The past weeks have been tumultuous for Virginia softball as the team has not been able to break an ongoing losing streak that stretches back to Feb. 23.
The Cavaliers (8-12, 0-6 ACC) have been on a slippery slope, losing their last eight games after opening the season with a winning record. Virginia’s batting woes continued against the Hokies (19-4, 3-0 ACC) as the team was unable to manage a single run throughout the three-game series.
Game 1 — Virginia 0, Virginia Tech 4
The first matchup between the two teams was the closest one of the weekend. Following a scoreless first inning, the Hokies struck first blood in the top of the second inning with a home run from sophomore utility Jayme Bailey.
The Cavaliers attempted to respond following a single from sophomore catcher and infielder Donna Friedman. However, Virginia’s efforts were thwarted by the Hokies’ pitching, keeping Virginia Tech in command 1-0.
The third and fourth innings followed the same narrative as the first — neither team managed to score any runs. The Cavaliers struggled throughout this stretch, failing to land any hits or have any players get on base.
Still clinging to a 1-0 advantage, the Hokies looked to extend their lead in the top of the fifth inning. At first, the inning looked bleak for Virginia Tech following two quick outs. However, Virginia Tech junior outfielder Darby Trull orchestrated the beginning of a run with a double to right center.
Trull would score moments later when sophomore catcher Grace Chavez cracked a home run to left center, making the score 3-0 in favor of the Hokies. The scoring run did not stop there as Bailey landed her second home run of the game to extend the lead further to 4-0.
Despite the game not being completely out of reach, Virginia failed to muster a response and the team was unable to land a hit in the remaining innings. The game concluded 4-0, despite Virginia Tech having what appeared to be prime scoring opportunities in the sixth and the seventh innings.
Game 2 — Virginia 0, Virginia Tech 6
The second game of the series proved to be more of the same with neither team managing a single hit in the first three innings. Virginia Tech was able to get two players on base in the third, albeit only after Virginia pitching errors.
It was in the fourth inning that the Hokies found their rhythm by scoring two runs. A reach on a muffed throw by sophomore infielder Meredith Slaw put Virginia Tech in position to score.
The key play by Slaw allowed Bailey to advance to third base and opened the door for freshman infielder Rebecca Ludowig to get on base. This was followed up with a double by sophomore infielder Kelsey Bennett which resulted in both Bailey and Ludowig scoring.
The Cavaliers again struggled to respond with runs of their own with only freshman infielder Katie Goldberg managing to get on base.
The Hokies kept up their momentum in the top of the fifth inning, scoring two more runs to extend their lead to 4-0. This time it was sophomore utility Maddi Banks striking a double to center field, eventually allowing her to score.
Junior outfielder Kelsey Brown also hit paydirt after stealing second base, scoring after a Chavez ground out.
Down four runs, Virginia was in play to potentially close in on the Hokies with three innings remaining, but the team never had the opportunity.
With the fifth and sixth innings being busts for the Cavaliers, Virginia Tech put the game out of reach in the seventh and final inning as the team scored two more runs. The first run was scored by senior infielder Olivia Lattin and the second came courtesy of Banks to conclude the game at 6-0.
Game 3 — Virginia 0, Virginia Tech 7
The third and final game of the weekend presented the widest scoring margin between the two teams.
Despite the scoreline, the game was deadlocked for the first five innings with neither team managing a run. The late innings were vital for the Hokies and ultimately sunk the Cavaliers.
Along with being scoreless, the first five innings were also vastly uneventful as there was only one hit that occured in total. The hit came from Bailey who tripled in the top of the fourth, but nothing came of her efforts.
The action began in the sixth inning where Bailey was the catalyst for the Hokies again. Bailey doubled to left field, resulting in Trull scoring and Ludowig advancing to third. Ludowing and Bailey both managed to score later in the inning with the former coming in following a Slaw groundout and the latter being a result of a Virginia fielding error.
Down 3-0, the Cavaliers once again did not have a response and fell further behind in the seventh inning when Virginia Tech scored four more runs. Following a run from Banks, a home run from Slaw pushed things over the edge, as Chavez and Brown scored courtesy of Slaw’s efforts.
The game concluded 7-0, capping off another disappointing weekend for Virginia.
The Cavaliers will look to rebound Tuesday when they will face Bucknell in a doubleheader at Palmer Park.