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​Softball comes up short against George Washington

Late-inning rally flames out too soon, lead-off walks cost Virginia in 5-2 loss

<p>Junior Aimee Chapdelaine knocked in the Cavaliers' second run. She also pitched three scoreless innings in relief of freshman Alex Formby. </p>

Junior Aimee Chapdelaine knocked in the Cavaliers' second run. She also pitched three scoreless innings in relief of freshman Alex Formby. 

Virginia softball dropped its Wednesday contest against George Washington, 5-2. The Colonials took advantage of a four-run third inning to survive a late comeback bid by the Cavaliers.

The Colonials (14-11, 0-2 A-10) nosed in front with one run in the opening inning. Sophomore Megan Linn led off the game with a walk. A flyout later, Linn swiped second base and scored on a single by senior Victoria Valos.

“They did a good job of capitalizing on [freshman pitcher Andie Formby’s] mistakes,” coach Blake Miller said. “Every time she left the ball up around the waist they got a hit.”

Virginia (7-26, 1-8 ACC) appeared poised for a quick response in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Allison Davis smacked a leadoff double into left field, and sophomore outfielder Iyana Hughes walked. A sacrifice fly put Davis at third with only one out and freshman Danni Ingraham at the plate. Ingraham lined to shortstop. Hughes, who strayed too far from first base, was doubled up.

“The one thing that is putting us in the state we’re in is attention to details,” Miller said. “The attention to detail was not good. We have to get a lot more disciplined in what we do, and the results automatically come from that.”

Formby ran into trouble in the third inning. Once again, she led off the inning with a walk, and once again that free pass came back to haunt the Orange, California native. Linn drove in the inning’s first run with a double.

A defensive breakdown led to the next run of the inning. With Linn on third base, sophomore Bradleigh Breland broke for second. Anticipating a double steal, freshman catcher Brittany McNulla threw to third base, but freshman Lauren Heintzelman could not corral the throw, which squirted into left allowing Linn to trot home.

A two-run shot to right-center field by Valos plated the final two runs of the third.

“The game sped up too much there,” Formby said. “I was falling behind too many batters, and when you do that it makes it rough on your defense.”

Virginia pitchers walked only two batters. Both were by Formby, were to lead-off batters and would both eventually score.

“The no-no in this game is giving up a leadoff walk because they’re going to score,” Miller said.

George Washington freshman Sarah Costlow kept the Virginia bats quiet for most of the game. She surrendered only three hits through the first five innings and only walked one batter in that span.

But finally the Cavaliers chained together good swings in the sixth inning, producing one run to show for it.

Davis turned on a Costlow offering for yet another leadoff double — her team-leading 12th. Hughes grounded out to second to advance Davis and make amends for her earlier base-running gaffe. The productive out paid off as Davis scored on an RBI groundout by sophomore Kaitlin Fitzgerald.

The Cavaliers put together another rally attempt in the game’s final frame. Down to their last out, sophomore Katie Park squibbed a pinch-hit infield single down the first base line to prolong the inning and game. Park quickly exited the contest in favor of a pinch runner — Heintzelman. Following a wild pitch which advanced Heintzelman, junior Aimee Chapdelaine singled her home.

Now, with real momentum, Virginia appeared ready to make a serious effort to tie or win the game. Chapdelaine stole second base before Davis drew a walk. Hughes — the potential tying run — hit a mean grounder, but it went directly to the first basemen, who stepped on the bag to end the game.

“They finally decided to get a little selective at the plate,” Miller said. “Early, we were good and aggressive in the right counts, but then we went the other way and started taking good pitches and swinging at the bad ones. They finally settled down in the last two innings.”

Formby took the loss and fell to 5-14 on the season. She allowed five runs over four innings. Chapdelaine threw shutout ball for the remaining three innings.

Costlow threw a complete game to earn her 11th win of the season.

Virginia travels to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for a three-game series over the weekend.