BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech softball diamond has been a bit dull over the past few seasons but, under first year coach Pete D'Amour, it's now shining bright once again.
"They have adopted my philosophy really quickly and without hesitation," said D'Amour.
The team has been efficient and effective in all three phases of the game with a team batting average of .339 and players such as Emma Strouth who's been a tough out at the plate. She holds the team record in RBI's in a single season-- which currently sits at 57.
"We've always had the talent and now it has just been developed and brought out a lot through practices," Strouth said.
"We do a ton of reps and I think that's really what's made the biggest difference," said Strouth.
The Hokies have three ACC games remaining on the schedule but they've already set a program milestone -- 17 conference wins, the second-most since they won 16 back in 2008. Even more impressive, they now lead the ACC with 21 shutout victories.
Keely Rochard is the Hokies ace in the circle with 11 of those shutouts this season which is second in the nation. She also has over 160 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.68.
"It's easier to pitch when there's runs on the board," Rochard said.
"That's a big difference this year too and also the way our pitching coach teaches," said Rochard.
As the season winds down, Virginia Tech is staying grounded and not loosing sight of what could be in the future.
"You know, you can make it far, it's not necessarily like getting too much into the details but the confidence is there," Strouth said.
"Just keeping what we've been doing all year the norm and not getting out of our comfort zone too much," said D'Amour.