ON THE DIAMOND the Virginia Tech softball team (9-6) travels to the Orlando area, this weekend to kick off its 11-day Spring break trip. the Hokies will play five games in the Citrus Classic at the Walt Disney/ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista before heading to the Tampa/Clearwater area in the middle of the week to play in its second event of the trip. in the Citrus Classic, Tech is scheduled to played Fordham, Hofstra, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Long Island. THE WEEKEND SCHEDULE the Hokies will open up play Friday with a pair of games, taking on Fordham (Field 11) in the day’s first game at 4:45 p.m., followed by a contest with Hofstra (Field 10) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, the Hokies take on Pittsburgh (Field 15) at 2:30 p.m., and then Long Island (Field 14) at 7 p.m. the Hokies will wrap things up on Sunday with a game against Notre Dame (Field 12) at 11:15 a.m.. TOURNAMENT INFO this weekend’s action will take place at Walt Disney/ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. the games will be played on six fields called the ESPN Softball Diamondplex. Tournament information, along with schedules, hotel information, directions, maps and more can be found here. PARKING AND ADMISSION there is an admission fee for the tournament. the Wide World of Sports Complex parking/traffic shouldn’t be a problem except on Saturday when the Atlanta Braves play an exhibition game at 1 p.m., so be advised of that. the GPS address for the facility is 700 S. Victory Way Kissimmee, FL. you can find more information on the facility, directions and parking here. IN THE SUNSHINE STATE Virginia Tech is 88-60 in the state of Florida. the 88 wins are the second-most in any state for the Hokies behind Virginia (269). THE WEEKEND FORECAST Here’s the early weekend forecast for Lake Buena Vista, FL LIVE STATS Live stats for every Hokie softball game this season will be available on through hokiesports.com. it will always be this link. TWITTER Fans can follow Hokie softball online through Twitter as well. in game thoughts, stats and notes, as well as links to articles and other miscellaneous items can be found at the official Twitter page for Virginia Tech softball, @VT_Softball. NEW FAN GUIDE a new online fan guide replaces the printed media guide this year for the softball team. this guide includes videos, color photos, links and much more. it will change throughout the year with new items as they happen so bookmark it and come back as the season progresses. the guide can be found at this link. YEAR NO. 17 Scot Thomas is in his 17th season at the helm of the maroon and orange. he enters this weekend with a record of 582-293, needing just 18 victories to reach the 600-win milestone. in his career, he has led the Hokies to a berth in the Women’s College World Series (2008), two ACC titles (2007, 2008), four NCAA bids (2005-2008) and a win over the U.S. National Team (2008). SCOUTING FORDHAM Fordham is a deceiving 3-6 on the year, playing Virginia twice (split), Cal, Arizona and Cal-State Fullerton. When ace and All-American Jen Mineau is in the circle, the Rams have a chance against anybody. she is off to a bit of a slow start at 3-4 with a 3.02 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 44.0 innings, but has gone against some of the top competition in the country. Nicole Callahan is off to a hot start at the plate with a .406 average while Michelle Daubman (.375) and Jessica Crowley (.364) are also hitting well. Tech and Fordham have played 13 times, mostly as old rivals in the Atlantic 10 Conference. the Hokies went a perfect 12-0 against the Rams to start the series, but Fordham got the best of the Hokies in the two team’s last meeting as Fordham pulled out a 3-2 win at a tournament in Clearwater, Fla. Fordham’s 2012 stats Fordham’s 2012 roster Fordham’s 2012 schedule/results SCOUTING HOFSTRA Hofstra has had a tough go of it early on, posting an 0-8 mark, but has dropped four one-run games to ranked opponents: no. 21 Louisville (7-6 in 9 innings), no. 17 Louisiana-Lafayette (5-4), no. 10 Tennessee (3-2) and no. 12 Michigan (3-2), so the record is a little deceiving. Courtney Crews leads the way at the plate with a .293 batting average for a Hofstra team that sports a .184 batting average. Becca Bigler has three home runs to lead the way. in the circle, the Pride has gone with only two pitchers thus far: Erin Wade and Olivia Galati. Wade is 0-4 with a 3.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 27.0 innings while Galati is 0-4 with a 3.29 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. Tech is 2-1 all-time against Hofstra. the Hokies fell to the Pride 3-2 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., in 2010. Tech beat Hofstra 1-0 in 2007 and 6-0 in 2002. Hofstra’s 2012 stats Hofstra’s 2012 roster Hofstra’s 2012 schedule/results SCOUTING LIU BROOKLYN LIU Brooklyn (formerly Long Island University) is just 2-13 on the young season, but has some tough losses to no. 2 Florida, no. 11 Michigan, no. 22 Kentucky and no. 14 Stanford. LIU has struggled at the plate early on, posting a team batting average of just .162. Emily Kakuska has the highest average at .222 while Nichole Toven (.216) and Karina Cervantes (.211) are the only other two hitting above the Mendoza Line. Sarah Reynolds has seen the most action in the circle with 59.2 innings. she is 1-8 with a 3.64 ERA and 48 strikeouts. Cassie Vondrak (0-4, 7.52) has thrown 22.1 innings while Megan Sheaf (1-0, 1.24 ERA) has thrown 11.1 innings. Tech is 0-1 against the Blackbirds, falling to them 5-3 at a tournament in Raleigh in 2002. LIU’s 2012 stats LIU’s 2012 roster LIU’s 2012 schedule/results SCOUTING NOTRE DAME Notre Dame is off to a 4-5 start, but did take a pair of games in impressive fashion at no. 24 North Carolina last weekend. the Irish feature a powerful lineup that is hitting .291 with 10 home runs. Dani Miller is hitting .433 with four home runs and 14 RBIs while Amy Buntin is hitting .423 with four doubles. three other Irish players are hitting over .290. in the circle, Laura Winter has seen the most action, throwing 31.2 innings. she is 2-3 with a 3.32 ERA and 41 strikeouts. Jackie Bowe leads the way with a 1.62 ERA in 13.0 innings while Brittany O’Donnell is 2-2 with a 6.12 ERA in 16.0 innings. Tech hasn’t had much success against the Irish, posting just a 2-11 record against them. Notre Dame won the first six meetings in the series and went 6-0 against Tech in Big East games. That doesn’t include a sweep on the final day of the 2002 Big East Tournament in Salem, Va., to storm back and win the title and break the Hokies’ hearts. Notre Dame won the last meeting, a 2-1 decision in 2008 out in Long Beach, Calif. ND’s 2012 stats ND’s 2012 roster ND’s 2012 schedule/results SCOUTING PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh is a solid 5-2 after going 4-0 last weekend at the Wolfpack Challenge hosted by NC State. Savannah King has been the ace of the staff, posting a 5-1 record with a 0.98 ERA in 35.2 innings. Alexa Larkin has pitched the other 12.0 innings, going 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA. At the plate, Maggie Sevilla leads a Pittsburgh offense that is hitting .207. Sevilla is hitting .316 with two home runs and a team-high six RBIs. Carissa Throckmorton is the only other regular hitting .300 or better. Pittsburgh is the third former conference rival the Hokies will play this weekend (see below) as the two were in the Big East and will be in the ACC together once the Panthers complete the process and move within the next two years. Tech leads the series 9-3, but lost the last times the two played. That was the season opener of 2008 as the Panthers beat Tech 3-0 in Miami, Fla. Before that, Tech had won five in a row against Pitt. Pitt’s 2012 stats Pitt’s 2012 roster Pitt’s 2012 schedule/results PRESEASON ACC POLL the ACC coaches voted the Hokies sixth in the 2012 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released prior to the season starting. Georgia Tech is the preseason favorite, according to the coaches, followed by North Carolina, defending tournament champion Florida State, Virginia, Maryland, Virginia Tech, NC State and Boston College. TECH SOFTBALL PARK Tech Softball Park, home of Virginia Tech softball since 1998, has been a tough place for opposing teams to play of the years. Nearly 800 permanent seats have been added, along with lights, two more press boxes and a new sound system, making the facility a fine one for the Hokies to play. over the years, Tech has posted a 187-73 record at home. A NEW ADDITION this past offseason, a new scoreboard and video board were also added to enhance the fans’ experiences at TSP. the new board features a scoreboard on the bottom portion like the old one, but this one has LED lights and is capable of putting team names on the board. the new addition will be something to behold as a video board, sound system, netting, side panels and a steel tress up top will all add to the project. Virginia Tech’s video board is the fourth-largest college softball display installed by Daktronics. the overall dimensions of the structure is 28 feet wide by 21 feet tall, and includes the Sportsound-500HD sound system speakers in the board so the sound will be directed straight to the stands as opposed to over the fans’ heads now. the 11×18 foot video board is a HD-15mm LED video display that has 216 lines of resolution high by 360 columns of resolution wide. the display can operate as an independent display showing single large images or be divided in multiple zones (windows) to show a wide variety of statistics, information graphics, animations, and live and recorded video. it also has non-lit sponsor displays on the side and features the accomplishments of the program. the video board allows for an introduction video, player spotlights, replay and other in-game enhancements. the board is protected by a 21×28 foot net that drapes over the front. Up top is a steel truss with “Tech Softball Park” illuminated for night games. UP NEXT the Hokies will stay in Florida and head to the Tampa/Clearwater area on Tuesday. upon arriving, they will practice and then play an exhibition game against the Dutch National Team on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater. After practicing again on Thursday, the team will begin play in the USF under Armour Invitational on Friday, playing two games Friday at USF’s field in Tampa, before returning Saturday and Sunday to play at the Moore Complex in Clearwater. RANDOM STATS AND NOTES Did you know: the Hokies have been members of three conferences since starting up a program in 1996: the Atlantic 10 (1996-2000), the Big East (2001-2004) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (2005-present). With the Hokies playing three old conference foes this weekend (Fordham, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh), here’s a look back at how the Hokies have fared against former conference opponents AFTER leaving the conference. A-10: Fordham (2-1), Massachusetts (1-2), Rhode Island (2-0) and St. Bonaventure (3-1); Big East: Notre Dame (1-1), Pittsburgh (2-1), Rutgers (1-0) and Villanova (2-0). That puts the Hokies at 14-6 against former conference opponents. Career Grand Slams (active) K. Froehlich vs. Charlotte, 2/12/11 B. Rose vs. Liberty, 3/27/11 K. Banks vs. UNCG, 3/29/11 K. Mericka vs. Wagner, 2/24/12 Career Walk-Off Home Runs (active) M. Hvozdovic vs. Western Michigan, 3/8/09 – solo home run in B7 with 1 out to win 1-0 Career Games Stated – by position (active) K. Froehlich: 162 total – 46 2B; 40 RF; 23 3B; 20 1B; 18 LF; 14 DP; 1 SS B. Smith: 126 total – 113 2B; 11 SS; 1 LF C. Liddle: 115 total – 56 C; 52 1B; 7 DP B. Rose: 78 total – 64 C; 9 DP; 5 LF M. Hvozdovic: 66 total – 41 LF; 21 RF; 2 CF; 2 DP D. Anderson: 66 total – 50 SS; 10 LF; 6 DP K. Banks: 55 total – 48 CF; 7 RF J. Harrell: 50 total – 50 P L. Gaskill: 15 total – 15 CF K. McGoldrick: 15 total – 15 2B K. Mericka: 15 total – 11 3B; 3 DP; 1 C L. Wolff: 8 total – 6 RF; 2 CF L. Spaw: 8 total – 8 DP B. Liddle: 6 total – 3 P; 3 RF I. Corrao: 4 total – 4 P Hokies by States (22) Virginia: 9 North Carolina: 4 California: 2 New Jersey: 2 Florida: 1 Georgia: 1 Missouri: 1 New York: 1 Tennessee: 1 Hokies by Class (22) Seniors: 2 Juniors: 4 Sophomores: 5 Freshmen: 11
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