BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — As the 2nd ranked Virginia Tech softball team prepares for ACC tournament play Thursday in Pittsburgh, the team earned several ACC honors. Pete D’Amour was named coach of the year, Keely Rochard picked up pitcher of the year and former Jefferson Forest star Emma Lemley was named freshman of the year. Speaking of Lemley, she’s made the transition from high school to college in a big way.

“It has been a really huge turnaround from high school ball and travel ball. You know I have so much expectations but you know you don’t really know what you are getting into until you start the games how good the teams are that we are playing. So it is a little bit of a shock. But I felt prepared for it,” said Lemley.

Nothing has phased Emma Lemley when it comes to pitching for the Hokies. Lemley has given Virginia Tech a strong 1-2 punch in the pitching circle. Something head coach Pete D’Amour is proud to see from his freshman pitcher.

“She gives us a chance to win when she throws. That is the mark of an upper tier pitcher. The thing with Emma, she is a strikeout pitcher. You can bank on her having 10 plus strikeouts when she is throwing. That is a big deal. It takes a lot of pressure off of the defense and the offense,” said D’Amour. “I appreciate he has that much trust in me to go out there as a freshman and pitch big games this season. I am happy he had so much trust in me. That kinda helps my confidence just to know the team has my back,” said Lemley.

With the second season on the horizon for Virginia Tech softball, Lemley and the rest of her teammates are excited about what they can do moving forward. “We have a really big chance here to do something great and something historical at this school. We have to keep focusing on the next game and to keep working hard in practice,” said Lemley.

The second ranked and top seeded Virginia Tech softballers take on the Syracuse Orange in the ACC quarterfinals Thursday at 11am from Pittsburgh.