Virginia loses weekend series against Duke

Duke capitalized on errors and outhit Virginia in all three games


Freshman outfielder Tori Gilbert recorded a double against Duke in Virginia's last game of the weekend. 

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The Virginia softball team (16-13, 5-4 ACC) welcomed Duke (14-18, 5-4 ACC) to Charlottesville this weekend for an ACC clash at The Park. While the Cavaliers were able to win the Saturday game, the Blue Devils took the remaining two to clinch the series. 

Game 1: Virginia - 2, Duke - 7

Three errors in the first allowed Duke to take a significant lead at the start of the game. The Blue Devils came up with two singles in the inning, but all four runs scored were unearned, three crossing the plate on throwing errors. Senior pitcher Allyson Frei retired the side in the next two innings but was replaced by freshman pitcher Clare Zureich in the fourth. Zureich gave up one run on a pair of singles in the inning.

Virginia finally took to the board in the bottom of the fourth. Senior pitcher Erika Osherow led the inning with a single, and senior designated player Olivia Gott doubled to right center to score Osherow. Gott scored when freshman left fielder Tori Gilbert singled and advanced to second on the throw. Gilbert reached third in the next at-bat but was left stranded to end the inning. 

Duke freshman right fielder Caroline Jacobsen led off in the sixth with a solo home run down the left field line, adding another run for the Blue Devils. Duke scored a final run in the seventh on a triple by senior pinch hitter Reilly Metzger. 

Osherow went 2-for-3 at the plate, accounting for two of Virginia’s five hits for the game. Senior first baseman Lacy Smith’s 16-game hitting streak was broken in the matchup, as she came up empty in two at-bats. Frei took the loss despite allowing no earned runs in her 3.2 innings pitched.

Game 2: Virginia - 2, Duke - 1

Despite being outhit, the Cavaliers evened the series in a 2-1 win against Duke Saturday.

Virginia took an early lead in the first and kept it through the rest of the game. Sophomore third baseman Hayley Busby singled to left field to lead the inning. Smith homered in the next at-bat, giving the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead. The home run was Smith’s 12th for the season, closing in on the Virginia’s all-time record of 13 home runs in a single season, set by Kristen Dennis in 2002.

Freshman pitcher Aly Rayle earned the win on the mound in five innings, allowing no runs on six hits. Frei came in to relieve Rayle in the sixth with one out and runners on first and third. Duke’s leadoff hitter Jacobsen hit a line drive into the glove of Busby, and with two outs, sophomore center fielder Kate Covington made a diving catch in deep center to save two runs from scoring. 

Duke battled in the final inning with a single followed by a hit-by-pitch and double that brought in a run. With no outs, Frei worked two groundouts and a foul out to hold the Blue Devils to one run and earn the save for Virginia.

Game 3: Virginia - 0, Duke - 8

Duke defeated Virginia Sunday afternoon to take the series 2-1. The Cavaliers came up empty offensively, and the game ended in a five-inning run-rule. Frei took the loss, pitching three and one third innings and allowing six runs on seven hits. 

The Blue Devils capitalized on a pair of errors and scored four runs on four consecutive hits in the top of the first inning. Freshman utility player Kristina Foreman hit a double to drive in two runs. Junior utility player Raine Wilson followed with a single to score another, and Jacobsen hit a sacrifice fly to right field to make it a 4-0 game. 

Foreman came up with another hit in the fourth, this time a home run to left field that brought in three more runs for Duke. The Blue Devils scored a final run in the fifth. Sophomore left fielder Jameson Kavel tripled to lead the inning and Jacobsen drove her in with a single. 

Virginia had just two hits for the day. Smith led off with a double in the fourth and Gilbert added another double in the fifth. 

Virginia travels to Radford to play the Highlanders Tuesday, March 26. The game is set to begin at 6 p.m. 

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