Wolfpack softball looks to ride momentum against ranked Virginia Tech squad

After going 3-1 in a weekend series against Georgia Tech, the NC State softball team will continue ACC play in a four-game series against No. 16 Virginia Tech beginning Friday, March 12. The Pack 11-3, 7-3 ACC stayed consistent with a strong offense over the course of the series against Georgia Tech, only falling in the second game on Saturday, March 6 by two runs but collecting two of its three wins via walk-off. . Virginia Tech 7-2, 4-2 ACC has not been in play due to COVID-19 protocols since the last game of its series against Florida State. The Hokies went 2-1 in that series, losing only the first game 7-1. In their season-opening weekend, Virginia Tech swept nonconference opponent Kennesaw State, who has since gone 6-9 on the season. The Hokies prevented Kennesaw from scoring at all over those three games. The Hokies have also taken on No. 25 Clemson earlier this season and were able to secure two wins in three games, one of which left Clemson scoreless. Clemson currently sits second in the ACC, with its only two losses coming from this Virginia Tech team. This should be proof to NC State that Virginia Tech should be taken seriously as an opponent. What really stands out about this Virginia Tech team is its pitching staff. Pitcher Keely Rochard has a record of 5-1 this season with an ERA of 0. 57 over 37 innings pitched. Her ERA is second in the ACC, and she is sixth in the conference with 42 batters struck out. Rochard was selected as the WilsonNCFA Pitcher of the Week for the fourth time of her career on Feb. 23. Virginia Tech shows depth in its offense, starting with infielder Cameron Fagan leads Virginia Tech with a batting average of . 387. Catcher Grace Chavez leads the team with four home runs this season and six other players have recorded one home run. Additionally, utility player Jayme Bailey has nine RBIs this season, followed by Fagan and infielder Meredith Slaw with seven. As the season progresses, the Wolfpack is consistently showing how dominant it is. Offensively, NC State has three batters that have recorded five home runs this season. With pitchers redshirt sophomore Sydney Nester and redshirt senior Abby Trahan on the mound, this defense has been able to help the powerful offense stay ahead. This series should bring some heat to the Pack as it continues ACC play. If NC State is able to correct mistakes seen against Georgia Tech, like allowing runs early in the game, Virginia Tech will have a harder time securing a win this weekend. The first game of four will be played Friday, March 12 at 5 p. m. at Dail Softball Stadium. It will be broadcast on the ACC Network.

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