This Weekend’s Headlines
• Tech welcomes Maryland this weekend for a three-game series with the doubleheader being played Saturday and the single game scheduled for Sunday.
• Sunday will be Senior Day as Tech’s five seniors - Kristina Cruz, Alicia Field, Richelle McGarva, Kenzie Roark and Ashton Ward - will be honored before the game.
• The series will mark the return of Angela Tincher to Tech Softball Park.
• Maryland is 34-14 on the season overall after sweeping Delaware State Wednesday night. The Terrapins sit at 8-5 in the conference with Tech and North Carolina left on the docket.
• The Terrapins are led by a strong pitching trio of senior Kerry Kickey, junior Kendra Knight and freshman Ashley Czechner. The staff has an ERA of 1.72, 16th-best in the country. Czechner is 12-2 with a 1.57 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 89.1 innings. Hickey is 15-7 with a 1.60 ERA and 193 strikeouts in 149.0 innings and Knight is 7-5 with a 2.08 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 90.2 innings.
• At the plate, junior Vangie Galindo is one of the top hitters in the conference, coming in with a .421 batting average and 17 stolen bases. Bree Hanafin is hitting .376 with seven home runs while Marisha Branson is hitting .345 with five home runs. Maryland is hitting .283 as a squad with 30 home runs and 48 stolen bases.
The Series With Maryland
• The Terrapins lead the series with the Hokies 14-11 after taking two from Tech last season in College Park.
• The series began in 1997 with Maryland winning six of the first seven games played. Since joining the ACC for the 2005 season, Tech is 11-10 against Maryland.
• Tech is just 4-5 against Maryland at Tech Softball Park and Maryland has won four of the six ACC series played.
• A familiar face will be back in town for the series, but won’t be wearing the familiar orange and maroon and will be sitting in the other dugout. Angela Tincher, who is the only Tech softball player to have her number retired, is the pitching coach for Maryland and returns back to the field she dominated on for four seasons.
• The Eagle Rock, Va., native went 123-35 with a 0.78 ERA and 2,149 strikeouts - the third most in NCAA history of softball - and was a three-time All-American as well as a three-time Academic All-American. She earned National Player of the Year honors as a senior in leading the Hokies to 2008 Women’s College World Series.
Gettin’ It Done At The Plate
• The Hokies have been producing at the plate all year and enter the weekend with a team batting average of .289. Sophomore Courtney Liddle leads the way with a .383 average while freshman Dani Anderson sits second with a .379 average. Betty Rose (.319) has been a pleasant surprise this year after hitting .107 a season ago.
• Ashton Ward has caught fire of late and is up to .308 at the plate, including .421 in ACC play.
• Five players have four or more home runs with Rose leading the way with 11. Kristen Froehlich has seven while Liddle and Kat Banks each have six. Tech has 42 home runs, 65 doubles, 13 triples, scored 298 runs, stolen 96 bases and has set school records with 197 walks and 264 RBI.
Running Like the Wind
• The Hokies knew they had a lot of team speed heading into the season, but no one expected them to run like this. Through 51 games, Tech already has 96 stolen bases, putting it on pace for 105 for the regular season! The school record for a full season is 105, set in the 2009 campaign.
• Freshman Kat Banks leads the way with 23 swipes while Ashton Ward is second with 18 pilfers, followed by Sarah Ashby with 13 and Dani Anderson with 9. Twice this year, the Hokies have tied the school record for stolen bases in a game with seven.
On The Internet
• Jerry Massey is back on the air this weekend for the Maryland series with a pair of broadcasts. The veteran broadcaster will bring you the action from Blacksburg by logging onto Hokies All-Access. As always, live stats are available for free on hokiesports.com and updates are available on Tech’s Twitter account, @VT_Softball.
Now Or Never
• The time is now for the Hokies if they’re going to make the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2008. Sitting at 35-16 with five games to play, Tech has an NCAA RPI of 58th, which has dropped several spots over the last couple of weeks to put the Hokies squarely on the tournament bubble.
• The Hokies have a great chance to improve their RPI and strength of schedule this weekend as Maryland comes in at No. 34 in the latest RPI.
• Tech owns two wins over top 50 RPI teams (one over No. 14 Georgia Tech and one over No. 50 North Carolina).
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).