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Sunday, May 12, 2013
The Virginia Tech softball team received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament Sunday for the second straight year.
The Hokies were assigned to a four-team, double-elimination regional at the University of Kentucky.
Tech (35-19) faces Big East regular-season champ Notre Dame (43-13) at 5 p.m. Friday.
Kentucky (38-18), ranked No. 15 in the USA Softball poll and No. 18 in the USA Today coaches poll, will meet Conference USA tournament champ Marshall (35-20) in Friday's other game in the regional.
Notre Dame reaped an at-large bid after losing in the Big East final.
Kentucky, which lost in the first round of the SEC tournament, is the No. 12 overall seed in the 64-team field. Salem graduate Ellen Weaver is 1-2 for the Wildcats.
JMU, which got an at-large bid, and Big South tournament champ Longwood will be in the Tennessee regional with the Lady Vols and ACC champion N.C. State. JMU's team includes Jailyn Ford (Bath County).
The Florida regional includes Hampton.
Emory 8, Roanoke 1
The Roanoke College softball team will not be making a return trip to the Division III national championships.
Second-seeded and fourth-ranked Emory beat the fifth-seeded Maroons, eliminating Roanoke from an NCAA Division III regional tournament at the Moyer Sports Complex in Salem.
The game had been halted by rain on Saturday with Emory leading 5-1 midway through the fifth inning. Once the game resumed Sunday morning, Emory added two runs in the bottom of the fifth and another in the sixth.
Roanoke won its regional last year, advancing to the eight-team national championships.
This time, Roanoke (31-14) went 1-2 in the eight-team, double-elimination regional. Both losses came to nationally ranked teams, including an 8-0 loss to Christopher Newport on Thursday.
"We didn't end up where we wanted to be, but this is not at all a disappointing season," pitcher Kelly Higbie said. "This has been a great season."
"Could we have done better? Absolutely," coach Mike Mitchell said. "But I looked at all the brackets, and I thought this region was the toughest region to be in."
The Maroons lost eight of their final 12 games, including a 1-2 showing at the ODAC tournament.
Roanoke banged out 10 hits against Emory.
"I looked up on the scoreboard and saw 10 hits and one run - it's kind of shocking. You're like, 'How does that happen?' " said first baseman Alea Bier, a Cave Spring graduate. "We didn't quite string them together like we needed to."
It was the 41st win for Emory, which eliminated CNU later Sunday before being knocked out by sixth-seeded Piedmont.
The Maroons' top two pitchers, Higbie and Stephanie Clark, return next season.
But Roanoke will have to replace five senior starters, including the first three hitters in the batting order - Leona Rainey, Bier and Alleghany graduate Hollee Warlitner.
Roanoke 001 000 0 - 1 10 2
Emory 005 021 x - 8 6 1
Clark, Higbie (3), Clark (6) and Frick; Carpenter, Kardys (1) and Scharff, Carter. W- Kardys (24-4). L- Clark (12-5). HR- Emory: Sullivan.
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