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January 27, 2008
Softball team kicks off team practices
The Notebook
The 16th-ranked Virginia Tech softball team began team practices Sunday, less than two weeks before the first pitch of the season. Players have been working out individually with their respective coaches – two hours per week, per player, according to NCAA regulations – but now will focus on getting ready for the season. With temperatures expected in the 50s Monday and Tuesday, head coach Scot Thomas is hopeful the team can practice outside for the first time this semester.

Tech is the preseason ACC favorite and is ranked 16th in the NFCA poll. The USA Softball poll is released Tuesday.

The Hokies return a pair of pitchers, including two-time All-American Angela Tincher. Joining Tincher and Heather Lowry in the circle are freshman Kenzie Roark and senior transfer Elly Gosby.

The only starter Tech lost was designated player Callie Rhodes, who could be replaced by her sister, Jenna.

Kelsey Hoffman returns behind the plate, and will get help from Misty Hall, Amber Walker and Morgan Harris in handling the staff.

Stephanie Savre (1B) and Erin Ota (2B) also return. Charisse Mariconda, who split time at third base and shortstop last year, moves back to her natural position at third due to the arrival of freshman Jess Hodge and Hall, a transfer, at shortstop. Hall will also catch some when not at shortstop. Beth Walker and Dori Nunley will also look to break into the rotation at the outer infield spots.

In the outfield, all three starters return. Senior Caroline Stolle (LF) led the team in hitting and home runs last year and Jessica Everhart (CF) has started every game her first two seasons. Walk-on Whitney Davis is back in right field. Anna Zitt and Rhodes will also look for playing time in the outfield.

Additionally, work is well under way on the construction project. Both roofs on the dugouts have been removed and are in the process of being lowered. The steel for the stands is being put together behind the current stands while the foundation is being formed. 

Tech will open its season on Feb. 8 at the FIU Invite in Miami, Fla., taking on Pittsburgh and No. 25 Missouri.

For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).

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