The Virginia softball team participated in the Eagle Challenge this weekend and emerged with a 2-2 split. The Cavaliers (3-6) earned a pair of victories Friday against Omaha and Delaware State, but stumbled in losses against North Carolina Central and in their second encounter against Omaha.
Virginia’s first clashed against Omaha (5-4) Friday afternoon in a nail-biting game, which marked the first ever encounter between the Cavaliers and the Mavericks. Virginia outhit the Mavericks 8-2 in regulation, but Omaha’s sturdy pitching and defense forced extra innings. After struggling with runners in scoring position during regulation, sophomore infielder McKall Miller scored freshman pitcher and outfielder Allison Davis from second with a double to take a 2-1 lead. Despite having a runner on third with one out, the Mavericks were unable to tie the game when junior outfielder Aimee Chapdelaine snagged a fly ball and heaved it home to beat the tagging runner in a game-sealing double play.
Unlike the previous game, the Cavaliers’ offense thrived in the matchup against Delaware State as the Cavaliers scored 14 runs off 11 hits to beat the Hornets (1-8) 14-1 in five innings. Much like their offensive outburst against UTEP last weekend, the Cavaliers heavily utilized the long ball. Freshman infielder Danni Ingraham collected the first home run of her college career in the first inning, which was promptly followed by a solo shot by Davis in the second. Sophomore infielder Madison Labshere and freshman catcher Brittany McNulla highlighted an eight-run third inning with back-to-back four baggers of their own, as the Cavaliers scored 12 runs off of Hornet pitcher Tara Tursellino in 2.1 innings.
Virginia did not fare as well the following day, falling to North Carolina Central in their first game. Despite trailing 5-0 after the first three innings, the Cavaliers were able to claw their way back to within one run, thanks to another home run by Ingraham. Despite loading the bases with two outs in the seventh inning, Virginia was unable to complete the comeback as the Eagles (2-2) outlasted the Cavaliers 5-4.
In the next game, Omaha took its revenge against Virginia, as four errors by the Cavaliers in the fourth inning allowed the Mavericks to score seven runs and never look back. Although Ingraham hit her third home run of the weekend, Virginia was unable to bounce back from the Mavericks’ offensive surge and Omaha claimed a 9-3 victory to settle the score against the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers will finish up their series of early-season tournaments as they compete in the Citrus Classic in Orlando next weekend.