April 12, 2012
Tech ships up to Boston for ACC series
Hokies looking to make push for postseason

The Virginia Tech softball team (30-14, 7-4 ACC), coming off a sweep of Longwood on the road Wednesday, will ship up to Boston to take on the Eagles of Boston College (19-16, 1-8 ACC) this weekend for a three-game series at Shea Field.

Tech and BC will play the doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. and will then play the single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Shea Field is located on the campus of Boston College on the corner of Beacon Street and Chestnut Hill Drive, right beside the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. If you are coming down Commonwealth Avenue, turn onto St. Thomas More Road, which turns into Chestnut Hill Drive. For GPS purposes, you can put in 2601 Beacon St. Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. The field is located near Alumni Stadium (football) and Conte Forum (basketball/hockey). You can find more information on the field, including directions, location and parking information here.

Here’s the early weekend forecast for Chestnut Hill. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for any changes that weather may cause.

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.

The NCAA released the third of its weekly adjusted RPI rankings on Monday and the Hokies have risen to No. 29 after going from 47th in the first one to 35th last week. Boston College is ranked 108th. Tech is 2-8 vs. top 25 competition (.0026 bonus per win) and 3-1 against 26-50 competition (.0013 bonus per win). Tech’s best win is against No. 15 Florida State. The RPI is an important tool in selecting the at-large teams to the NCAA Tournament and focusses on quality wins (bonuses for wins over top 25 and 26-50). The formula used factors in a team’s winning percentage, a team’s opponent’s winning percentage and a team’s opponent’s opponent’s winning percentage, and then adds in bonuses for quality wins. So for the math wizards out there, the formula used is ((WP+(2*OWP)+OOWP)/4)+bonus points.

Last year, only three teams ranked 40 or below in the final adjusted RPI before the selection show received at-large bids (San Diego State, 43rd; Penn State, 47th; Memphis, 48th) and no team ranked 50th or below earned an at-large bid. Several squads that finished in the 40s (North Carolina, 42nd; Longwood, 45th) didn’t make it. Tech finished the regular season with an RPI of 54 last year.

You can find the rankings here.

The Hokies fell from second to fourth in the league standings after last weekend’s 1-2 effort against Florida State, getting passed by Georgia Tech and North Carolina. The good news is that Georgia Tech travels to Florida State this weekend and still has to play North Carolina, so Tech has a chance to make a move with a strong finish, starting this weekend at BC. The Eagles are 1-8 in the ACC after getting swept by NC State last weekend while the Hokies are 7-4 in the league and have series against UVa and GT left after this weekend. The entire ACC standings can be found here.

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.

WIN NO. 600 IN YEAR NO. 17
Scot Thomas is in his 17th season at the helm of the maroon and orange and reached a coaching milestone on April 1 when the Hokies beat Maryland 5-1. The win was his 600th career victory and he now enters this weekend with a record of 601-404. 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 an exhibition win over the U.S. National Team (2008).

Boston College is 19-16 overall, 1-8 in the ACC under first-year head coach Ashley Obrest. The Eagles have put up some impressive offensive numbers, batting at .275 as a team with 25 home runs thus far. Virginia native Brittany Wilkins is the big slugger for BC, hitting .370 with five home runs and 22 RBIs. Nicole D’Argento has also been hot at the plate, batting .339 with a team-leading seven home runs and 24 RBIs. Shea Field is a smaller park with short fences, so usually the home run numbers are up and the extra base hit numbers are down in a series played there.

In the circle, the Eagle starters have struggled and the staff has an ERA of 3.75. D’Argento (8-7, 3.24 ERA, 93.0 IP) and Amanda Horowitz (8-8, 4.99 ERA, 74.1 IP) have seen the most action and starts, but Morgan Kidd has been the most effective, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.45 ERA in 38.2 innings pitched.

The Hokies hold a 24-5 lead in the series against BC and are 9-2 at Chestnut Hill. The series began in 1999 and Tech won the first six games in the series Since 2006, when both teams have been in the ACC, Tech has gone 12-2 against the Eagles, winning all six series played. The Hokies went 4-0 against BC last year, beating them in Conway, S.C., in an early season tournament before sweeping them at home. The last time Tech went to Massachusetts (2010), it went 2-1, winning the first game 11-5 in nine innings and then losing 7-6 in the second game of the day. On Sunday, the Hokies took care of business with an 8-2 win.

BC’s 2012 stats
BC’s 2012 roster
BC’s 2012 schedule/results

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, 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 194-80 record at home.

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 single game at NRV rival Radford on Wednesday (7 p.m.) before returning home next weekend to play a three-game set against Virginia on Senior Weekend.

Did you know: Tech has already set a new school record for sacrifice flies in a season with 15, coming in just 44 games. Freshman Logan Spaw leads the way with four, one away from tying the individual record for a season of five set by Jessica Everhart in 2009. Eight different Tech players have at least one sac fly this year, with four having two or more.

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
B. Rose vs. Cornell, 3/20/12 (walk-off)

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
B. Rose vs. Cornell, 3/20/12 - grand slam in B7 with 1 out to win 8-4

Career Games Stated - by position (active)
K. Froehlich: 185 total - 61 RF; 46 2B; 24 3B; 20 1B; 19 LF; 14 DP; 1 SS
B. Smith: 150 total - 113 2B; 36 SS; 1 LF
C. Liddle: 144 total - 81 1B; 56 C; 7 DP
B. Rose: 106 total - 92 C; 9 DP; 5 LF
D. Anderson: 94 total - 53 SS; 23 LF; 18 DP
K. Banks: 74 total - 48 CF; 15 LF; 11 RF
M. Hvozdovic: 70 total - 41 LF; 25 RF; 2 CF; 2 DP
J. Harrell: 66 total - 66 P
L. Gaskill: 44 total - 44 CF
K. McGoldrick: 44 total - 44 2B
K. Mericka: 44 total - 39 3B; 3 DP; 2 C
L. Spaw: 22 total - 22 DP
B. Liddle: 18 total - 15 P; 3 RF
L. Wolff: 8 total - 6 RF; 2 CF
I. Corrao: 5 total - 5 P
K. Smith: 3 total - 3 DP

Hokies by States (22)
Virginia: 9
North Carolina: 4
California: 2
New Jersey: 2
Florida: 1
Georgia: 1
Missouri: 1
New York: 1
Tennessee: 1

Hokies by Class (22)
Seniors: 2
Juniors: 4
Sophomores: 5
Freshmen: 11

Walk-Off Home Runs in Program History (14)
Bronwyn Blair vs. Charlotte, 3/25/98 - two-run home run in B8 to win 8-6
Tiffany Hurt vs. Radford, 2/21/01 - two-run home run in B7 to win 2-0
Amy Voorhees vs. Connecticut, 3/31/01 - solo home run in B10 to win 3-2
Megan Evans vs. Seton Hall, 5/5/02 - solo home run in B9 to win 1-0
Megan Evans vs. Virginia, 4/27/04 - grand slam in B8 to win 6-3
Stephanie Savre vs. Georgia Tech, 4/23/05 - grand slam in B7 to win 9-5
Caroline Stolle vs. Winthrop, 5/5/05 - solo home in B7 to win 2-1
Stephanie Savre vs. Radford, 3/1/06 - two-run home run in B9 to win 3-2
Beth Walker vs. North Carolina, 4/26/08 - three-run home run in B10 to win 5-2
Misty Hall vs. Louisville, 5/16/08 (NCAA Regionals) - solo home run in B7 to win 1-0
Jessica Everhart vs. Appalachian State, 2/21/09 - three-run home run in B8 to win 5-4
Misty Hall vs. Florida State, 4/17/10 - solo home run in B7 to win 5-4
Marra Hvozdovic vs. Western Michigan, 3/8/09 - solo home run in B7 to win 1-0
Betty Rose vs. Cornell, 3/20/12 - grand slam in B7 to win 8-4

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

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