No. 13 Virginia Tech Overpowers UNC with Trio of Homers
The No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies bested UNC 4-1 on Friday, moving to a perfect 4-0 in the ACC.
The 2x reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week Emma Lemley once again demonstrated why she sits atop the ACC in strikeouts and wins. Friday’s win makes eight straight for Tech (18-4), while Lemley moves to 10-1 pitching. Lemley now has 113 strikeouts this season, up from 103 after her fifth game with double-digit Ks.
The Tar Heels' Bailey McCachren held the Hokies’ bats at bay for most of the game, but the NCAA leaders in total home runs had other plans. Tech’s Bre Peck, Emma Jackson, and Emma Ritter all sent a ball over the fence, accounting for all four of VT’s runs.
UNC’s Abby Settlemyer also knocked one over the fence in center, scoring UNC’s only run of the game. The Tar Heels have struggled to score over their 22 games, presenting a minus-nine season run differential and just 12 homers following Settlemyer’s shot.
The Hokies continue to prove themselves as elite batters over the first month of the season. As a whole, the team is ranked fourth in the ACC for hits and batting average, third in runs and RBIs, and third in the NCAA in slugging percentage.
Ritter’s presence at the plate has been a key factor in maintaining the offense as she’s still without a strikeout this year on 72 at bats. In nearly every offensive statistic, you can find Ritter somewhere among the top 10 in the conference, including batting average (.417), hits (30), and slugging percentage (.819).
Due to expected weather, Sunday’s game has been moved to Saturday for a doubleheader in Chapel Hill. The Hokies will face the Tar Heels at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to complete the three-game series with UNC. Afterward, they’ll head over to App State on Wednesday, and then down to Georgia Tech for a three-game series beginning Friday.