BLACKSBURG – No. 3 Virginia Tech softball had to win three games in 24 hours to advance to super regionals, and the team with no quit accomplished the feat, getting its final victory over Kentucky Sunday evening by a score of 5-4 at Tech Softball Park.
It marked the second season in a row the Hokies (37-19) have made it to super regionals, but the first time ever hosting one. Tech will face No. 14 Florida (46-16) this weekend, following the Gators going 3-0 in Gainesville and outscoring their opponents 28-2. For more information on the Blacksburg Super Regional.
Senior Keely Rochard (25-3) got the win out of the bullpen for Virginia Tech (45-8). The right-hander went 3.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits, allowing one walk and striking out three.
Junior Jayme Bailey led the way offensively for the Hokies, going 2-for-3 in the ballgame with a home run and two RBI. Senior Mackenzie Lawter put together a standout effort as well, going 1-for-2 with a go-ahead home run and three RBI go give the Hokies enought cushion for the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Trailing 2-0, the Hokies first put runs on the board in the first inning. Virginia Tech plated two runs when Bailey left the yard with sophomore Emma Ritter aboard.
The Wildcats broke the tie and re-took the lead heading into the fifth inning, when the Hokies got back on the scoreboard. Virginia Tech scored three runs, all of them coming on a three-run homer off the bat of Lawter, scoring senior Darby Trull and freshman Jenna Pearson, which brought the Hokies lead to 5-3. Kentucky put one run on the scoreboard before the game was over, but Virginia Tech still held on for the 5-4 win.
» Virginia Tech pitchers limited Kentucky to just 1-for-8 (.125) with runners in scoring position.
» Kentucky was led offensively by sophomore Erin Coffel, who went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and two RBI.