No. 12 Virginia Tech Softball Sweeps Longwood In Doubleheader

Kylie Aldridge and Virginia Tech swept Longwood in a Tuesday doubleheader. (Jon Fleming)

It wasn’t pretty, but No. 12 Virginia Tech softball made it out of Longwood with a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday.

The Hokies (23-4-1) traveled to Farmville, Va., as part of their series of midweek games before an away series against No. 15 Alabama this weekend. 

Tech used four of its five pitching options between the two games: Cassie Grizzard, Emma Lemley, Emma Mazzarone and Lyndsey Grein. Molly Jacobson is its only fresh option ahead of Wednesday’s home game against Maryland Eastern Shore.

“We played okay tonight,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour told Tech Sideline after the game. “I felt like we were a little too loose compared to how we like to play. We need to tighten things up a little bit before we play this weekend.”

Game 1: Virginia Tech 8, Longwood 4

Grizzard saw her first start for Tech since Feb. 23 against Radford, when she pitched a three-hit shutout. On Tuesday, she was respectable but struggled a bit more; she threw three innings and allowed four runs, walking two and striking out six. 

The Lancers (9-19) opened a three-run lead in the bottom of the first inning on a fielder’s choice and single. For the first three innings, they held a lead until Tech’s bats heated up.

The Hokies scored five runs in the third inning. Two singles from center fielder Emma Ritter and left fielder Addy Greene tacked on two runs before third baseman Bre Peck knocked a three-run homer.

When Longwood chipped back at its deficit with a run in the fourth, Tech added insurance runs in the seventh. Right fielder Cori McMillan and first baseman Michelle Chatfield each hit RBI doubles, padding its lead.

Lemley relieved Grizzard in the fourth and completely shut down the Lancers’ bats. She threw four no-hit innings, striking out 10. Lemley has not allowed a run in a week, spanning across three appearances.

“I felt like I was throwing hard and I knew where everything was going,” Lemley said. “Everything was spinning the way it was supposed to.”

Across her tenure at Virginia Tech, Lemley has never allowed a hit in Farmville. She threw a no-hitter against Longwood as a freshman on March 22, 2022. 

Game 2: Virginia Tech 8, Longwood 5

Just like the first leg of the doubleheader, the Lancers took an early lead, going up 5-3 in the third inning. And in similar fashion, Tech’s relief pitching was dominant.

Grein mopped up the last four innings, allowing just one hit and striking out 10 batters. 

“[Longwood is] good competition as well, and I think we’re super fortunate to be able to play such good teams that make us better,” Grein said. “It was definitely a productive day and I feel like I definitely prepared myself for the weekend.”

Grein relieved Mazzarone, who allowed five earned runs in her three innings. Entering Wednesday, Mazzarone had not given up an earned run in 10 days.

Tech’s pitching didn’t need to be flawless, though. Trailing halfway through the game, the Hokies scored five runs in the fourth and fifth innings, vaulting them into the lead.

In the second game, Fagan notched three hits and two RBI. Ritter finished with two hits of her own, scoring three runs. McMillan, designated player Emily Legette and shortstop Annika Rohs were the other Hokies to score.

Tech has a road trip and a quick turnaround. The Hokies will play Maryland Eastern Shore at Tech Softball Park — which lost both games of its doubleheader against Radford on Tuesday — at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

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