BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech head softball coach Scot Thomas, along with the Athletics Department, announced Tuesday the addition of five walk-ons who will enroll at Tech this fall and join the Hokie softball team. All five have signed their offers of admission to the school and will be eligible to play in the 2011-12 season.
Alphabetically, the five players - all from Virginia - are: Lauren Boitnott, Amanda Byrd, Bailey Liddle, Jessica McNamara and Katey Smith.
Boitnott is a local player who attends Northside High School in Roanoke. The talented pitcher was limited by an injury her junior season, but still managed to earn state pitcher of the year honors and a first-team Group AA all-state selection by the VHSCA. She went 22-1 with 223 strikeouts and a 0.05 ERA with just 21 walks in 140 innings as a junior in leading her team to a state title.
Byrd is a speedy outfielder from nearby Giles High School who will be a spark on the basepaths. She was a first-team Group A all-state selection by the VHSCA as a junior, earning Three Rivers District Player of the Year honors as well. She had a streak of 58 consecutive stolen bases to begin her high school career before getting thrown out her junior year for the first time.
Liddle is a familiar name to the Tech program as her older sister, Courtney Liddle, is a rising junior with the Hokies. She is a pitcher who can play several other positions, as well, and was a first-team Group AAA all-state selection by the VHSCA as a junior. She was also the 2010 Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year after hitting over .570.
McNamara is a middle infielder who attends Westfield High School and lives in Centreville, Va. She was an honorable mention Group AAA all-state selection by the VHSCA as a junior and is a three-time, first-team all-district selection.
Smith is a utility player from Falmouth, Va., who played at Stafford High School. She was a first-team all-district, second-team All-Northwest Region and first-team Freelance Star All-Area as a junior.
The five join six previously announced signees from the fall: Isabella Corrao, Lauren Gaskill, Kylie McGoldrick, Kelsey Mericka, Jessica Rappe and Logan Spaw.
All 11 newcomers, along with the returnees, now have updated bios on hokiesports.com. Nine of the 11 players are either wrapping up, or have just finished their senior seasons, so final stats and honors are not out yet. Mericka and Spaw played their senior seasons in the fall.
The Hokies wrapped up the 2011 season with a 37-20 record and are already beginning preparations for the 2012 season. Thomas is putting the wraps on the schedule, which should be released sometime this summer. Tech will play in two fall tournaments, one in September at the Botetourt Sports Complex, and one in October at Tech Softball Park.
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).