to the ladies and the coaches and best of luck this weekend.

  4. I may need to take Coach up on his offer here –> “I’ll personally write an excuse letter from work/school if it will help”

    I’ll be pulling the kids out of school here in Richmond to drive up for the game (and this will be like the 4th time this spring).

    Don’t worry my daughters and I have a solid plan .. won’t tell mom until after we’re already on the road. Ha!

    1. It’s an educational trip for your girls. Showing them the power of the female athlete! #GirlDadsKnow

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