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No. 3 Noles vs. No. 5 Virginia Tech: Preview, how to watch, game thread

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FSU will host the Virginia Tech Hokies at JoAnne Graf Field for the ACC’s highest ranked matchup ever

FSU Athletics

The Florida State Seminoles return home to JoAnne Graf field after seven straight road games. They will take on the 5th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies, who are undefeated in ACC play. FSU leads the all time matchups 29-5, with VT taking two of the last three games last season.

Overall, the Hokies are 27-4, with wins over Wisconsin, Northwestern, Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina, Clemson, and 2 wins over UCF. Their four losses have come from Alabama, Charlotte, and UCF.

Head Coach Pete D’Amour has his team picking up right where they left off last season, when they lost to UCLA in the Los Angeles Super Regional. They are highlighted by the talent in the circle, with Senior Keely Rochard, who is the reigning ACC pitcher of the year. Rochard has a 1.22 ERA (ACC #3) in 103.2 innings pitched, with 49 hits, 22 runs, 25 walks, and 183 strikeouts (ACC #1). Opposing batters are hitting .139 (ACC #2) against Rochard in the circle. Her best game came against UCF when she was one walk away from a perfect game against the Knights.

Behind Rochard is a talented Freshman in Emma Lemley, the No. 30 overall recruit by Extra Inning Softball. On her young career, Lemley has 77 innings and a 1.27 ERA (ACC #4). During her time in the circle, she has 37 hits, 17 runs, 21 walks and 139 strikeouts (ACC #2). She has held opposing batters to .178 (ACC #1).

The pitching staff as a whole has a total 1.44 ERA, with 103 hits allowed, 49 runs, 60 walks to 346 strikeouts.

The Hokies offense as whole ranks third in the ACC, with a combined .320 batting average. Leading them is Sophomore Emma Ritter, who is batting .442 (ACC #1). From the cleanup position, she has batted in 27 runs and put 38 balls in play for hits. Her 29 runs scored ranks 10th in the ACC. While Ritter provides power for her team, with 5 home runs, she also provides speed. She has 3 triples on the season and 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts.

Along with Ritter is fellow Sophomore Cameron Fagan, who is batting .376 on the season. Fagan has 38 hits and 22 runs scored with 11 RBI for the Hokies. Her 10 walks lead the team and when she gets on base, she is not shy to steal bases, with 3 on the season in 4 attempts.

Freshman Bre Peck has a .366 batting average in the middle part of the lineup. In her 82 at bats, she has driven in 22 runs on 30 hits, and a team leading 7 home runs.

Virginia Tech has three other players batting over .300 in Kelsey Bennett, Morgan Overaitis, and Darby Trull. They also have two players who are batting over .270, but provide a lot of speed on the basepaths. Kelsey Brown is 12 for 15 in her stolen base attempts, while Jayme Bailey is a perfect 5 for 5.

More to Know

With her go ahead home run against Florida, Sydney Sherrill now sits 4th all time in homeruns, tied with Courtney Senas, at 36.

Matchup

Fielding Percentage

FSU (.986) VT (.974)

Batting Average

FSU (.308) VT (.320)

ERA

FSU (1.26) VT (1.44)

How to Watch

Friday: 6 p.m. ACCNX

Virginia Tech, 6-3

Saturday: 1 p.m. ACCNX

Sunday; 12 p.m. ACCN