Virginia Tech Wins ACC Softball Title With Boston College Sweep Plus a Victory Over Liberty

Virginia Tech Wins ACC Softball Title With Boston College Sweep Plus a Victory Over Liberty
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics

Will Locklin | @@locklin_will

TLP: Writer
May 04, 2022

On Saturday, April 30th, Virginia Tech softball became regular-season champions of the ACC. It’s a feat they’ve accomplished for the third time in program history and the second in the last four years. The sight and scene of the occasion happened in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts where Virginia Tech was engaged in a three-game series against Boston College.

Both the Friday and Saturday games saw the Hokies blank the Eagles in the runs department. It was the ever-steady Keely Rochard who pitched in the opener and allowed four hits and no runs with a ridiculous 15:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Rochard didn’t receive all too much help from the offense but it was enough to get the job done.

Virginia Tech scraped together seven hits and plated three runners. Cameron Fagan drew a bases-loaded walk and Darby Trull scored on a throwing error to bring the first two runs in. Then after no action in innings four through six, Mackenzie Lawter launched her 7th homer of the year to tack on the final run of the afternoon.

In game two of the series, Emma Lemley led the charge on the pitching side of things for Virginia Tech. She gave the Hokies six innings of work and threw seven strikeouts only giving up three hits. After a so-so offensive day in game one, Virginia Tech was back in business in game two.

10 hits for the game resulted in nine runs. Morgan Overaitis and Lawter cashed in RBI base knocks in the first inning and Tech didn’t look back from there. The third inning was just as eventful with Fagan smashing a solo homer and Slaw scoring Ritter on a sac fly. Finally, the Hokies decided to end the game a bit early by pouring on five runs in the sixth inning due to Addy Greene’s RBI double and Ritter’s three-run home run.

With that two-way dominance, Virginia Tech shut down Boston College’s offense to the tune of zero runs in the first two games. They loosened up a bit on the pitching side for game three allowing four Eagles runs. However, those four runs were scored in the final innings after the Tech offense had put up a whopping eight in the runs category themselves.

Rochard went through six innings and gave up the four runs but also notched 12 punchouts in her 22nd win of the season. Offensively the Hokies had three players with multi-hit games in Overaitis, Bailey, and Ritter. With a final score of 8-4, Virginia Tech got the sweep over Boston College in their first day with the 2022 ACC regular season crown.

Even with much celebration in the team’s return to Blacksburg, there was still one game left to be played on the regular-season schedule. The Hokies battled the Liberty Flames Tuesday night at Tech Softball Park. It was a back and forth offensive game that saw Virginia Tech take a commanding 8-2 lead in the second inning.

After a two-run homer by Hudson of Liberty, Kelsey Bennett hit a double to tie the game in the bottom half of the first. This was followed by a fielder's choice run from Ritter off a throwing error and then a three-run shot into right by Overaitis. From there both teams would exchange big flies to cut into or extend the lead.

Liberty scored four runs off a grand slam from Wilson in the third inning to bring the Flames within two runs. Tech answered via a Meredith Slaw double to clear the bases and tack on three runs for the Hokies. Once again, Liberty wouldn’t go away as Wilson hit another home run, this time a three-run bomb out to center which put the game at 11-9.

The knockout punch was delivered from Bre Peck who homered in the sixth inning and stretched the lead out to four runs. After a stellar final closing inning from Lemley, Virginia Tech notched their 40th win of the season. This is the second time they’ve reached the 40-win mark in the last three full seasons with the other being in 2019.

Following a successful regular season campaign on the diamond, the Hokies will set their sights on the ACC Tournament in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The tournament will start on May 11th and go through May 14th. This will give Virginia Tech plenty of time to rest their best pitchers and recharge their batteries.

The Hokies will enter the ACC Tournament as the #1 seed. This means they’ll start their run on Thursday, May 12th against the winner of Georgia Tech and N.C. State. Neither of those teams were opponents on Tech’s regular-season schedule so anything could happen next week. Once Virginia Tech softball was the hunter in the ACC but they’ll go into the ACC Tournament as the hunted and look to come out at the top of the pack in Pittsburgh.