BLACKSBURG, Va. – “We’re just not strutting, I won’t let that happen and I won’t let us pound our chest but I think they know they’re pretty good,” said Virginia Tech softball coach Pete D’Amour.
Confident but not cocky, Virginia Tech softball is simply a well-oiled machine.
“I think just having the experience, we’re all comfortable with the role that we have and we just come out and play the game,” said Hokies infielder and current ACC Player of the Week, Meredith Slaw.
The main cog in the wheel has been in the circle, where ace pitcher Keely Rochard has recorded her 1,000th career strikeout--leading the ACC this season. Right behind her is former Jefferson Forest standout in freshman Emma Lemley who totes a 1.65 era with 153 strikeouts this season, second in the conference.
“They kind of told me to be ready for this season,” Lemley said. “They were comfortable throwing me out there so I was prepared for it and I try to be prepared for whatever they throw at me.”
“Just knowing I have someone who has my back and I have their back, not everyone will have their best stuff everyday so, it’s nice knowing you have people to back you up,” Rochard said.
When teams prepare to face Virginia Tech they truly have to pick their poison. The Hokies are not only a force in the circle but also at the plate--having scored a program record 23 runs at Florida State and have nearly a dozen players batting over .300.
“It’s a two-edged sword--the offense helps the pitchers and the pitchers help the offense so nobody feels they need to carry one aspect or the other,” D’Amour said.
The Hokies had a boost from making it to Super Regionals in 2021. So the goal? Put the well-oiled machine in overdrive, with the hopes of taking a trip out west at season’s end.
I think we have a really special team and so out of the season we’re trying to take it one game at a time but obviously the angle is Oklahoma, Oklahoma City.