Monday, May 15, 2000
by Will Stewart, HokieCentral.com
Softball Falls in A-10 Championship; Baseball Wins A-10 West
In weekend action, it was more of the same for the Tech softball team at the Atlantic 10 Championships in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Hokies managed to go 2-2 in the double elimination tournament, eventually losing the championship and finishing second to Massachusetts.
In their first round game, the Hokies beat Dayton 4-0 on Thursday, behind a no-hitter by Ashlee Dobbe. Tech then fell to UMass 6-2 on Friday. This dropped them down to the loser's bracket, where they once again encountered the Flyers, and the Hokies knocked them out with a 1-0 victory.
This advanced Tech into the championship on Saturday. On the day that their university held commencement back in Blacksburg, the Tech women faced UMass, needing two straight victories over the Minutewomen to win the championship. But Tech bowed quickly in the first game, 6-0, ending their season at 41-22. There is no chance the Hokies will get invited to the NCAA's, so they're through for the year.
For the Hokies, being eliminated by UMass is nothing new. The Minutewomen knocked a red-hot 54-16 Tech team out last year as well, and in the last two years, the Hokies have gone just 1-6 against UMass, while mowing through the rest of the conference to the tune of 29 wins against just 4 losses.
From here, the Hokies move into the Big East. The Atlantic 10 is a very weak softball conference, with the notable exception of UMass. The Big East, on the other hand, boasts Notre Dame, which at #17 (according to the May 7th NFCA Softball Poll) is the highest-ranked Big East softball team. UConn is in the "Also Receiving Votes" category, tied with UMass at 3 votes.
Tech will enter the Big East with top pitchers Ashlee Dobbe and Clarissa Crowell (both were just sophomores this year), but the Hokies lose seniors Michelle Meadows and Kara Krumhardt, who were the only Hokies to make the Atlantic 10 All-Tournament Team. In particular, the loss of Meadows, the A-10 Player of the Year, will hurt. The good news is that in addition to Dobbe and Crowell, fellow All-Atlantic 10 first-teamer Bronwyn Blair returns, as well.
As for the baseball team, they needed a strong showing at La Salle over the weekend to lock down a spot in the four-team Atlantic 10 Baseball Tournament next weekend, and they got it, sweeping the Explorers in three straight. Tech ends the season a so-so 31-23-2 overall, but 16-5 in the Atlantic 10. That's good enough for first place in the A-10 West.
The Hokies will swing into action Thursday. Pairings for the four-team, double-elimination tournament, which is played in Boyertown, Pa., will be announced Today.
Stadium Expansion Update
In case you missed it, there was a very informative Hokie Huddler article about stadium expansion that appeared on-line last week. Among other things, the article mentions that media rooms and a huge visitors locker room will be built under the South end zone expansion. This was mentioned frequently in the early days of stadium expansion talks, but had not been confirmed in print for quite a while, which led me to wonder if those plans had been scrapped. It's good to hear that they weren't, because a visitor's locker room and media rooms are badly needed in aging Lane Stadium.
The HokieCentral Lane Stadium Expansion Page has been updated with all the latest info.
New Poll Software and Post of the Week Launched
Two highly-anticipated new features have appeared on HokieCentral in the last week: new polling software and a message board "Post of the Week" (POTW) feature.
We used to use a free polling service on the home page polls, but HC now has its own polling software. We'll run a new poll every week or ten days on the home page. You can vote once in each poll, and from that point on, you will see the results for that poll each time that you log onto the home page. When a new poll is launched, you'll again be able to vote.
As for the Post of the Week feature, you'll see a link in each message board post that says "Click here to vote this post for post of the week." If you read a particularly insightful, enlightening, or even humorous post, click the "Vote" link, and your vote will be added to the weekly voting totals.
You can only vote for each post once, but you can vote for more than one post a week. That means that if you see a post you really like on Monday, you can vote for it, but if another great post comes along on Wednesday, then you can vote for it, too. Try to limit the number of posts you vote for, though, so the results don't turn into total garbage.
We will probably post the first POTW's next Monday, so you can start voting right away. At this point, we have no idea where or how we're going to post links to the POTW archives, but you'll see it when it happens, so look for it.