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Hokies Cool Off After Hot Start to the Season

By Kyle Beene | February 18
Hokies Cool Off After Hot Start to the Season
Hokies battling back (Virginia Tech Athletics)

The No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies lost consecutive games to No. 2 UCLA and No. 15 Arizona Saturday evening at the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational.

The 11-0 UCLA Bruins offense was unstoppable early on, putting up six runs in the first inning and hitting through the whole order. They combined for 15 hits in the game, ultimately winning the 4-8 contest.

Virginia Tech’s starting pitcher Bre Peck struggled, with freshman Lyndsey Grein coming in to relieve just two outs into the game. Grein quickly retired the Bruins’ Megan Grant to close out the top of the first. Grein would go on to complete the game, totaling six strikeouts.

The Hokies would go on to put up four runs over the next few innings, but they were unable to surpass UCLA. Tech’s bats struggled, ending the game with only five hits.

The second game would fare similarly for Tech, combining for four hits in the 6-2 loss to the Wildcats.

A pitching battle ensued between Emma Lemley and Devyn Netz, amounting to 23 strikeouts on the game. Lemley threw for a whopping 17 strikeouts out of those 23, a new career high for her in the circle. Lemley’s career game wasn’t enough to slow the Wildcats however, as they went on to score four in the seventh inning, thanks to a three-run blast over the left-center wall courtesy of Blaise Biringer.

Tech looks to bounce back Sunday against the 2-5 South Florida Bulls to close out the tournament. They’ll then have some much needed rest before heading out to Austin, Texas next week for the Lone Star State Invitational.

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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