Virginia Tech Softball Earns At-Large Bid to the 2023 NCAA Softball Tournament

Virginia Tech Softball Earns At-Large Bid to the 2023 NCAA Softball Tournament
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
May 14, 2023

Virginia Tech Softball may not have had the regular season they were hoping for after winning the ACC Regular Season title last year, but the Hokies were a consistent top 25 team and have earned an at-large bid to the 2023 NCAA Softball Tournament.

The Hokies are a 2 seed in the Athens Regional hosted by the 14 overall seed Georgia Bulldogs. The Hokies will face 51-8 Boston University in their opener on Friday with the winner taking on the winner of Georgia-NC Central in the winner's bracket.

The winner of the Athens Regional will face the winner of the Tallahassee Regional. This could mean an ACC showdown in the super regionals if the Hokies and #3 overall seed Florida State win their regionals this weekend.

This is the fourth-straight NCAA Tournament that the Hokies have earned a bid to tying the longest streak in program history which VT previously achieved from 2005-2008 and 2012-2015.

Virginia Tech has been led by a high-powered offense that leads the country with 97 home runs as a team this season while ranking 8th in slugging percentage and averaging 5.98 runs per game which ranks 22nd nationally. Five different Hokies have at least 11 home runs this season led by 16 from Bre Peck and 14 from Addy Greene. Tech has depth in their lineup with four Hokies who have at least 11 home runs, 39 RBIs, and a batting average above .315 in Peck, Emma Ritter, Cameron Fagan, and Jayme Bailey.

Tech's offense has taken a step forward in terms of their power hitting while their pitching has taken a big step with a team ERA that ranks outside the top 150 nationally.

This comes following the graduations of ace Keely Rochard and standout catcher Mackenzie Lawter who were key to Tech's pitching dominance last year along with the preseason departure of pitching coach Doug Gillis for unknown, odd reasons. There's no doubt that Tech will need to look outside for a new pitching coach rather than a permanent internal promotion following their struggles on the mound this regular season.

Getting a 51-8 Boston University team that has a ton of wins even if those wins haven't been against a strong schedule is a tough matchup for the Hokies in the opening game. Georgia is another high-powered offense with 81 home runs on the season ranking in the top 10 in home runs per game while also having a team ERA of 2.28.

This is a tough regional for the Hokies even with the Bulldogs being the #14 overall seed. If they can get through, a likely showdown with Florida State would be an immense challenge though facing a conference rival can be a help sometimes given the scouting report that Tech already has on the Seminoles from facing them in the regular season and ACC Tournament.

Of course, they'll have to get through a stern test in Athens first to get to their third-straight super regionals which will be easier said than done.