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Emma Lemley and No. 9 Hokies Close Out TaxAct Invitational on a High Note

By Kyle Beene | February 19
Emma Lemley and No. 9 Hokies Close Out TaxAct Invitational on a High Note
Hokies close out in Clearwater with 1-4 win against USF (Virginia Tech Athletics)

The No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies beat the University of South Florida 4-1 Sunday in their final game at the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational.

Sophomore Emma Lemley continued her dominance in the circle, ending the game with 15 strikeouts. Lemley’s pitching in Florida was nearly unhittable as she posted a whopping 37 strikeouts in just 87 at bats for the weekend, putting Lemley at an impressive 42.5% strikeout-to-at-bat ratio for the tournament.

The game started off slow with just one base hit until the bottom of the third when the Hokies caught fire. A trio of singles from Kelsey Bennett, Emma Ritter, and Cameron Fagan brought in two runs to take the lead. USF quickly subbed Antoinette Hill in the circle to close out the inning before any more damage was done.

USF finally entered into the scoring column in the fifth when Emilee Hanlon drove in Jordyn Kadlub. USF struggled to string together any more hits in the game, failing to score in the remaining two innings.

Tech wasn’t done yet though, adding another two runs in the bottom of the sixth, providing some reassuring wiggle room going into the seventh. Lemley quickly closed out the contest however, striking out two of the last three batters.

Following the loss, USF moves to 2-6 on the season, and will look to better its record again Sunday night against Mississippi State for its final game of the weekend.

The Hokies improved their record to 7-3 on the season, and will head to Austin, Texas for their next game on Friday at 2:30 p.m. against 3-7 Abilene Christian. They’ll then immediately follow with Texas at 5 p.m. Saturday they’ll face Texas Southern before their second matchup with Texas, and close out the tournament on Sunday with Abilene Christian again.

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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