No. 5 Duke Sweeps No. 11 Virginia Tech Softball Behind Offensive Dominance

Cori McMillan and Virginia Tech didn’t quite have enough against Duke on Saturday. (Virginia Tech athletics)

Duke second baseman Aminah Vega continued to wreck Virginia Tech softball on Saturday, propelling the Blue Devils to a 5-2 victory and a series sweep.

Vega, who earned a First Team All-ACC nod as a freshman in 2023, started the scoring with an RBI fielder’s choice in the first inning, then followed it with a solo home run in the third. She finished the weekend with nine RBI — on three home runs and three doubles.

Between Vega’s offensive dominance and the No. 5 Blue Devils’ (29-3) pitching excellence — Jala Wright and Cassidy Curd combined to allow just six hits and two runs — the No. 11 Hokies (25-8-1) didn’t have a chance.

“Duke is as well-rounded of a team as we’ve played all year,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour said.

As was the case all weekend in previous 14-5 and 6-5 defeats, the Hokies couldn’t get hits when needed. They went 2-for-7 with runners on base, including 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. Though they loaded the bases in the first inning, no runs scored. In the six frames that followed, Tech had just three total baserunners.

With the bats not clicking, Tech had no margin of error. Starting pitcher Emma Lemley allowed back-to-back homers in the third — to right fielder Claire Davidson and Vega — and that made the difference.

“There were three plays that game that I thought were critical and didn’t go our way,” D’Amour said. “That’s the difference when we play elite teams.”

Lemley held her own against a top-five team, throwing the whole game aside from three batters in the fifth. In her 5 ⅓ frames, she allowed six hits and five runs — four across two homers — and struck out eight batters. Though she struggled with command at the start of the season, she allowed zero walks on Sunday. In her past five appearances, Lemley has walked just three batters.

Center fielder Emma Ritter was 2-for-4 and scored one of the Hokies’ two runs off a two-run shot in the second. She hit 5-for-9 during the series, providing base hits when her team needed them. 

Tech was swept for the first time since April 20-22, 2023, when then-No. 5 Florida State did so in Blacksburg. Despite the string of losses, Ritter said the team is optimistic.

“[In 2021 and 2022], we had gotten swept in a series, and then by the end of that year, we were a win away from the World Series,” Ritter said. “There’s still a lot of games left, there’s still a lot of season left, so how we end up in the postseason is what matters.”

The Hokies will play three games at Tech Softball Park this week — a Tuesday doubleheader against Wofford (3 p.m. ET) and a single Wednesday game against Liberty (6 p.m. ET) — before traveling to Raleigh for a three-game series at NC State.

Box Score: Duke 5, Virginia Tech 2 

1 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. As they always say, good pitching stops good hitting. Happened this time, but we can rally from this and get another shot. We now have a little familiarity with their stuff.

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