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Softball Report Week 2: Hokies Gain Valuable Experience in the Desert

By Sam Jessee | February 20
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Emma Mazzarone helped deal a shutout game vs Illinois State (via @HokiesSoftball on

The Hokies moved to 7-2-1 on the season after an up-and-down weekend in Arizona.

The Hokies had a five-game set at the Littlewood Classic in Arizona, looking to add on to their successful start to 2024 after going 4-0-1 at the Tiger Invitational in Auburn.



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A defensive battle started off the series as the Hokies took on BYU in their first game in Tempe. Lyndsey Grein returned to the circle after a 12 strikeout debut against Auburn and continued to dominate against the Cougars, striking out 10 over 6.1 innings. After Grein held BYU to only one run, Tech came back in the fifth with two runs to take a 2-1 lead, which would be held through the end of the game to give the Hokies the win.

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Friday’s second game was an all-around dominant win for the Hokies, as junior pitcher Emma Lemley shut out the Arizona State Sun Devils on their own turf, giving up only two hits in the process. The charge on offense was led by senior Addy Greene who knocked in two doubles and a home run with three RBIs to help the Hokies towards a 9-0 win.


It was a rough day for the Hokies on Saturday when they made their way to Phoenix for their next two games of the road trip. In its first game against Cal, the team was led offensively by junior Rachel Castine, who knocked in all five of Tech’s runs, four of which were off of a grand slam in the third. However after being down 4-2, the Golden Bears came back in the eighth and took a last-minute lead of 6-4. The Hokies were unable to make up the deficit, and were handed their first loss of the season.

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The struggles would continue as Virginia Tech took on Grand Canyon University later that day. While Addy Greene and freshman Michelle Chatfield both hit solo shots in the game, the two runs they accounted for were the only two the Gobblers could come up with. Tech fell to GCU 11-2 in six innings for its second loss of the day.

The Hokies finished off the weekend back in Tempe as they took on Illinois State. Like most of the weekend, the theme for this game was defensive dominance, as freshman Emma Mazzarone and junior Emma Lemley threw a combined 3-hit shutout from the circle. The Hokies also thrived on offense, hitting three home runs on the road to their 6-0 win over the Redbirds. The victory put Tech over .500 on the weekend, finishing their set of games at 3-2.

The Week Ahead

The Hokies make their return to Blacksburg this week for their home opener on Wednesday, February 21 against the Elon Phoenix. The 4-5 Elon team is looking to bounce back after going 1-4 at the Marucci Classic in Raleigh this past weekend.

After Virginia Tech’s home opener, it will be a quick turnaround into the weekend. The Hokies will make their way down to Athens on Friday to take on Radford, Dartmouth, and Georgia in one last five game set at the Georgia Classic before starting ACC play. It’ll be a big test, and resume building opportunity, for the Hokies facing the undefeated Bulldogs. Last season, the Hokies fell in the Athens regional to end their season. The Bulldogs are currently ranked #5 by, and have wins against #6 Oklahoma State, #7 Florida State, and #20 UCLA.

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I'm a born and raised Hokie. My first game in Lane Stadium was in September of 1997 when Tech stomped Big East rival Syracuse 31-3. 

I was born and raised in Richmond, VA, where I developed a passion for local cooking, scenic nature, and everything Orange and Maroon. I graduated from Tech with a degree in Finance in 2019 and received my Master's in Data Analytics in 2021. I'm a certified analytics nerd with a passion for data visualization and modeling, which fuels much of my work.

I joined the Sons team in 2020, and now act as the Website Content Manager overseeing all online content and mentoring our talented tea of writers. I also co-host the Two Deep podcast with Pete B.

I currently work in Virginia Beach, VA, as a data and financial analyst for LifeNet Health, a biotech and organ transplant non-profit.

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