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Virginia Tech sweeps Virginia in weekend series in Blacksburg

The Cavaliers were unable to produce any runs in three games

<p>Freshman pitcher Aly Rayle started two of Virginia's three games against Virginia Tech.</p>

Freshman pitcher Aly Rayle started two of Virginia's three games against Virginia Tech.

Virginia (16-25, 5-13 ACC) went scoreless in a three-game series against No. 22 Virginia Tech (37-6, 16-2 ACC) at Tech Softball Park. The Cavaliers, plagued by errors and an inability to create offense, finished winless in the head-to-head matchup against the in-state rival. 

Game 1: Virginia 0, Virginia Tech 8

Virginia Tech defeated Virginia 8-0 in the series opener Friday. Virginia Tech junior pitcher Carrie Eberle earned the win on the mound, holding the Cavaliers to a pair of hits in five innings. Virginia senior pitcher Allyson Frei took the loss, pitching three innings and allowing six runs to score on five hits. 

The Hokies were quick to score in the bottom of the first. Senior outfielder Emma Strouth plated a two-run home run to left field to give Virginia Tech an early lead. A solo home run in the second inning by sophomore catcher Mackenzie Lawter combined with a pair of walks and a single to extend the lead to five runs. 

In the following three innings, the Hokies continued to add runs to the board as Virginia came up empty. A double in the third, fourth and fifth innings produced a final 8-0 to end the game in a five-inning run rule. 

Virginia senior infielder Lacy Smith and freshman infielder Arizona Ritchie each produced a single to account for the Cavaliers’ two hits. Senior pitcher Tabby Dabney replaced Frei on the mound for one inning, allowing two runs. 

Game 2: Virginia 0, Virginia Tech 1

Freshman pitcher Aly Rayle battled with Virginia Tech sophomore pitcher Keely Rochard on the mound in a close one-run game. Rayle allowed one unearned run in the fifth after an error was followed by a pair of singles to give the Hokies the lead. The game marked Rayle’s second complete game in her career, and she allowed six hits in six innings. 

Rochard held Virginia to just one hit in the matchup — a double by sophomore infielder Hayley Busby in the first at-bat of the game — and retired eight Cavaliers on strikeouts. 

Game 3: Virginia 0, Virginia Tech 7

The Hokies took the final game Saturday to sweep Virginia in the weekend series, breaking open the game in the fifth to lead to a 7-0 final. Rayle took her second loss for the day, allowing three runs on four hits in her one inning on the mound. 

Virginia Tech scored early in the bottom of the first with a single, double, and triple that added two runs to the board. A solo shot by Lawter added a run in the second to give Virginia Tech a 3-0 lead. 

The game remained uneventful until the fifth, when sophomore outfielder Kate Covington produced a two-out single to bring Busby to the plate. Busby hit a long ball to the left field fence, but was robbed of a home run when Strouth made a grab over the wall. 

In the bottom of the inning, the Hokies extended the lead to seven. Virginia Tech sophomore outfielder Al Velazquez doubled to start the inning, and freshman infielder Kelsey Bennett followed up a few at-bats later with another double to score two. A home run by freshman infielder Meredith Slaw scored two more.  

Virginia freshman infielder Abigail Barber and Smith each hit a single to add to Virginia’s combined four hits for the game. Frei pitched five innings in relief, allowing four runs on five hits and striking out seven. Eberle pitched all seven, allowing four hits and shutting out Virginia with a combined five strikeouts. 

Virginia will play next at home against Liberty Tuesday at 6 p.m.