Virginia Tech repeats as ACC champions with 2-0 win over NC State
Championship MVP Angela Tincher tosses complete game shutout
May 11, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Behind yet another complete game shutout from Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year Angela Tincher, Virginia Tech became just the second team to repeat as ACC softball champion with a 2-0 defeat of fifth-seeded NC State at Maryland's Robert E. Taylor Stadium on Sunday. Tincher, who allowed a combined two hits while striking out 27 batters in wins on Saturday and Sunday, was voted the tournament MVP for her play this week. Providing the offense for Tincher and the Hokies were designated player Jenna Rhodes and first baseman Beth Walker, who scored the only runs of the game in the top of the second inning. On second and third, respectively, after a pair of singles and a stolen base, Rhodes and Walker were brought home on a misplayed grounder by shortstop Shanna Smith, giving the Hokies the first and only two runs-scored off of NC State's Lindsay Campana this week. Tincher, who was named the ACC's Pitcher of the Year for the third time in a row at Wednesday evening's postseason banquet on the University of Maryland campus, needed no more help to earn her 33rd win of the season. Giving up just two hits for the afternoon, the Eagle Rock, Va., senior was threatened only twice, allowing a double to lose the no-hitter in the fifth and another double in the seventh. Each time, she was able work her way out of the jam, ringing up a pair of strikeouts in the fifth and then another punch out and a pair of pop outs to clinch the title in the seventh. For Virginia Tech, which now moves to 44-15 with the win, Sunday's victory gives the team and head coach Scot Thomas back-to-back titles in just their fourth year in the ACC. Tech, which defeated Georgia Tech, 2-0, in last year's title game behind another tournament MVP performance from Tincher, becomes the first team other than Florida State to repeat as ACC champion. The Hokies, ranked 17th in the latest national polls, are now 12-4 in league championship play since joining the ACC, and 7-0 over the last two seasons. Tincher (W, 33-6) allowed no runs on two hits with 14 strikeouts on the day. At the plate, the Hokies had nine hits, but stranded 10 runners on base. Rhodes, Erin Ota, Kelsey Hoffman and Walker all had two hits apiece. Misty Hall also had a hit. Making the all-tournament team for the Hokies were Ota, Rhodes and the MVP, Tincher. Both teams will now return home to await word of a possible selection to the 2008 NCAA Softball Championship. Selections will be announced tonight, Sunday May 11, at 10:00 p.m. on ESPNU.