Virginia Tech's Keely Rochard (VT photo)

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D1Softball Analytics No. 1 Pitcher: Virginia Tech’s Keely Rochard

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Keely Rochard wouldn’t budge. No matter how many times her name appeared on the lineup card at different positions in rec league ball, she was adamant about being in the circle.

“They kept trying to put me in the outfield and catcher and I was so persistent about not doing that and saying, ‘I am going to pitch. I am going to pitch,’” Rochard said. “My mom was like ‘Are you sure? What if you are just not good enough?’ But I was determined to do it.”

And to be sure, Rochard was not very good when she first started pitching.

“Everyone jokes because I would walk the world,” Rochard said. “But my emotions don’t change on the mound and I would be walking everyone and just act like, ‘Who is next?’ because I just wanted to pitch. Then one tournament it just clicked for me.”

Rochard has harnessed her control and developed into an ace for Virginia Tech. The junior right-hander finished the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season as the No. 1-ranked pitcher on D1Softball’s Top 100 Analytics list. 

Rochard was 15-3 with a 1.52 ERA, 183 strikeouts and 24 walks in 120 innings pitched. She led the NCAA in strikeouts, wins and shutouts (7), including two no-hitters.

 

 

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