“Keely loves it here. … Her legacy here is important to her. … Finishing your career here, that’s important to her.”

  Rochard was named the 2021 ACC pitcher of the year as a fourth-year junior. She has an extra year of eligibility because the 2020 season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

  She had said in April that she had not yet decided whether she would return to Tech for her extra year. She had said her remaining classes were electives that she could either take this summer or wait until next year to do so.

  She was mum about her decision after Tech’s season-ending loss on May 30.

  D’Amour had said on June 10 that Rochard had yet to inform him if she would be returning to Tech.

  D’Amour said Tuesday that he thought Rochard would return but wanted to “give her room to think.”

  Rochard went 29-10 with a 1.38 ERA, 348 strikeouts and 70 walks in 244 innings for Tech (37-15, 23-11) this year. She threw 13 shutouts. Rochard was 4-2 with 49 strikeouts in 37 innings in the NCAA tournament.

  She earned first-team All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, joining former ace Angela Tincher as the only first-team All-Americans in the program history.

  “She’s coming back because of the coaching staff and the ability of her to improve,” D’Amour said. “A recruit’s going to see that and say, ‘I can go to Virginia Tech and become a better pitcher my senior year than I was my freshman year.’”

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