After a historic season that saw Virginia Tech softball win the ACC Regular Season title after back-to-back losing seasons, the Hokies received plenty of recognition from the ACC including three awards and five All-ACC First Team honors.
Pete D'Amour led the way as the Hokies' first year head coach was named ACC Coach of the Year honors while ace pitcher Carrie Eberle was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year and infielder Kelsey Bennett was named the ACC Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Eberle and Bennett were two of five Hokies to be named to the All-ACC First Team along with pitcher Keely Rochard, outfielder Emma Strouth, and utility player Jayme Bailey. Bennett and Bailey were also named to the All-ACC Freshman Team.
Any conversation about the Hokies' softball revival starts with Pete D'Amour and the impressive job he has done leading Virginia Tech to an unprecedented turnaround. No one could have imagined D'Amour having the Hokies competing for an ACC title until year 3 at the earliest when he took the job yet the Hokies' first-year head coach has quickly built upon the foundation of Scot Thomas to lead the Hokies back to some of their highest levels.
While Carrie Eberle and Keely Rochard both pitched like aces, Eberle had the slight edge in the end with a team-low 1.66 ERA and team-high 25 wins and 22 complete games. Eberle wasn't the strikeout artist that Rochard was, but Eberle did well at limiting the damage allowing only 5 home runs this season. Even though Eberle won the award, there's no doubt that any ACC team will fear either Eberle or Rochard in the ACC Tournament.
Bennett was impressive as a true freshman with a .397 batting average, 13 home runs, 44 RBIs, a .947 fielding percentage, and only 7 errors. Bennett is part of the reason why Hokie fans have no reason to think that this season is a flash in the pan with Bennett and Bailey at the heart of a lineup that should be dangerous throughout the next three years as well.
Virginia Tech softball has earned all these awards after one of the best turnarounds this year in all of collegiate sports. However, their focus is now on winning an ACC Tournament and making a run in the NCAA Tournament with dreams of reaching VT's second Women's College World Series.
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics
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