Virginia vs. Virginia Tech
The scene from Palmer Park last Tuesday night was a picturesque spring night with a slight breeze and trees blooming just beyond the complex. However, Virginia’s game was not as beautiful as the scenery. The Cavaliers (11-18, 7-14 ACC) narrowly avoided the slaughter rule after the 19th ranked Hokies (21-5, 14-5 ACC) had a prolific fourth inning.
The Hokies got off to a hot start, scoring one run in each the first three innings. Virginia Tech was able to get out in front because of errors made by the Cavalier defense. Offensively, Virginia struggled against junior pitcher Keely Rochard. She pitched for the majority of the night, finishing with 107 pitches thrown. Rochard had 11 strikeouts and only allowed 4 hits.
As the Virginia Tech offense came alive in the fourth inning, the Cavaliers made their first pitching change of the night, switching to sophomore Mackenzie Wooten. Unfortunately for Virginia, the pitching change did not slow down the Hokies.
A bunt and dribble grounder got the bases loaded for Virginia Tech with no outs. A hard-hit rip down the left field line by sophomore utility player Jayme Baily brought three runners home. This resulted in the score doubling – 6-0.
After a single and another score, the Cavaliers decided to switch pitchers for the second time in the inning, going to junior Clare Zureich, who managed to get Virginia out of the inning.
Despite the swap, the Cavaliers were unable to make a comeback. The Cavaliers scored one run in the bottom of the fifth inning to keep the game alive, but they continued to struggle offensively and went on to lose 9-1.
Virginia had only one day to make the proper adjustments and prepare for another conference rival, Boston College.
Virginia vs. Boston College
On a chilly Thursday afternoon in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers and the Eagles (6-18, 2-11 ACC) squared off in the first game of a double header. The game was also the first of the weekend series.
Virginia had very efficient pitching in the game as sophomore Molly Grube got the start for the Cavaliers. Grube only allowed three hits while she was on the pitcher’s mound, two of which occurred in the first inning.
Grube finished the night having thrown 57 pitches. She additionally did not allow any runs to be scored and posted four strikeouts.
Both teams struggled offensively. In 22 at bats, the Eagles had six strikeouts and only three hits, none of which resulted in points. On the other side, Virginia only had one hit the entire game.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, sophomore infielder Katie Goldberg hit a double which was followed up with a sacrifice bunt that allowed her to advance to third base. Junior catcher Donna Friedman hit a deep pop-up to centerfield, which allowed Goldberg to get home. That would be the only score of the game, as Virginia came away with a victory 1-0 in the first game of the doubleheader and the series.
In the second game on Thursday, Virginia had an explosive offense and fantastic pitching. The Cavaliers had hot bats from the beginning of the game.
The inning started off with freshman infielder Abby Weaver getting hit by a pitch and the next batter being walked. Next up to bat was Goldberg, who hit a bomb over the centerfield wall. Virginia would bring in three more runs that inning, and then one run in each of the next three innings.
Junior pitcher Aly Rayle had a great showing for the Cavaliers, and the Boston College batters were unable to handle her pitches. Rayle allowed zero runs and only one hit and finished the night with five strikeouts.
Virginia took the second game of the series 9-0 and won the doubleheader.
It was another chilly day in Charlottesville as Boston College and Virginia met again on Friday afternoon for the third game of the series. Going into the match-up, Virginia was looking to keep up its strong offense from the previous day.
Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, they were only able to accumulate one run thanks to a solo homerun from junior catcher Ashley Jennings. Other than the homerun from Jennings, Virginia only had five hits on the day.
The Eagles were looking to improve on their offense, and they were able to accomplish that goal in the top of the fifth inning. Junior outfielder Ellie Mataya got things rolling with a single and was able to steal second.
After a strikeout, senior third baseman Emme Martinez hit a single, which allowed Mataya to score.
Boston College continued its offensive domination into the sixth inning. Junior catcher Gianna Boccagno struck out swinging but was able to reach first because of a fielding error. After Boccagno reached first, a batter was walked as well.
Following this, Boston College bunted, and everyone remained safe. With the bases loaded as Mataya walked up to the plate, she hit right over the shortstop's head, which allowed two runs to be scored.
Virginia was not able to make a comeback and Boston College went on to win the game 3-1, preventing Virginia from sweeping the series.
The final game of the series was a long one. After 12 innings, Virginia managed to get the win, 2-1.
Great pitching from both clubs was the reason for the low-scoring contest. Junior pitcher Susannah Anderson pitched for the entire game for the Eagles, and Anderson also pitched in game three.
Over the course of the two games, Anderson threw a total of 247 pitches. In game four, Anderson delivered on six strikeouts and only allowed one walk.
Rayle got the start for the Cavaliers and pitched six and a half innings. In that time, Rayle had nine strikeouts and only allowed one run. Freshman Mikayla Houge took over for Rayle in the seventh inning. She allowed no runs and only walked two batters.
Boston College got the first run of the game in the third inning as senior outfielder CC Cook hit a single. Later in the inning, freshman second basemen Nicole Giery got a double which brought Cook home. The Eagles would not score again.
The Cavaliers did not score until the sixth inning. After a hit batter and single by Goldberg, junior Tori Gilbert singled to right field, which brought a run home. Virginia scored again in the bottom of the 12th inning after Jennings got a single.
She was able to advance to second on a bunt – both runners were safe. Another bunt allowed the runners to advance to second and third with only one out. Anderson hit a batter, which got the bases loaded. Junior infielder Arizona Ritchie got a single that brought the winning run home. Virginia won the series.
The Cavaliers have a couple days off before taking on Liberty Tuesday at 4 p.m.