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Charlotte Shuts Down Hokies’ Offense, Bests No. 14 Virginia Tech at Home

By Kyle Beene | March 22
Charlotte Shuts Down Hokies’ Offense, Bests No. 14 Virginia Tech at Home
Lemley's 14 Ks again claim the top spot in the NCAA (Virginia Tech Athletics)

No. 14 Virginia Tech fell to Charlotte on Wednesday 3-2 at home, dropping to 22-6 this season.

Tech’s Emma Lemley pitched another great game, finishing with 14 strikeouts. The sophomore again takes the cake for the most strikeouts this season in all of division one NCAA softball with 157, surpassing senior Montana Fouts of Alabama with 151.

Lemley’s star pitching becomes even more impressive: when put into perspective, she has the least appearances out of all top five strikeout leaders in D1 with 17. Her efficiency on the mound is a welcome sight for the Hokies after losing Keely Rochard, the 2021 and 2022 ACC Pitcher of the Year, to the pros.

Lemley’s dominance on the mound wasn’t enough to slow down Charlotte, who put up three solo homers to take the win against their third ranked opponent. Charlotte (16-12) has certainly had its fair share of tough matchups, as it boasts the second most difficult schedule in the country thus far in the season.

Charlotte’s ace Sam Gress took the circle, allowing only one hit during the game, which was a two run homer by Jayme Bailey in the seventh inning. Gress completed the game with five strikeouts, and nearly claimed a no-hitter if not for Bailey’s late shot over the fence.

Gress’s pitch-to-contact approach served well against the Hokies, as VT just couldn’t find any gaps, hitting plenty of balls well within reach of fielders for easy plays. The powerful hitting team struggled to get balls deep in the outfield, seemingly held back by the lack of pop off the bat in the chilly 40-degree weather.

The Hokies will next face Chattanooga at home on Friday, followed by a Saturday doubleheader. Liberty will then come to visit on Tuesday, Mar. 28.

Kyle Beene

Junior at Virginia Tech, serving as the new softball beat writer for the Sons. Majoring in Sports Media and Analytics with a minor in property management, I'm excited to start my career in the sports world writing about the teams I grew up watching every weekend with my family.

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