May 11, 2016
Hokies set to compete at ACC Softball Championship
Quarterfinal against Notre Dame slated for Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
ACC Softball Championship

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BLACKSBURG, Va. - After ending the regular season on a 5-0 run, the sixth-seeded Virginia Tech softball team travels to the 2016 ACC Softball Championship, beginning on Thursday to mark the fifth consecutive appearance for the Hokies.

Tech will face off against the No. 3-seed Notre Dame on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at NC State’s Dail Softball Stadium. The 7:30 p.m. contest against the nationally 24th-ranked Irish is the last of four quarterfinal games.

Tech holds a 29-27 overall mark, 13-11 in ACC play while Notre Dame sports a 39-10 record, 13-7 in conference. The winner of game four will face the winner of No. 2-seed Louisville/No. 7-seed Syracuse on Friday at 3:30 before the championship game on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The battle-tested Hokies hold a 7-8 record against the six teams faced in the tournament this season, highlighted by sweeps of fourth-seeded Boston College and the eighth seed, Pitt.

Fans will be able to watch all seven games of the championship as Thursday’s and Friday’s contests will be televised by the league’s Regional Sports Networks, and Saturday’s title game will be carried live on ESPN.

Daily tickets are available for $5 for adults and $3 for youth 18 and under, while tournament passes are available in advance of the tournament for $9. Students from an ACC school can enter for free with valid student identification. Tickets can be purchased online:

Parking for the 2016 ACC Softball Championship is free and available in the Coliseum Deck located on Cates Avenue across the street from the Derr Track & the Soccer Field. Patrons will need to park on the second level of the deck or higher by entering off Jeter Drive or Jensen Drive.

Last at-bat: The Hokies regular season finale came down to the seventh inning when Tech ended the game’s scoring drought with two runs, holding East Tennessee State scoreless despite five hits to earn the 2-0 win. As the game was looking to head in to extras, cleanup hitter Lauren Duff launched her fifth home run of the season to give the Hokies the win. Maggie Tyler tossed her 26th complete game with 10 strikeouts, marking the seventh time this season the ace has thrown out double-digit batters.

The week prior, the Hokies collected four wins, highlighted by seven home runs against Virginia on Saturday, clinching the Senior Day sweep. Kelsey Mericka’s grand slam highlighted the Hokies’ five home runs the game one shutout to tie a program record from 2015. Lauren Duff tied the program record with two home runs in a single game. Maggie Tyler tossed all four wins to improve to 22-17 on the season with her 10th shutout of the season. With the 5-3 win over Elon on Wednesday and a three-game sweep of UVA, head coach Scot Thomas clinched his 750th program win.

Tech vs. Notre Dame in 2016: After a five-game road trip, Tech hosted No. 20 Notre Dame. On Saturday, despite Emma Strouth’s two-run homer in the bottom of the third in game two, the Hokies could not get the win over the Irish. Maggie Tyler tossed 13.0 innings, taking both losses in the twin bill. In the first game, Tech and Notre Dame held each other scoreless through 6.0 innings, with one and two hits apiece, respectively. In the seventh inning, Notre Dame strung together a trio of singles to earn the win. The Hokies showed their fight in game two, holding a one-run lead through five innings. However, the Irish fought back in the sixth, taking the lead that the Hokies could not overcome. On Sunday, Breanna Davenport's two-run homer in the seventh was not enough to give Tech the win.

Three-time ACC Pitcher of the Week: Maggie Tyler was named the ACC's Pitcher of the Week for the third consecutive week on April 11 (March 27, April 4, April 11). The ace ranks fourth in the nation with 10 shutouts to her name and ninth nationally with 238 strikeouts. Additionally, Tyler ties for 14th in the country with 23 wins this season.

On March 18, Tyler threw her first no-hitter against Boston College, a lead off-walk away from a perfect game. The senior faced 22 batters in 7.0 innings, striking out six. Tyler's no-hitter was the first seven-inning no-hitter since May 10, 2008 when current pitching coach, Angela Tincher O'Brien tossed the 2-0 victory over Florida State. This marked Tech's 37 no-hitter in program history.

Florida State’s Jessica Burroughs and North Carolina's Kendra Lynch are the only other ACC pitchers to receive the award multiple times this season (three).

Duff's Dominance: Freshman Lauren Duff leads the team with a .352 average, .421 in conference play, totaling a team-high 43 hits - 20 of which are multi-base hits. Duff extended her hitting streak to 20 games with a double and single in game one on April 10 at Louisville before going 0-for-2 with a walk in game two. The freshman ranks second in program history with her 20-game hitting streak behind Kelly Brown’s 24 games in 2005. Additionally, she tied the program record with two home runs in a single game against Virginia on April 30. The catcher has logged 239 putouts this season with 37 assists, including catching 13 runners stealing - second best in the conference.

Up next: If advancing, the Hokies will face the winner of the Louisville/Syracuse quarterfinal on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Dail Softball Stadium.

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