Florida Run-Rules Virginia Tech In Softball Super Regional Final

Florida celebrates after advancing to the Women’s College World Series. (Ivan Morozov)

In the most shocking outcomes of an otherwise remarkable season, No. 3 Virginia Tech (46-10) was run-ruled 12-0 by No. 14 Florida (48-17) in the final of the Blacksburg Super Regional on Sunday. 

With the win, Florida qualifies for the Women’s College World Series next week in Oklahoma City. This was the second consecutive year that the Hokies came up one game short of the WCWS after being eliminated by UCLA in three games last season.

Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour had commented on Saturday that his team needed to play “cleaner defense and get a clutch hit or two and we’ll be ok.” Unfortunately, neither happened on Sunday.

Kendra Falby, Florida’s leadoff hitter, reached on a throwing error on the first pitch of the game and scored three plays later when VT left fielder Kelsey Brown and shortstop Kelsey Bennett collided on a popup that would have ended the inning. The miscues seemed to totally deflate the Hokies, especially when Bennett had to leave the game.

“We’re certainly disappointed to fall one game short of the World Series again,” D’Amour told Tech Sideline after the loss. “Our team was ready to play today, we were loose and focused. We just couldn’t get out of our own way in the first inning and never recovered.”

The Hokie bats were surprisingly quiet, being limited to a pair of singles by designated player Morgan Overaitis.

Morgan Overaitis had Tech’s only hits of the game. (Ivan Morozov)

Meanwhile, the Gators unleashed a 13-hit attack, scoring three runs in the second followed by six more in the third before D’Amour replaced starting pitcher Keely Rochard with Emma Lemley. Mackenzie Osborne pitched the last two innings. The eight runs were the first runs that Florida scored on Rochard over the course of the three-game series.

“We knew coming in they were formidable, and they ended up being that way,” D’Amour said. “I went into this weekend thinking that if somebody beat Keely and Emma, tip your cap. They deserve it, they did that.”

The loss ended a storied career for Rochard and catcher Mackenzie Lawter, who were both emotional in the post-game press conference.

“I owe Virginia Tech everything,” Lawter said. “It’s given me the best experiences, the best people and…it’s given me people that I’ll have for the rest of my life. And it’s given me so much more than softball, so I’ll never be able to repay Virginia Tech for everything it’s given me.”

“I’ll never be able to put into words what it’s meant to wear Virginia Tech across my chest,” Rochard added. “I’ll never be able to repay the coaches for any of the memories that I’ve made here. It’s been the biggest honor, and I thank everyone for putting trust in me. I don’t want to take this jersey off, I know that.”

The loss ended a remarkable season for the Hokies that included an ACC regular season title, series wins in every conference series and posting a 15-8 record against teams in the RPI top-25. Those accomplishments weren’t lost on D’Amour.

It’s the end of an era for Virginia Tech. (Ivan Morozov)

“This team was the most talented team I’ve ever had, and they seemed to really get along with each other off the field,” D’Amour said. “This senior class leaves Blacksburg with three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, two regional championships, an ACC Coastal Championship, and an ACC Regular Season championship. They had one of the most successful runs in VT sports history.”

The Hokies hosted Regional and Super Regional play the last two weekends for the first time in program history and sellout crowds were the norm with Sunday’s attendance reported at 1,987.

“Once again, I want to thank all of our fans for the support this year,” D’Amour said. “The environment the last two weeks was unbelievable. It seemed like everyone stayed around and waited for us after the game today. It was overwhelming to feel their support.

“As I said in my press conference, this success is sustainable. We will build off of what this team has built, but for right now, we’ll honor this senior class and be thankful for their time and accomplishments in Blacksburg.”

Game Three Box Score: Florida 12, Virginia Tech 0

13 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. “I owe Virginia Tech everything,” Lawter said. “It’s given me the best experiences, the best people and…it’s given me people that I’ll have for the rest of my life. And it’s given me so much more than softball, so I’ll never be able to repay Virginia Tech for everything it’s given me.”

    “I’ll never be able to put into words what it’s meant to wear Virginia Tech across my chest,” Rochard added. “I’ll never be able to repay the coaches for any of the memories that I’ve made here. It’s been the biggest honor, and I thank everyone for putting trust in me. I don’t want to take this jersey off, I know that.”

    This is why we’ll continue to love softball and baseball and become more and more disconnected from football.

    1. Right. They aren’t big revenue sports but the players and parents are connectable and make you feel a part and appreciated. It was some effort following this team in person. Never committed to doing that before. But, it was worth it. Hopefully, we can get over the Super Regional hump.

  2. I am speechless at the passion these ladies displayed for VT. We talk about it all the time but it really hit me hard when she said, “I don’t want to take this jersey off, I know that.”

    BTW: I realize it might not be everyone’s choice, but, I think more people than you would think really like the black unis – especially the players.

  3. Have to admit that yesterday’s game was one of the most disappointing VT sporting events that I have witnessed in my 8 1/2 decades of human existence. We just never seemed the same after winning the first game of the series so decisively. Can’t even begin to imagine how bummed out the players must feel.

    Regardless of the outcome yesterday, what an incredible run for our women. Only the best to all those playing their last game for the maroon and orange and best of luck next year to those returning. And I wholeheartedly agree with HokieAvalanche above- please ditch the putrid black unis ASAP.

  4. Great season. Stuff to build on. But please ditch those weird looking black uniforms!

  5. Great season !! The team didn’t seem the same after the FSU series. Maybe the bulls eye got bigger on our backs. Love what the program has become. Can’t wait until next season.

  6. Sweet 16’s two years in a row is a huge accomplishment. I regret that it couldn’t have gone further for the team and especially the seniors. I will be forever grateful for the ground work you have laid.

    We have both special players and coaches left to carry on. Go Hokies!

  7. Every team but one, comes to a bittersweet end of the season.

    It was quite a ride, and just did not end the way we wanted.

    Ladies, take a bow. And, hold those chins up high.

    You more than well, represented Virginia Tech.

  8. This Is Home
    for all the seniors – Thank You!
    for all other players – See You All Next Season!

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