Virginia loses home opener, wins three in the Cavalier Classic

Three of the Cavalier’s six scheduled games were canceled this weekend due to rain

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The Cavaliers came up with 12 hits in their 10-2 win against Norfolk State.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

Following a loss to Rutgers Thursday night, Virginia was hot at the plate in this weekend’s Cavalier Classic. Despite the rain, which led to the cancelation of three of Virginia’s scheduled games, the Cavaliers finished the tournament 3-0, reaching double digits in all three matchups. Next, Virginia (8-9, 0-0 ACC) will head to Radford Tuesday before returning to The Park to face Pittsburgh Friday. 

Game 1: Virginia 0, Rutgers 4

Virginia fell to Rutgers 4-0 Thursday night at The Park. This marks the fifth straight season the Cavaliers have lost in home openers. Rutgers similarly defeated Virginia in the 2004 opener with an identical score of 4-0.

Redshirt senior Allyson Frei pitched seven innings, giving up three runs in the third and another in the seventh to give Rutgers a 4-0 win. Virginia came up empty offensively, producing four hits but unable to put runs on the board.

The first runs of the game came in the top of the third, after Frei walked two to start the inning. Rutgers’ freshman Anyssa Iliopoulos tripled to right field to drive in two runs and scored off of a single by freshman Katie Wingert in the next at-bat. The Scarlet Knights scored a final run in the top of the seventh with a double down the left field line by Wingert. 

Virginia sophomore Hayley Busby finished with two hits for the day, while seniors Olivia Gott and Lacy Smith accounted for the other two. 

Game 2: Virginia 11, Buffalo 3

Virginia started the game against Buffalo Friday afternoon –– the first in this past weekend’s Cavalier Classic. The Cavaliers scored early in the second with a double by freshman infielder Arizona Ritchie, bringing in senior Erika Osherow to home plate. Buffalo answered in the third with a double down the left field line to score one and tie the game. Due to rain, play was suspended in the middle of the third inning and resumed Saturday morning. 

Virginia took no time in tacking on runs once play resumed Saturday, scoring six to take a significant lead. The rally started with a double to left center by Gott to bring in two runs. Following up, freshman Donna Friedman singled to right, allowing two to cross home. Sophomore outfielder Kate Covington homered to left field to make it 7-1 going into the fourth. 

Buffalo scored their other two runs of the game in the fifth inning. A fielding error at third base allowed one run to cross home and a walk with the bases loaded caused further damage. 

Virginia added three in the fifth with two doubles, one off the bat of junior Ashlee Davis and another from Smith. Covington came up with another hit in the bottom of the sixth to end the game with a walk-off single, bringing in the final run. 

Osherow pitched four and one-third innings for Virginia, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out nine batters –– a career best. Osherow earned her first win of the season. 

Standing Out

At the plate, Covington went 3-for-4, producing her first home run of the season and finishing the game with three RBIs. Her three hits and RBIs in a single game are both career-highs for Covington. Other players with multiple hits were Smith (3-for-4), Friedman (2-for-3), and Davis (2-for-3).

Game 3: Virginia 10, Norfolk State 2

Norfolk State took to the board first with two singles and a walk in the first inning, giving them an early lead in the Saturday afternoon game. However, Smith singled in the bottom of the inning, reaching second on a wild pitch and scoring on a single by Gott. Gott advanced to third on the throw home and scored on a ground-out by Friedman, giving the Cavaliers a one run lead.

Norfolk State responded again in the second with a solo-shot over the left center fence, tying things up. Freshman pitcher Aly Rayle and Frei held the Spartans to two runs for the remainder of the game, giving up a total of four hits. 

Covington hit her second home run of the day, a solo-shot to right center in the bottom of the second. Ritchie and Smith also hit a pair of homers in the fourth, bringing in a combined four runs for the Cavaliers.

Three singles and an error in the bottom of the sixth allowed Virginia to score two more runs. Gott finished the game with a walk-off single to right field to score freshman Bailey Winscott and end the game 10-2 in a run-rule. 

Game 4: Virginia 11, Buffalo 4

Virginia put 11 runs on the board against Buffalo for a second time Saturday, making it their fourth game in double digits and third at home for the season. 

The Cavaliers stayed hot offensively, scoring three in the first inning with two back-to-back home runs by Smith and Gott. Busby led off the following inning with a home run to center field, her third of the season. Virginia continued the drive with a six run rally to give them a 9-1 lead. 

Osherow finished up 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs for the game, driving in one in the the third. Freshman Madi Wilson also came up with her first career RBI to make it 11-1 going into the fourth inning. 

Buffalo scored on a solo home run in the second, and their other three runs came in the fourth and fifth innings, finishing up with a total seven hits for the game. Rayle started on the mound, pitching two innings and giving up two hits and one run. Freshman Clare Zureich came in for relief and earned the win through three innings, allowing three runs and striking out five. 

Standing Out

Smith’s home run marks her seventh for the season, topping her 2018 total of six. She still leads the team in batting average (.436) and slugging percentage (.873) and sits at 19 RBIs for the season. 

Virginia plays once again this Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Radford University. 

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