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Softball loses ACC Tournament opener 8-0 to Georgia Tech

Virginia ended the season with a loss against the Yellow Jackets

<p>Freshman Aly Rayle started on the mound in the Cavaliers' last game of the season.</p>

Freshman Aly Rayle started on the mound in the Cavaliers' last game of the season.

Virginia - 0, Georgia Tech - 8

No. 10 seed Virginia (22-31, 8-16 ACC) opened the ACC Championships with an 8-0 loss against No. 7 seed Georgia Tech (31-26, 12-13 ACC) Wednesday in Tallahassee, Fla. The defeat eliminated Virginia from the tournament and likely ended the Cavaliers’ season.

Sophomore infielder Hayley Busby and senior infielder Lacy Smith led the game with back-to-back singles, then freshman infielder Abigail Barber loaded the bases with a walk. 

The Yellow Jackets escaped the inning, however, and responded in the bottom half with a pair of runs. Sophomore infielder Breanna Roper opened things up for Georgia Tech with a leadoff double and scored in the following at-bat. With two outs, sophomore infielder Tricia Awald hit a solo home run to left field to make it a 2-0 game. 

Virginia struggled offensively through the rest of the game, adding just one hit in four outings. Busby hit a single in the top of the third, but a double play cleared the bases. The single extended Busby’s multi-hit streak to seven games.

Freshman Aly Rayle started on the mound for Virginia and allowed two runs before being replaced by senior Allyson Frei. Each pitcher gave up three hits. 

Frei allowed three walks in the fourth inning that led to a three-run double to left by senior catcher Kaylee Ellebracht to extend the Yellow Jacket lead. Three more runs came in the bottom of the fifth to produce an 8-0 final. Multiple walks combined with a pair of singles ended the game in a five-inning run-rule.

Junior Morgan Bruce pitched for Georgia Tech, retiring five Cavaliers on strikeouts and allowing just three hits in five innings. Bruce faced just three batters in each of the innings following the first.