No. 15 Virginia Tech Softball Drops Game 1 At Syracuse

Emma Lemley was good but didn’t have any run support on Friday at Syracuse. (Virginia Tech athletics)

After winning 11 consecutive contests across two home ACC series, No. 15 Virginia Tech softball dropped the first of a three-game away set at Syracuse 2-1 on Friday.

The Hokies (37-10-1, 17-5 ACC) entered the series averaging 8.28 runs per game — good for the third-strongest offense in the country. But against the Orange (24-20, 6-13 ACC), they couldn’t hit.

Tech only scored in the fourth inning, when right fielder Cori McMillan homered to lead off the frame. 

McMillan has notched four home runs in her past three games. She is sitting on 19 homers this season, tied with first baseman Michelle Chatfield for most on the team. If either McMillan or Chatfield hit another home run, they will break Caitlyn Nolan’s single-season record, which she set in 2019.

Syracuse jumped to an early lead in the second when first baseman Madison Knight homered. Soon after McMillan tied the game up, Orange second baseman Makenzie Foster grounded into a fielder’s choice to score pinch runner Angie Ramos.

Tech struggled with situational hitting. It hit 0-for-10 with runners on base, including 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position. For a team that built its season on dominant offense, receiving this little production was uncharacteristic.

The Orange wasn’t much better; it went 1-for-4 with runners on base and 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position. But that was enough.

Lindsey Hendrix threw her sixth complete game of the season for the Orange, allowing five hits and one run. She struck out four batters and walked one.

Hokies starter Emma Lemley held her own, although she lacked offensive support. In six innings, she allowed four hits, two runs and two walks while striking out four batters.

The Hokies are vying to be a top-16 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, meaning they would host a regional at Tech Softball Park. In the past few weeks, they have been on the fringe; various rankings have them anywhere between No. 13 and No. 18. Winning 11 consecutive games helped their cause, though a loss to Syracuse — which is tied for ninth with a 6-13 conference record — did not help.

Tech has the opportunity to salvage a series win if it wins the next two games, the first on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

Box Score: Syracuse 2, No. 15 Virginia Tech 1 

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