No. 12 Virginia Tech Softball Falls Short In 1-0 Loss At No. 15 Alabama

Emma Lemley was terrific for Virginia Tech against Alabama but the Hokies fell just short on Friday. (Jon Fleming)

No. 12 Virginia Tech softball’s bats fell flat on Friday in Tuscaloosa, getting shutout for the first time all year in its 1-0 loss to No. 15 Alabama.

The Crimson Tide (25-5) utilized small ball for its only run of the game in the fifth inning. Hokies (24-5-1) pitcher Emma Lemley walked third baseman Bailey Dowling. Kinley Pate — Dowling’s pinch runner — stole second and then scored when designated player Kendal Clark singled.

Tech managed just five singles and no extra base hits. For a team that entered Friday averaging 8.59 runs per game — ranked fifth in the country — the lack of offensive production was uncharacteristic. 

The top five hitters in the Hokies’ lineup — center fielder Emma Ritter, left fielder Addy Greene, second baseman Cameron Fagan, third baseman Bre Peck and right fielder Cori McMillan — each had one hit. Greene also walked, making her the only Tech player to reach base twice.

Lemley was dominant; her only blemishes were two hits and a walk, while she struck out seven batters. She didn’t allow a baserunner for the first four innings. In another game with offensive production, Lemley’s efforts would have resulted in a win. However, that was not the case on Friday evening.

Crimson Tide starter Kayla Beaver was more effective than Lemley, though less efficient. She threw 97 pitches — 23 more than Lemley — while she allowed five hits and one walk.

Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour tends to schedule tough non-conference opponents to prepare the team for postseason play and help its RPI status. Alabama entered Friday ranked No. 8 in the RPI, while Tech ranked No. 16. The Hokies are no stranger to high-ranked teams, having already played against Georgia (ranked No. 3), Cal (No. 17) and Charlotte (No. 34). 

The Hokies and Crimson Tide will rematch on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on SEC Network Plus.

Box Score: No. 15 Alabama 1, No. 12 Virginia Tech 0 

6 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Beaver exposed how you defeat the Hokie power lineup. Keep the ball on the ground, i.e. Singles, no home runs!

    1. Easier said than done. Hard to pitch low strikes with downward movement the whole game

    2. So – to defeat Alabama – just hit a few homers. From the book of Captain Obvious. 🙂

    3. Several people have commented over the last few years that we struggle against drop ball pitchers. I believe Rosenberry used to throw those in practice to help. And we have Molly now. So, I feel like we work on that. Maybe it’s difficult for players with power swings to make that adjustment. Same things happen at MLB level though. Think of the massive infield shifts and players still can’t adjust their swings and hit to a wide open area. We did hit a lot of balls hard on the ground. But, their shortstop was really good and got to several of them. She made two great plays in the 7th, ranging left and right where we could have gotten baserunners.

  2. They faced sec pitching. That girl was tough and the ump was giving her that inside pitch to the right-handers

  3. Crazy after a 25-0. game. Hate to lose, but a good thing I suppose where every pitch, every at bat could win or lose the game. Yeah, I suppose that’s always true, but you know what I mean, need to really focus.

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