Virginia Tech Softball Heads To ACC Tournament With Hosting On The Line

Can Virginia Tech make enough noise this week in Durham to host an eventual NCAA Tournament regional? (Virginia Tech athletics)

No. 15 Virginia Tech (39-11-1) heads to Durham, N.C., this week for the ACC Tournament. The Hokies are the No. 3 seed and will take on No. 6 seed Georgia Tech (16-22) in their first-round game Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET. All games will be televised on the ACC Network.

The Hokies still have an outside shot of hosting an NCAA Tournament regional, but that will almost certainly require getting to the finals of the tournament — and potentially winning the championship.

But first, they will have to deal with the Yellow Jackets, a team that has had a fair amount of historical success in the postseason.


  • This will be the Jackets’ 29th appearance in the ACC Tournament, the third-most in history behind Florida State and North Carolina.
  • The Jackets have won 37 games in the event and five ACC Tournament titles, both numbers that are second to only Florida State.
  • Georgia Tech and Florida State are the only two programs that have won at least one game in the tournament each of the last four seasons.

However, the Hokies swept the Jackets in Blacksburg in mid-April, winning the three games by the scores of 8-4, 10-4 and an 11-2 victory by run rule (5 innings). Those victories extended their win streak against Georgia Tech to nine games. But don’t expect the recent success to cause them to be overconfident as they take the field on Thursday.

“No concerns with that,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour told Tech Sideline. “Those games were a long time ago. Our players know that whatever happened in conference is over. We’ve moved on to the postseason.”

Both teams love the long ball and are top-four teams nationally in home runs. The two teams have four of the ACC’s top-five home run hitters: Cori McMillan (20) and Michelle Chatfield (19) from the Hokies and Mallorie Black (19) and Sara Beth Allen (16) from the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech’s 86 home runs were the fourth-most in school history. It tied the school record with an on-base percentage of .411, too.

The Hokies, meanwhile, set new school records for home runs (112), runs (403), RBI (385), batting average (.345), on-base percentage (.429) and slugging percentage (.650) this season.

Here’s a look at the nine players on each team with the most starts:

The Hokies seem to have an advantage in the circle with a team ERA of 2.90 as opposed to 4.99 for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech pitchers have given up the second-most home runs in the conference and have walked a league-worst 225 batters, 54 more than Boston College in second.

Georgia Tech pitches as a committee — it’s the only Power 5 team that has four pitchers with over 70 innings this season. Junior Sophia Voyles (8-3, 3.95 ERA) has started a team-high 16 games while fifth-year senior Blake Neleman (7-8, 5.20 ERA) has 14 starts. Fifth-year senior Chandler Dennis (6-5, 5.76 ERA) has started 11 games.

However, all three ran into trouble in Blacksburg. Volyles gave up six earned runs in 4 ⅓ innings, Neleman gave up four earned runs in 4 ⅔ innings and Dennis gave up six earned runs while only getting two outs.

Both teams come into the tournament reeling a bit. The Yellow Jackets have lost five of their last seven games and have given up seven or more runs in five of those outings. Meanwhile, the Hokies dropped their last ACC series at Syracuse, but D’Amour likes what he saw during the last week leading up to the trip to Durham.

“We were able to have a few purposeful practices since our last game, something we weren’t able to do the last two weeks,” D’Amour said. “We’re looking forward to competing again this week. It was another challenging conference season and our players are ready for the final stage of the year.”

Here’s the tale of the tape:

Three Hokies Earn First Team All-ACC Honors

Emma Ritter, Addy Greene and Cori McMillan were named First Team All-ACC on Wednesday.

In total, nine Virginia Tech players earned all-conference honors, including four second-team performers — Cameron Fagan, Emma Lemley, Emma Mazzarone and Bre Peck. It had two third-team players in Michelle Chatfield and Maija Louko, too, while Chatfield and Mazzarone were both named to the league’s all-freshman team.

Ritter finished the regular season with a .423 batting average that included 74 hits, 13 home runs, and 37 RBI. She scored a team-leading 56 runs with an on-base percentage of .487 and stole 25 bases in 28 attempts. She has a career batting average of .373 and a career on-base percentage of .444, both of which are second in program history. Ritter’s currently tied with Lauren Gaskill for the most runs scored in Virginia Tech history with 181.

Greene finished the regular season with a .421 batting average and a team-leading on-base percentage of .527. She blasted 13 home runs and had 44 RBI while scoring 53 runs. Her career slugging percentage of .627 ranks fourth in program history and her career batting average of .336 ranks sixth. She is eighth on the VT career home run list with 32.

Cori McMillan transferred from Radford this season and made an immediate impact on the Hokies, setting a new Virginia Tech single-season record in home runs (20) and slugging percentage (.900). She was also a perfect 20-for-20 on stolen bases. Her 60 RBI this year ranks second to Emma Strouth’s single-season record of 68 set in 2019.

7 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Nice summary of the regular season Chip. Hokies win versus GT on paper now we need to do it between the lines. Start of a new season Hokies. As Arthur would say “Let’s Go” Hokies!

  2. I would most certainly be down for a home series in the NCAA. Fingers crossed.

    Ritter made a terrific out outside the foul line a couple years ago against Tennessee midseason where she laid out, caught the ball, landed and slid and did that thing that as she was sliding she hunkered up and managed to stand up all in one motion. Quelle athleta!

  3. Really stellar showing by the Hokies picking up nine All-ACC selections between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd teams. More than any other school by my count. Feel like we need at least two wins (AKA make it to the championship) to be considered to host, so here’s to a great weekend!

    1. Could have had 10 had Castine not gotten hurt and continued her hitting. Get it next year Rachel! Awesome that Louko made 3rd team. Nice reward in her Senior year for her commitment to the program.

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