No. 12 Virginia Tech Softball Drops Midweek Game At Charlotte

Virginia Tech and Emma Ritter didn’t have enough against Charlotte on the road on Wednesday. (Jon Fleming)

No. 12 Virginia Tech softball stumbled in an 8-4 loss at Charlotte on Wednesday, surrendering six runs in the fifth inning for its first midweek defeat of the season.

With the score tied at two going into the fifth, 49ers (13-9) first baseman Arianna Rodi and designated player Kiyah Garrett hit back-to-back homers to build a three-run lead. Tech (18-4-1) then trailed through the end of the game.

“Tip of the cap to Charlotte,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour said. “They’re a well-coached team and came ready to play today.”

The Hokies loaded the bases in the first inning with no outs. Although third baseman Bre Peck singled to build a one-run lead, 49ers pitcher Georgeanna Barefoot worked quick outs to strand three runners.

This was a continued pattern throughout the game: Tech hit 2-for-10 with runners on base and 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

“We came out hot in the first inning and missed an opportunity to assert ourselves early,” D’Amour said. “It felt like we were on cruise control and Charlotte kept punching us in the nose.”

Tech rotated through three pitchers: Emma Lemley, Lyndsey Grein and Emma Mazzarone. Grein struggled with command in her one-third of an inning in the circle; of her 26 pitches, 11 were strikes. In her seven batters faced, she allowed two home runs and three walks, culminating in six runs.

Lemley and Mazzarone pitched the remaining 5 ⅔ innings, combining to allow two runs and three hits.

After Charlotte starting pitcher Leah Powell walked the first three batters she saw, head coach Ashley Chastain replaced her with Barefoot, who allowed six hits, three runs and threw well enough to keep her team in contention.

Hokies center fielder Emma Ritter — the reigning ACC Player of the Week — led the team with two runs scored. She also hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to limit Charlotte’s lead.

If there is any consolation for Tech, it’s that Charlotte is a good team. The 49ers advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2023 and sit 17th in the RPI, which factors in wins, losses and strength of schedule. Three of its nine losses are against ranked opponents, including ACC foes Florida State and Clemson.

Virginia Tech will attempt to rebound during its home series against Pitt from Friday to Sunday. The Hokies have not lost a series to the Panthers since 2017.

Box Score: Charlotte 8, No. 12 Virginia Tech 4 

4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Tried to cruise through on auto pilot and got an a$$ whooping. Hopefully they learned something and will get back on track.

  2. Good job, Sam.

    That first inning set the tone, IMHO. The Hokies had a chance to put their foot on the throat of Charlotte and let them off the hook. And the subsequent mistakes (such as popups that dropped) got magnified.

    Now let’s just focus on Pittsburgh.

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