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Virginia Tech softball heads to ACC tournament as top seed after stellar season

The Hokies went 40-6 overall in the regular season and 21-2 in ACC play.
Virginia Tech head softball coach Pete D'Amour watches Monday's practice in Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech head softball coach Pete D'Amour watches Monday's practice in Blacksburg.(WDBJ)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Entering the ACC tournament as the top seed, and the number two team in the country, Virginia Tech softball has earned the hype with a 40-6 record in the regular season.

The Hokies lost just two games in the conference slate, but head coach Pete D’Amour isn’t letting himself dream of a trip to Oklahoma City just yet.

“I don’t talk about it,” he said after Monday’s practice in Blacksburg. “I don’t talk about any of that stuff. We haven’t really even talked about who we’re playing this week. Today, we had a really good practice. Tomorrow, we’ll get on a bus and go to Pittsburgh and we’ll practice tomorrow. After that, we’ll find out who we play and watch film and prepare for the team we’re going to play.

“I think a lot of times, when you start talking about World Series and super [regionals] and having to host, you’re thinking about that instead of playing today, so I’m just not a big fan of that, and our kids know it.”

Part of the reason Tech is in a position to host games later this postseason is the addition of freshman Emma Lemley to the pitching staff.

The Jefferson Forest product has taken some of the load off Hokies ace Keely Rochard, as she eagerly awaits her first taste of playoff action.

“Obviously these games are a little bit higher stakes than regular-season games, but I think that we all have the same mindset of just taking it one game at a time,” said Lemley. “I think in regular season games, we took the same approach every game, just trying to be the best that we can. So I think that, as long as we keep that mindset of just taking it one game at a time, and doing the best we can, we’ll keep doing that.”

Not to be left out, the Hokie bats led the league in hitting and runs scored during ACC play, as they try to keep up their approach en route to Tech’s first conference championship since 2008.

“Definitely playing one pitch at a time and just pass the bat,” said junior Kelsey Bennett. “We know we can hit, it’s just staying relaxed and knowing we should be there.”

“I think we’re all very, very excited,” said junior Meredith Slaw. “The postseason is why you play and we’re ready to get together as a team and hopefully kick some butt.”

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