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   Welcome to TSLMail #272 - Friday, March 30, 2007    
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Lowe's Home Improvement is running a very cool NCAA Final Four "Cut Down The Nets" promotion that provides every Lowe's customer, from March 1 - April 10, 2007, the opportunity to win a trip for you and three guests for five days and four nights to the 2008 NCAA Men's Final Four.

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   Tech Sports News


Tincher Even More Dominant This Year
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com

Most Hokie fans would name Branden Ore, Brandon Flowers, Zabian Dowdell or someone like that as Virginia Tech's top athlete. But in case you haven't been following the headlines the last couple of years, Tech's top athlete, regardless of sport or gender, is softball pitcher Angela Tincher.

Tincher is a junior who has posted a career 67-21 record with a 0.88 ERA in her 2+ seasons in Blacksburg. She has developed into the most feared pitcher in the ACC, and perhaps in the country. She has racked up some major accomplishments in her career. Here are just a few:

  • Threw a no-hitter as a freshman against Maryland in Tech's ACC debut
  • Set four ACC tournament pitching records as a freshman in 2005
  • 2nd team All-American in 2006 by Louisville Slugger/NFCA, the first in Tech history
  • One of ten finalists for USA Softball National Player of the Year in 2006
  • One of just three pitchers nationally to top 500 strikeouts in 2006
  • Already holds Tech's career strikeout record

Those are just a few of her accomplishments, most of which were recorded in her first two seasons in Blacksburg. She recently added two more honors to her growing list.

After a dominating series recently against Florida State, Tincher was named USA Softball Co-National Player of the Week, and Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week. She had two towering performances in one series against the Seminoles.

In the first game of the series last Saturday, Tincher pitched a perfect game in eight innings (softball only plays seven innings), the first time that has ever been done at Virginia Tech. The Hokies won the game 1-0 in the extra inning. Tincher struck out 18 of the 24 batters she faced during the game.

She followed that up with another 1-0 win against Florida State the very next day. She struck out 11 more batters, and her no-hitter was broken up by an infield single in the seventh inning. For the weekend, Tincher struck out 29 Florida State players in two games while allowing just one hit.

If you can believe it, Tincher is even better this year than she's ever been. The Hokies still have 24 games left to play, and she is already 20-3 with a 0.41 ERA. She is just six wins shy of her career high, and her ERA is much lower than her previous best of 1.01. She already has 330 strikeouts on the season, and 1,183 for her career. With 24 games left in the regular season, as well as the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament, Tincher has a chance to add to her already impressive resume.


Baseball Team Improving Under Hughes

Last season the Virginia Tech baseball team finished 20-33, with a horrible 4-25 record in the ACC. Legendary coach Chuck Hartman retired following the season, and Jim Weaver went north to hire Peter Hughes away from Boston College. Hughes had a reputation of getting a lot out of his players, and so far that's exactly what he's doing in Blacksburg.

It's still early, but Virginia Tech appears to be much improved in baseball this year. The Hokies are 15-11 overall and 4-5 in conference play. It's taken just nine games to get the same amount of ACC wins as they earned in 29 games last year. That's big-time progress over the course of just one season.

In 2006, the only ACC team that had fewer overall wins than the Hokies was Duke, with just 15 wins. However, the Blue Devils still managed to win six games in the ACC, which planted the Hokies dead last in the Coastal Division. So far this year, Tech is ahead of Miami (3-5) and Duke (1-8) in the ACC. They also have a better ACC mark than Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are in the Atlantic Division, and they are 3-6 in conference play.

Tech started ACC play with a bang by taking the opening conference series against #21 Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The Hokies took two of three games from the Yellow Jackets, and went on to earn victories over NC State and UNC as well.

The home win over #4 UNC is the biggest win of the season for Virginia Tech. The Hokies beat the Tar Heels on the arm of senior southpaw Andrew Wells, who allowed just four hits and one unearned run in seven innings against UNC. It was only UNC's fourth loss of the season.

If you know the coaching history of Peter Hughes, you shouldn't be surprised by these results. Hughes went to Boston College in 1999 and took over a program that had averaged 13 wins per season in the previous 35 years. In eight seasons with Hughes serving as head coach, the Eagles averaged 31 wins per season. Boston College won a school record 37 games in 2005 with Hughes at the helm.

With the Hokies not having the greatest baseball facilities in the world, donít look for them to start challenging for ACC titles anytime soon. But with new blood in the program, and a coach who always seems to win no matter what situation he's in, they aren't going to be the conference doormats every year like they were in 2006.


Stick Our Your School-Colored Tongue!

It's March Madness...Rolling Stones Style! The latest Rockware Jockware celebrates school spirit: choose one of the hats or visors from this Bracket Packet and root your team on in the tournament!

The color combos offered represent a large number of the top college basketball programs in the country. Or you can just buy whichever color hats you want to match your mood or your wardrobe. In addition, you can get yourself the new Basketball Tongue Pin. If you buy the pin along with any hat or visor, you can save $3 on the pin.

This is a pre-order. All orders will ship on or around March 23. If you order anything else from the store at the same time, your whole order will wait to ship when this pre-order ships.

Rolling Stones caps in 14 different color combos

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here.

   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week

Catching up with VT Recruit Terrell Bell

March 30, 2007
Terrell Bell, who signed with Virginia Tech last November, turned in a fine senior season at Stone Mountain High School (GA). The 6-7, 200-pound guard/forward helped his team to a 26-5 record and an appearance in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. He demonstrated the versatility Tech fans will be able to see over the next four years.
more

Boykins up to Double-Digit Offers
March 29, 2007
6-0, 200-pound Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) star junior Kerry Boykins, a first-team all-state performer last season, claims to have "10 to 12 offers" in the fold. We caught up with the talented athlete - a wide receiver, safety and return man for Oscar Smith - to discuss future visits, a possible timetable on a college decision and his recent performance at a Nike combine.
more

Spring Football Practice Opens Today
March 28, 2007
Virginia Tech begins spring practice today in Blacksburg, and there are a few storylines to follow this year, as usual. The football team will practice every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday beginning today, and the Spring Game will be held on April 21st at 2 pm at Lane Stadium. Admission is free.
Also: Win a TSL Pass Subscription and VT Merchandise by Playing the Pete Dye River Course; TechSideline.com Spring Game Tailgate
more

Pellum Feels at Home at Virginia Tech
March 28, 2007
Committing to Virginia Tech was an easy decision for Massanutten Military Academy's Darrion Pellum. The 6-6, 215-pound guard had been to Virginia Tech on many occasions and likens Tech to "another home. I'm really comfortable going there."
more

Ed Davis Narrows List, Names Favorites
March 28, 2007
5-star junior Ed Davis followed through on his plans of a few weeks ago and has narrowed his list of schools to eight. The 6-8, 210-pound Benedictine (Richmond, VA) forward lists his top eight programs, names two current favorites and discusses when he plans to make his next cut.
more

Tech Adds Another to 2007 Class
March 27, 2007
Virginia Tech head men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg added another prospect to Tech's 2007 recruiting class today, when the program received a verbal commitment from 6-5, 210-pound Massanutten Military Academy guard Darrion Pellum.
more

2007 Spring Football Preview: Special Teams
March 27, 2007
Frank Beamer values special teams more than any other coach in the nation, so much so that he personally coaches the Tech special teams. He'll have his work cut out for him this spring, as the Hokies must replace their kicker, punter and long snapper. With an offense that's likely to struggle again, Beamer must get as much out of his special teams as possible.
more

Board of Visitors Approves New Basketball Facility
March 27, 2007
The Roanoke Times reported on Monday that the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has approved a $20 million practice facility for the men's and women's basketball programs. The 59,000 square foot facility will be built next to Cassell Coliseum on the location of the parking lot next to the hill that overlooks the football practice fields.
Also: Dowdell Named Honorable Mention All-American
more

Hopkins Makes Junior Day Visit
March 27, 2007
Three weeks ago, Highland Springs (VA) standout defensive end Antoine Hopkins landed his second written scholarship offer. Now, the 6-2, 265-pound Hopkins boasts written offers from Virginia Tech and Virginia. He visited UVa this past weekend and will head to Virginia Tech in the near future.
more

2007 Spring Football Preview: The Offensive Backfield
March 26, 2007
Many fans will have their eye on the offensive backfield this spring, and there are a few storylines to follow. How will Sean Glennon perform with a year under his belt? Will Ike Whitaker challenge him for the starting job? Who will back up Branden Ore at tailback? The answers to those questions, as well as how well the offensive line progresses, will determine how far Virginia Tech can go in 2007.
more

Top Recruit Christian Wilson Visits VT
March 26, 2007
Montour (McKees Rocks, PA) football star Christian Wilson, one of the most highly recruited players so far in the 2008 class, has tallied close to 40 Division 1A scholarship offers. The 6-3, 235-pound prospect recently concluded a weekend tour of Virginia Tech, UNC, N.C. State and Wake Forest. He took time to discuss his visit experiences and which schools may stand out in this early going.
more

2007 Spring Football Preview: The Offensive Line
March 23, 2007
The most important position for Virginia Tech this year will be offensive line. Not quarterback, not depth at defensive end, not whip linebacker, and not rover. How far this team will go this fall will depend on how much running room the line can create for Branden Ore, and how much time they give Sean Glennon, Ike Whitaker, or whomever, to throw.
more

Recruiting Going Well for Star In-State WR
March 23, 2007
Junior wide receiver Ben Barber turned in an excellent performance this past season, helping Edison (Alexandria, VA) to a Northern Region Division 5 Championship title and an appearance in the AAA Division 5 state championship game. The 5-10, 193-pound prospect finished the 2006 season with 54 receptions for 1,034 yards and 12 touchdowns.
more
 
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