Why Keely Rochard Chose Virginia Tech
After nearly willing her team to the 2021 Women’s College World Series, pitcher Keely Rochard is in the midst of her fifth and final season of college softball at Virginia Tech.
Currently sitting at 10-2 on the year with a 1.26 ERA and 138 strikeouts, Rochard is back in full form in 2022 and remains the ace for the No. 6 Hokies.
We caught up with the Virginia Tech senior, who is one of the best pitchers in the country, to see what originally drew her to Blacksburg and what we can expect from her and her team for the remainder of the season.
Softball America: When did you start playing softball and why did you stick with the sport?
Keely Rochard: I first started playing softball when I was 10 years old. Growing up, I also played basketball, volleyball and I was a swimmer. I decided to stick with softball because out of all the sports I participated in, I enjoyed playing and competing on the field the most.
SA: Why did you choose to play college softball at Virginia Tech?
KR: When I was being recruited, there wasn’t really a school that I had in mind. There was not a “dream school” that I had, so I went on a couple of visits to different schools. Once I visited Virginia Tech, though, I knew I did not need to keep looking anymore because I felt like this is where I wanted to be, and where I wanted to play college softball.
SA: How were you able to throw so many innings (244) last year for your team?
KR: I didn’t do anything different. I am not sure what it is about me, but naturally I have been blessed to be able to handle a huge load and throw so many innings. I didn’t do anything special. I am able to handle so much and have a lot of durability, so I tried to use it to my advantage to help my team win games.
SA: What has been your favorite game of your college career so far?
KR: That's a hard one, but I have to choose between two games last year in the NCAA Tournament. The two would be the second BYU game that sent us to the super regionals and the first super regional game against UCLA, at their place.
SA: What can we expect from you and Virginia Tech for the rest of the season?
KR: Honestly, I think we are going to continue to be very fun to watch this year. You can expect us to compete every single day in games, and for us to continue to make progress and get better as the season goes on.