Two Homers, Lemley Power No. 18 Virginia Tech Softball Past Liberty

Virginia Tech got up early and didn’t look back in its victory at Liberty on Wednesday. (Virginia Tech athletics)

Two home runs and gutsy pitching powered No. 18 Virginia Tech softball past Liberty 4-1 in its final midweek game of 2024 on Wednesday.

Center fielder Emma Ritter hit a single on the first pitch of the game. Three pitches later, left fielder Addy Greene homered, propelling the Hokies (39-11-1) to a 2-0 lead.

“I was just looking for a pitch down the middle,” Greene told Tech Sideline after the game. “If it was there, I was going to try and do that and it worked out.

Both teams’ bats fell silent until the fifth inning when Tech third baseman Bre Peck hit a home run of her own, scoring herself and second baseman Cameron Fagan. Peck’s blast was her 13th of the season, tying her for third on the team and bringing her career total up to 40.

Flames (31-20) designated player Brynn McManus hit an RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth to trim Tech’s lead to three, but her effort wasn’t enough.

“It was a quality win tonight,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour said. “… I thought we had decent at-bats. We did leave a lot of runners on, but that’s a byproduct of stringing good at-bats together.”

Hokies starter Emma Lemley kept Liberty at bay, throwing 141 pitches in her eighth complete game of the season. In seven innings of work, she allowed one earned run while striking out seven and walking two. Although she gave up six hits, she held the home side to 2-for-15 with runners on base, including 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

The most the Flames threatened Lemley was in the seventh inning, down to their last three outs; they had two runners reach base to bring the tying run to home plate. From there, Lemley struck out her sixth and seventh batters of the evening — mixing speeds to force them to chase — to escape the game.

“At that point, I was like, ‘All right, enough of this,’” Lemley said. “When two girls got on, I was like, ‘I’m ready to go see my family.’ I think those were probably the hardest pitches I threw all night.”

Lemley’s 141 pitches are the second-most she has thrown in a game during her collegiate career, behind 152 on April 6, 2023 — a 9-8 win over Virginia.

Kaylan Yoder threw 5 ⅔ frames for Liberty, surrendering seven hits and four runs. Paige Bachman relieved her for the last 1 ⅓ and gave up two hits and no runs.

Peck led Tech with three hits while Ritter and right fielder Cori McMillan each finished with two. All five hitters at the top of the Hokies’ lineup recorded hits on Wednesday while the rest went 0-for-13.

It was the second meeting of the season for Virginia Tech and Liberty. The two teams faced off on April 3 in Blacksburg, a 6-5 comeback win for Tech. In that game, Lemley earned the win but Lyndsey Grein threw the first five frames. The Hokies also only saw Yoder for ⅔ of an inning in the first matchup.

Tech was in need of a win after dropping two of its three games to Syracuse last weekend to conclude its ACC schedule. Defeating a strong Liberty team — which sits 39th in the national rankings power index and first in the Conference USA standings — will help the Hokies build momentum entering the ACC Tournament.

Before they can worry about the postseason, the Hokies are scheduled to play a home doubleheader on Saturday against Robert Morris — the last games of the regular season — starting at 2 p.m. ET.

Box Score: No. 18 Virginia Tech 4, Liberty 1 

3 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I do enjoy following the sotball team. They are a great group and always a ‘feel good’ read…consistly winning a ton if games doesn’t hurt, lol.

  2. Emma’s starting to own that change. Makes her a different pitcher. Very impressive game.

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