No. 16 Hokies Softball Scores 12 In Fifth For D’Amour’s 300th Win

The Hokies scored 12 runs in the fifth inning to run rule Boston College in a come-from-behind win. (Virginia Tech athletics)

Hokies head coach Pete D’Amour told Cori McMillan to end it. So she did.

Leading 9-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Virginia Tech’s right fielder took the plate against Boston College reliever Addison Jackson. She fouled off the first two pitches, took the third and sent the fourth into the center field trees for a grand slam, securing a 13-4 run-rule win.

“It was nice knowing that Pete had faith in me,” McMillan told Tech Sideline after the game. “He came up to me while I was on deck and was like, ‘End it.’ I just looked at him, and he was like, ‘Hit a bomb and end it.’ That helped a lot, knowing everyone knew I could do it.”

The fact that the No. 16 Hokies (31-9-1, 14-4 ACC) were in the position to walk it off was improbable in the first place. They entered the fifth trailing 4-1 and had amassed just four hits. Eagles (24-16, 5-10 ACC) starter Abby Dunning had shut down Tech until then, allowing just one run and striking out five.

“I didn’t think we struggled too much in the early innings; we just missed some balls and had to just keep with it,” D’Amour said. “We were prepared for [Dunning], so we were ready.”

But everything switched in the fifth. Center fielder Emma Ritter led off with a double past left fielder Elisabeth Laviolette.

First baseman Michelle Chatfield worked a seven-pitch walk two batters later, highlighted by a debatable check swing call. If the umpires ruled she swung, Tech would have had two outs and one baserunner. Instead, Chatfield walked to ignite the rally.

Dunning lost her focus after Chatfield’s at bat — she threw her glove to the ground in frustration with the check swing call — and Tech pounced.

Third baseman Bre Peck hit a two-run double. Second baseman Cameron Fagan scored two on a single. Designated player Maija Louko singled to score Fagan. Ritter reached base again, scoring two on a single. Left fielder Addy Greene reached on a fielder’s choice to score another. That brought up McMillan, who finished the Eagles off.

“That is a pure example of I’ve-got-your-back softball,” said Virginia Tech pitcher Lyndsey Grein. “Our team does a really good job. We always have each other’s backs, on and off the field.”

Grein struck out 10 batters and walked just one across five innings of work. Eagles right fielder Jordan Stephens hit two-run homers twice, but otherwise Grein was effective. She allowed leadoff baserunners in four innings but limited the damage aside from the aforementioned home runs.

Sunday marked D’Amour’s 300th career win, spanning back to 2017 at Kennesaw State. 

“It means I’ve had a lot of good players,” he said. “Just as important, I’ve had a lot of good assistant coaches. That’s a recipe for success.”

McMillan and Grein said the team was unaware that D’Amour was approaching the milestone.

“It just speaks to him as a coach,” Grein said. “He’s an awesome coach; he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s very talented at what he does. I think we’re all blessed and honored to have him as our coach.”

Nine days ago, the Hokies were swept at Duke and dropped their first game at NC State, their fourth consecutive loss. Since then, they have won five consecutive games by run rule and are peaking down the stretch of their conference schedule.

“It was just nice to have everybody come together,” Grein said. “I think we approach each game the same in the sense of we’re going to play together and we’re gonna make it through, no matter what. It’s an approach that works, and it worked for us today.”

Next, the Hokies travel to Charlottesville for a midweek against Virginia on Tuesday, before the Cavaliers return to Blacksburg a week later. Because of the league’s rotation, these games will technically be out of conference, meaning they won’t count in the ACC standings.

The in-state rivals will play for the first time this season in Charlottesville on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET.

Box Score: No. 16 Virginia Tech 13, Boston College 4 (5 innings) 

2 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I forgot the game started at noon. Turned in on at the start of the 5th. Saw Lindsey shut them down after a lead-off walk and then the fireworks on offense. Way to ladies and congrats coach Pete!

  2. Ritter first at-bat in the 5th was ruled an E7 (error on left fielder). Peck’s hit in the 5th was a single, she advanced to second on the throw home.

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