Virginia Tech Softball Heads To UCLA To Begin NCAA Tournament Play

Emma Ritter and Virginia Tech will be challenged out west in the UCLA regional. (Virginia Tech athletics)

No. 15 Virginia Tech will head to Los Angeles next weekend to begin postseason play in the NCAA Tournament.

The Hokies were assigned to the UCLA Region and will open play in the double-elimination bracket on Friday, May 17, at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) against San Diego State (31-18), the champions of the Mountain West Conference. The game is scheduled to be televised on ESPNU. 

Pac-12 champions UCLA (37-10), the No. 6 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, and WAC champions Grand Canyon (48-11) join the Hokies and Aztecs out west.

Here is the schedule for the regional:

The assignment to the West Coast was a bit of a surprise to the Hokies.

“I figured it would be a plane trip,” Virginia Tech head coach Pete D’Amour said after the selection show. “I didn’t figure it would be to California.”

“That was the last place any of us were expecting to go,” pitcher Emma Lemley said. “But honestly, at this time, any place is a challenge, so we’re ready for it. … We’re right on the edge of everything coming together for us.”

While admitting the Bruins have “a mystic about them” — UCLA has won 13 national titles, the most recent of which came in 2019 — D’Amour also believes that Tech’s previous trip there for the NCAA Super Regionals in 2021 will pay dividends.

“Being out there in that environment before will help us,” D’Amour said.

Senior outfielder Emma Ritter was a freshman when the Hokies last visited UCLA in 2021 and admitted the stage was big, though they defeated the Bruins handily in Game 1. Ritter believes that Tech’s younger players can have an impact this week, just like she, Cameron Fagan, Addy Greene and others did three years ago. That trio was a combined 5-for-10 with three runs in the aforementioned 7-2 victory over UCLA.

“Our underclassmen are ready, they’re prepared. They’ve played against a lot of big teams this year,” Ritter said. “… Every region has challenges, every team is good, every team has things they bring to the table, but I don’t think that scares us at all. If anything that motivates us.”

“Like I told our players today, ‘If we play our game, we can compete against anybody,’” D’Amour said.

Tech Sideline will have an in-depth preview of the UCLA regional later in the week.

9 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. All we had to do was win the SYRACUSE series…that’s SYRACUSE, or beat GT…GT, a team we swept in the regular season, in the ACC tourney and we deserve a better location. Have nobody to blame but ourselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *