In what was originally intended to be its home-opening series that was changed due to snow, the Virginia softball team (4-14, 1-2 ACC) instead traveled to the FMU Softball Stadium in Florence, South Carolina, where it sandwiched a win between two losses to drop the series to Pittsburgh (15-2, 2-1 ACC).
The Cavaliers began their first series of conference play with a doubleheader on Saturday. In each of the two contests, Virginia put up a fight and rallied multiple times. In the first game, Virginia pounced to take the lead with a two-RBI single by sophomore infielder Kaitlin Fitzgerald, before Pitt knocked in three runs to take a 3-2 lead in the third inning.
With the game knotted 3-3 in the top of the fifth, the Panthers tacked on four runs and looked to cruise to an easy victory, but the Cavaliers promptly answered with four runs of their own, all with two outs, to even the score. Despite the Cavaliers’ rally, Pittsburgh’s offense burst open in the top of the seventh to plate seven runs and run away with a 14-7 victory.
In the second game, freshman Allison Davis played hero multiple times as the Cavaliers salvaged a win to split their Saturday doubleheader. The Panthers struck first as they were able to capitalize upon multiple errors to take a 6-0 lead after the top of the second. Virginia commenced its rally with a four-run second to cut Pitt’s lead to two, before later tying the game at 7-7 with three runs in the fourth.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Davis, who also started the game as pitcher and homered in the second, laced a triple down the right field line to score freshman catcher Brittany McNulla and force extra innings. The game remained knotted at 8-8 until the twelfth inning, when Davis stepped to the plate and launched a 1-1 pitch into the stands for her second shot of the game as Virginia earned a 9-8 win, its first ACC victory of the season.
In Sunday’s series finale, Pittsburgh managed 10 runs, seven earned, off of freshman pitcher Andie Formby. Despite scoring nine runs in the previous game, the Cavaliers’ offense was virtually nullified on Sunday, with their lone two runs scored by McNulla’s two-RBI single to plate sophomore catcher Katie Park and Davis. Scoring in four of the five innings played, Pittsburgh earned a 10-2 victory to take the series.
The Cavaliers will next visit Harrisonburg as they compete in a doubleheader against JMU this Wednesday.