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Softball opens season on the road in Charlotte and at Gamecock Invitational

The Cavaliers fell short against the 49ers and split with two wins and two losses at the South Carolina Softball Tournament

<p>The Cavaliers had mixed results in their first games of the year.</p>

The Cavaliers had mixed results in their first games of the year.

The Virginia softball team kicked off the season this past weekend away in Charlotte, N.C. and at the Gamecock Invitational. 

The Cavaliers (2-3, 0-0 ACC) started the new season with a 7-10 loss at Charlotte Thursday. Sophomore transfer left-handed pitcher Savanah Henley pitched just one full inning in her opening start for Virginia, giving up five earned runs. Henley was pulled in the second inning.

Down 1-7 after the second inning, the Cavaliers eventually got the score to 7-8 after the top of the sixth inning. The 49ers (1-0, 0-0 C-USA) scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the game away. Senior pitcher and utility player Lindsey Walljasper was credited with the win for Charlotte.

The rest of the Cavaliers’ weekend was spent at the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C. at the Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.

Virginia went 2-2 at the Gamecock Invitational, with wins against Lipscomb (0-4, 0-0 ASUN) and George Washington (1-3, 0-0 A-10)  but losses against South Carolina (3-1, 0-0 SEC) and North Carolina (4-0, 0-0 ACC). 

On Friday, the Cavaliers faced off against Lipscomb and South Carolina.

In their first game of the tournament, the Cavaliers defeated Lipscomb 2-0. Senior right-handed pitcher Aly Rayle threw 5.1 shutout innings, tallying six strikeouts and walking one batter.

Virginia scored in the first inning after senior infielder Katie Goldberg hit a single, which drove in redshirt freshman outfielder Lauren VanAssche. Freshman utility player Sarah Coon drove in senior outfielder Tori Gilbert to make it a 2-0 game in the fifth inning and seal the win.

To finish off day one of the tournament, the Cavaliers went up against South Carolina, falling 3-2 against the Gamecocks. Henley lost her second start of the year after giving up two earned runs.

The game was a back-and-forth match, as the Cavaliers led 1-0 early, then trailed 3-1 late. A solo home run in the seventh inning from Gilbert cut the lead to 3-2, but Virginia couldn’t tie it up.

On Saturday, Virginia bounced back with a 6-1 win over George Washington. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Mikayla Houge held the Colonials to just one earned run over the entire game, as she pitched all seven innings for the Cavaliers.

A four-run third inning secured the game for the Cavaliers. Gilbert had two RBI against the Colonials, marking her third game with an RBI in this early season.

Finally, the Cavaliers faced North Carolina on Sunday, losing 5-0. The contest was close for the most part, with the Tar Heels leading 1-0 until the fifth inning, when they scored two runs to make it 3-0. North Carolina made it 5-0 after the sixth inning.

Through their first five games, Vanassche leads the Cavaliers in hits with six, and is second in batting average hitting .375. Meanwhile, Gilbert has a team-high 1.077 slugging percentage.

The Cavaliers will be back in action next weekend, attending the CSU Buc Up Tournament at Charleston Southern.