BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech softball team will wrap up its regular season on Thursday with a home doubleheader against Radford University that will start at 5 p.m. This is a change from the originally scheduled Wednesday date that was moved because of the forecast.
Tech is 32-20 and ranked 47th in the latest RPI, needing to finish strong to build its NCAA resume. The Hokies finished ACC play at 19-9 and must wait for the results of the Notre Dame/Boston College series this weekend to determine their seed and first-round opponent. Tech will either be the No. 2 seed (5 p.m. first round game vs. No. 7 seed) with two losses by the Irish to the Eagles this weekend. Anything less than that and they’ll be the No. 3 seed (7:30 pm first round game vs. No. 6 seed). The opponent will have to be determined by the ACC after factoring in all tiebreakers, but the 5-7 seeds will be North Carolina, BC and Syracuse in any number of orders. Florida State has the top seed locked up, NC State will be the No. 4 seed and Georgia Tech will be the No. 8 seed.
Radford (RPI 144) is playing its best ball of the season, winning eight of its last 12 to run its record to 22-23 overall. The Highlanders are led by senior slugger Jessie Hutchens, who is batting .375 with 17 home runs and 48 RBIs. Whitney Davis is second with a .308 average and nine home runs, but no other player hits above .290 on an offense that hits at a .244 average. Abby Morrow (9-5, 2.86 ERA, 106 Ks, 120 IP) and Rachael Walters (11-11, 2.87 ERA, 113 Ks, 124.1 IP) have thrown a majority of the innings.
Thursday will mark the 43rd and 44th meetings between the two NRV rivals and Tech leads the all-time series, 33-10. The Hokies have won the last six in the series and hold a 20-3 record against RU at Tech Softball Park.
The game will be the last home contest for longtime assistant coach Al Brauns, who has announced his retirement following the season. He’s been on Scot Thomas’ staff for the past 16 seasons, the last five as the associate head coach. He’s been a part of six NCAA Tournament teams, four NFCA all-region coaching staffs and the WCWS team of 2008. Brauns will be honored for his dedicated service in a pre-game ceremony starting at 4:45 pm on the field.
The 2014 ACC Softball Tournament will begin on Thursday, May 8 in College Park, Md.
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