February 28, 2014
Tech set to host Tar Heels in ACC opener
Three-game set to take place Saturday and Sunday

BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech softball squad will play its first home games of the season as the Hokies battle ACC foe North Carolina in a three-game weekend series at Tech Softball Park. Tech (7-5) has already played in three early season tournaments and a doubleheader at UNCG.

The Tar Heels (6-7) are coming off of a strong performance in the Hawaii Invitational where they finished second, winning four straight games before falling to San Jose State in the championship. The Hokies recently played in the Easton Bama Bash where they beat McNeese State and UCF, but fell to McNeese State in another game and to No. 9 Alabama twice.

UNC is led offensively by Aquilla Mateen, who is batting .442 with a team-high 19 hits on the year, and Amber Parrish, who leads the team with five home runs and 10 RBIs while batting .324. Lori Spingola, UNC's leading pitcher and returning All-ACC selection, is 3-4 on the year with a 2.61 ERA with two shutouts and 49 strikeouts.

Tech’s offense is led by Amanda Ake, who has three home runs and 10 RBIs on the year while batting .270. Vanessa Gonzalez is hitting .393 with a .585 on base percentage - team highs in both categories. Sophomores Maggie Tyler (3-2) and Kelly Heinz (4-3) have shared time in the circle. Tyler is coming off of an impressive performance against UCF last week where she threw a four-hit, complete game shutout. Heinz tossed a one-hitter against McNeese State last weekend, as well.

The ACC preseason coaches poll predicted UNC to finish fourth and Tech to finish fifth. Last season, the Tar Heels finished the regular season in fourth while the Hokies finished seventh.

Virginia Tech is 13-20 all-time against UNC and just 4-8 against the Heels at Tech Softball Park. UNC won two of the three games played last year in Chapel Hill.

The weekend series is scheduled to start at noon on Saturday with a doubleheader and Sunday’s game will begin at 1 p.m. Admission to both games is free. LIve stats for all three games can be found here.

On Sunday afternoon, all fans in attendance will have a chance to win free Virginia Tech Nike gear throughout the game for Nike Gear Up Day. Stop by the promotions table to be entered to win.

Fans coming to Saturday’s game are asked to be aware of the Virginia Tech men’s basketball game at 2:30 p.m. inside Cassell Coliseum, as well as the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships inside Rector Field House. Men’s basketball parking passes for Lot 4 (Softball/Track) will be honored and softball/track fans will not be able to park in that lot. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and park in the Chicken Hill Lot, located on the corner of Southgate and Tech Center Drive. That is Lot 5 on this parking map. Parking is free.

For updates on Virginia Tech softball, follow the Hokies on Twitter

HokieSports Shop