The Virginia Tech Softball team made history tonight as the Hokies earned their highest national seed in program history and will host their first ever regional this upcoming weekend.
The Hokies are the #3 national seed and will face Saint Francis (PA) Friday at 2pm at Tech Softball Park to kick off the Blacksburg Regional. Kentucky and Miami (OH) will face off in the second game on Friday in Blacksburg and battle Tech and Saint Francis (PA) for a spot in the super regionals this upcoming weekend.
If the Hokies win the Blacksburg regional, they will also host the super regional which would also be a first in program history. Opposite the Blacksburg Regional is the Gainesville Regional headlined by #14 national seed Florida and also including Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, and Canisius.
This is a historic accomplishment for the Hokies to earn their highest national seed in program history while also getting to host a regional unlike the other time Tech earned a national seed in 2007 at #16 when they had to travel to Columbus and went 1-2.
The 2022 VT Softball team will look to become the second Tech team to reach the Women's College World Series after the Hokies first achieved that back in 2008 as a 2 seed in the Knoxville Regional taking out #13 Tennessee and then #4 Michigan in the Ann Arbor Super Regional. The good news for Tech is that the road is much easier and that history is favorable as 25 of the 30 top 3 national seeds in the past 10 NCAA Tournaments have reached the Women's College World Series.
Tech came close last year pushing UCLA all the way to a game 3 of the Los Angeles Super Regional before coming up just short of Oklahoma City.
This year's Tech team still has the biggest star in ACC Pitcher of the Year Keely Rochard leading the way but also has pitching depth that lacked last year with ACC Freshman of the Year Emma Lemley as the #2 pitcher being a big reason why the Hokies are considered a top national title contender. Tech's offense has also improved significantly led by All-ACC First Teamers Emma Ritter and Meredith Slaw who both had breakout seasons with 35+ RBIs and .390+ batting averages.
One of the biggest pluses with Tech's seeding looking way down the road is the fact that the Hokies will be on the side of the bracket opposite 50-2 #1 seed Oklahoma, the favorites to win the title and a team considered an all-time great one. Of course, the Hokies are in the small tier that have shown the talent to be capable of taking down the Sooners along with Florida State, UCLA, Alabama, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State.
The road to Oklahoma City for Virginia Tech is through Blacksburg for the first time in program history. The only question that's left is whether this is the year that Virginia Tech can reach their second Women's College World Series and finally climb to the mountain top for the first NCAA team national championship in school history?
We'll find out over the next four weeks.