ON THE DIAMOND
The Virginia Tech softball team (13-7) has left the Orlando area and arrived in the Tampa/Clearwater area to wrap up its 11-day Spring Break trip. The Hokies will play five games in the USF Under Armour Showcase. Here, Tech is scheduled to play USF, Penn State, Miami University, Toledo and Syracuse. The Hokies will also play an exhibition game against the Dutch National Team on Wednesday.
THE WEEKEND SCHEDULE
The Hokies will open up play Friday with a pair of games, taking on Penn State at 11:45 a.m., followed by a contest with host USF at 4:15 p.m. Those two games will take place in Tampa at USF’s home field. The rest of the weekend’s games will take place at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater. On Saturday, the Hokies take on Toledo (Field 1) at 4:15 p.m., and then Miami University (Field 2) at 6:30 p.m. The Hokies will wrap things up on Sunday with a game against Syracuse (Field 9) at 11:15 a.m.
The USF Under Armour Series has a website with tournament info, ticket prices, directions and more. It can be found here. Friday’s action will take place at the USF Softball Stadium, located at 11899 Bull Run Drive, Tampa, FL 33620. You can field directions here. Saturday and Sunday, as well as Wednesday, the Hokies will play at the Eddie C. Moore Complex, located at 2780 Drew Street, Clearwater, FL 33759, You can find directions here. There is an admission fee to the tournament.
IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
Virginia Tech is 92-61 in the state of Florida. The 92 wins are the second-most in any state for the Hokies behind Virginia (269).
THE WEEKEND FORECAST
Here’s the early weekend forecast for Clearwater, FL
TAKING ON THE DUTCH
The Hokies will have a little fun on Wednesday, taking on the Dutch National Team in an exhibition game at 5 p.m. The game will take place in Clearwater at the Moore Complex. The Dutch team is in the U.S. playing over 20 games in the U.S. against collegiate competition in Knoxville, Tenn., and Clearwater.
The Dutch National Team is the 2011 European National Champions and 2010 World Championship play-off participants and qualified for the 2008 Olympics. The team is 4-1 thus far on its tour after beating Miami University and Central Michigan in Clearwater on Tuesday night. Live stats are available at hokiesports.com.
When Virginia Tech and Syracuse play on Sunday, it could be a unique match up as Tech’s Jasmin Harrell could face her sister, Jasmine Watson, who plays for Syracuse. Harrell will almost certainly get the start for the Hokies as it’s their only game on Sunday, while Watson has started 14 of 15 games for the Orange this year. It will be the first time a pair of siblings face off against each other since Tech’s Jessica Everhart and Radford’s Jenn Everhart played against each other several times, but didn’t pitch against each other like Harrell and Watson will. Harrell is 8-3 with a 1.65 ERA while Watson is hitting .268 with three home runs.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Speaking of Harrell, she was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week on Monday by the conference. She won all three of her starts and added a save as the Hokies went 4-1 at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla. She allowed only one earned run in 22.1 innings while striking out 13 batters and only walking three. The native of Irvine, Calif., tossed back-to-back complete-game shutouts against Pittsburgh and Notre Dame for the first time in her career.
Live stats for every Hokie softball game this season will be available on through hokiesports.com. It will always be this link.
Fans can follow Hokie softball online through Twitter as well. In game thoughts, stats and notes, as well as links to articles and other miscellaneous items can be found at the official Twitter page for Virginia Tech softball, @VT_Softball.
NEW FAN GUIDE
A new online fan guide replaces the printed media guide this year for the softball team. This guide includes videos, color photos, links and much more. It will change throughout the year with new items as they happen so bookmark it and come back as the season progresses. The guide can be found at this link.
YEAR NO. 17
Scot Thomas is in his 17th season at the helm of the maroon and orange. He enters this weekend with a record of 586-294, needing just 14 victories to reach the 600-win milestone. In his career, he has led the Hokies to a berth in the Women’s College World Series (2008), two ACC titles (2007, 2008), four NCAA bids (2005-2008) and a win over the U.S. National Team (2008).
Miami is 10-4 thus far and has an offense that is hitting .266 with 24 stolen bases. Kirsti Fehrenbach leads the way with a .360 averager while Allie Larrabee is right behind her at .359. Two others are hitting over .300 for the Redhawks. In the circle, the duo of Paige Myers and Jessica Simpson are teraing it up. Myers is 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 41.0 innings while Simpson is 5-4 with a 0.95 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. The two have pitched all but 1.1 innings played this year.
Tech and Miami have played six times with Tech holding a 5-1 record against the Redhawks. They last met in 2005 with tech winning 2-0 at a tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn., and 4-1 in the NCAA Regionals in Knoxville, Tenn.
Miami’s 2012 stats
Miami’s 2012 roster
Miami’s 2012 schedule/results
SCOUTING PENN STATE
Penn State is a rapidly improving team that went 4-1 last weekend at the Citrus Classic, including a win over No. 19 Auburn, to improve to 6-8. Alyssa Renwick is leading the way at the plate among the regular players with a .341 average. In the circle, Marissa Diescher is 2-3 with a 3.23 ERA, but just 11 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. Jordan Wheatley is 0-1 with a 4.07 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 22.1 innings while Lisa Akamine is 4-4 with a 4.33 ERA and 45 strikeouts in a team-high 43.2 innings pitched.
This will be the first meeting on the diamond between Tech and Penn State.
Penn State’s 2012 stats
Penn State’s 2012 roster
Penn State’s 2012 schedule/results
Syracuse is coming off a big weekend at the Citrus Classic, picking up wins over No. 24 North Carolina, No. 15 Michigan, No. 11 Baylor and Virginia. With the weekend, the Orange is now ranked T-23rd in the ESPN.com poll and receiving votes in the NFCA poll with a 9-6 record. Lisaira Daniels leads the way at the plate with a .378 average with five home runs and seven stolen bases. The Orange is hitting just .234 as a team but has 17 home runs and 24 stolen bases. In the circle, the ‘Cuse has one of the top pitchers in the country in Jenna Caira, a Canadian Olympian. She is 6-3 with a 2.35 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 53.2 innings.
Tech is just 2-6 against its former Big East rivals. The Orange will join the ACC in the future when it completes the transition process. The two split a pair of doubleheaders in Blacksburg in 2001 and 2003. Syracuse swept Tech in both 2002 and 2004 in the games played in New York.
Syracuse’s 2012 stats
Syracuse’s 2012 roster
Syracuse’s 2012 schedule/results
Toledo is 4-10 heading into this weekend and is hitting .227 with just one home run and eight stolen bases. Lindsey Tobias is hitting .382 with 10 RBIs while Leigh Nebendahl is batting .300. In the circle, Alli Beery is hitting 2-3 with a 3.95 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. Amy Newell is 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA in 21.0 innings and Casi Rohr is 1-5 with a 5.85 ERA in a team-high 40.0 innings pitched.
Tech won the lone game between the two, beating the Rockets 4-0 in 2004.
Toledo’s 2012 stats
Toledo’s 2012 roster
Toledo’s 2012 schedule/results
USF is 13-4 and ranked 25th in the country by ESPN.com and is receiving votes in the NFCA poll. Gina Kafalas leads a hard-hitting lineup that is batting .271 as a team. She is batting .386 while Laura Fountain (.355) and Kourtney Salvarola (.349) are both hitting well over .300. The Bulls’ strength is their pitching staff as they usually go by committee in a game. Sara Nevins is leading the way with a 6-2 record and a 1.18 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 53.1 innings. Lindsay Richardson is 5-0 with a 1.47 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 33.1 innings while Sam Greiner is 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 30.1 innings.
This will be the third meeting between the Hokies and Bulls. Tech won the first matchup 5-2 in 2002, but USF has taken the last two, 6-1 in 2008 and 7-3 in 2009.
USF’s 2012 stats
USF’s 2012 roster
USF’s 2012 schedule/results
PRESEASON ACC POLL
The ACC coaches voted the Hokies sixth in the 2012 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released prior to the season starting. Georgia Tech is the preseason favorite, according to the coaches, followed by North Carolina, defending tournament champion Florida State, Virginia, Maryland, Virginia Tech, NC State and Boston College.
TECH SOFTBALL PARK
Tech Softball Park, home of Virginia Tech softball since 1998, has been a tough place for opposing teams to play of the years. Nearly 800 permanent seats have been added, along with lights, two more press boxes and a new sound system, making the facility a fine one for the Hokies to play. Over the years, Tech has posted a 187-73 record at home.
A NEW ADDITION
This past offseason, a new scoreboard and video board were also added to enhance the fans’ experiences at TSP. The new board features a scoreboard on the bottom portion like the old one, but this one has LED lights and is capable of putting team names on the board. The new addition will be something to behold as a video board, sound system, netting, side panels and a steel tress up top will all add to the project. Virginia Tech’s video board is the fourth-largest college softball display installed by Daktronics.
The overall dimensions of the structure is 28 feet wide by 21 feet tall, and includes the Sportsound-500HD sound system speakers in the board so the sound will be directed straight to the stands as opposed to over the fans’ heads now.
The 11x18 foot video board is a HD-15mm LED video display that has 216 lines of resolution high by 360 columns of resolution wide. The display can operate as an independent display showing single large images or be divided in multiple zones (windows) to show a wide variety of statistics, information graphics, animations, and live and recorded video.
It also has non-lit sponsor displays on the side and features the accomplishments of the program. The video board allows for an introduction video, player spotlights, replay and other in-game enhancements. The board is protected by a 21x28 foot net that drapes over the front.
Up top is a steel truss with “Tech Softball Park” illuminated for night games.
The Hokies will play a doubleheader at UNCG on Wednesday before finally returning home to open ACC play next weekend against North Carolina.
RANDOM STATS AND NOTES
Did you know: With the Hokies playing the Dutch National Team Wednesday, it’s time to break out the history in these contests. The Hokies have played three exhibition games against national teams since the program began in 1996, sporting a 1-2 record. The Hokies lost to the Chinese National Team 7-0 in 2006, playing them in Las Vegas. Kelsy Rokey had the lone hit for Tech in the loss. Tech was no-hit in a 12-0, five-inning loss to the U.S. National Team in 2004 in a game played in Columbus, Ga. In one of the biggest upsets in softball history, the Hokies, behind a no-hit performance from Angela Tincher, went to Oklahoma City and defeated the U.S. National Softball Team, 1-0 in 2008. The loss snapped a 185-game pre-Olympic exhibition tour winning streak dating back to 1996.
Career Grand Slams (active)
K. Froehlich vs. Charlotte, 2/12/11
B. Rose vs. Liberty, 3/27/11
K. Banks vs. UNCG, 3/29/11
K. Mericka vs. Wagner, 2/24/12
Career Walk-Off Home Runs (active)
M. Hvozdovic vs. Western Michigan, 3/8/09 - solo home run in B7 with 1 out to win 1-0
Career Games Stated - by position (active)
K. Froehlich: 167 total - 46 2B; 43 RF; 24 3B; 20 1B; 19 LF; 14 DP; 1 SS
B. Smith: 128 total - 113 2B; 14 SS; 1 LF
C. Liddle: 120 total - 57 1B; 56 C; 7 DP
B. Rose: 82 total - 68 C; 9 DP; 5 LF
M. Hvozdovic: 67 total - 41 LF; 22 RF; 2 CF; 2 DP
D. Anderson: 71 total - 52 SS; 13 LF; 6 DP
K. Banks: 57 total - 48 CF; 8 RF; 1 LF
J. Harrell: 53 total - 53 P
L. Gaskill: 20 total - 20 CF
K. McGoldrick: 20 total - 20 2B
K. Mericka: 20 total - 15 3B; 3 DP; 2 C
L. Wolff: 8 total - 6 RF; 2 CF
L. Spaw: 13 total - 13 DP
B. Liddle: 8 total - 5 P; 3 RF
I. Corrao: 4 total - 4 P
Hokies by States (22)
North Carolina: 4
New Jersey: 2
New York: 1
Hokies by Class (22)
For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Softball).