BLACKSBURG (hokiesports.com) - The Virginia Tech softball team looks to snap a five-game losing streak as it will take to the diamond the next two nights against New River Valley rival Radford University. The Hokies will travel across the bridge Tuesday for a single game at the Dedmon Center Field starting at 7 p.m., then return home Wednesday at 7 p.m. to host the Highlanders at Tech Softball Park. Tuesday’s game was originally scheduled in early February but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Tuesday will mark the 41st meeting between the two teams and Tech leads the all-time series, 31-10. The Hokies have only dropped three contests to the Highlanders in Radford and holds a 19-3 record at Tech Softball Park.
Tech and Radford last met a year ago on Feb. 14 and April 24, with the Hokies winning the first game 9-1 in five innings and then blanking Radford 5-0 in the final contest. In the two games against the Highlanders last year, Tech had just eight combined hits, but scored 14 runs thanks to six errors, six hit batters and 12 walks by Radford in two games.
On the season, Radford (16-28) is batting .260 and is led by freshman Becky Mantel who is hitting .298 with 36 hits, six doubles and five home runs. Only three other regulars in the lineup are hitting over .280, but junior Jessie Hutchens (.268) leads the team in RBIs with 33 and home runs with nine. In the circle, freshman Rachael Walters leads the Highlanders with a team-best 4.33 ERA, a record of 12-9 and 79 strikeouts in 129.0 innings. Senior Jackie Jenkins has also seen action, as she owns a 3-18 record with a 6.24 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 114.0 innings.
Both teams are looking to break out of the losing column as the Highlanders are coming off a three-game series defeat against Campbell this past weekend. Radford also dropped a doubleheader to Charlotte last Wednesday to also find itself in a five-game losing streak.
The Hokies have seen some tough competition in the ACC as they are coming off a three-game series defeat against No. 23 Florida State this past weekend. Tech also dropped two contests to Big South opponent Longwood last Wednesday.
Virginia Tech’s RPI is 32nd in the latest NCAA RPI while Radford’s is 194th.
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