The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Virginia sweeps NC State with three dominant wins

The Cavaliers improve to 18-11 on the season

<p>The Cavaliers are putting together a strong start to conference play, having only lost one game through two full series.</p>

The Cavaliers are putting together a strong start to conference play, having only lost one game through two full series.

Virginia softball took on NC State this weekend on the road and successfully completed a sweep of the Wolfpack (19-10, 2-7 ACC). In an impressive weekend performance, the Cavaliers (18-11, 5-1 ACC) were dominant in every game, outscoring NC State 17-4 combined.

In the first game on Friday, the Cavaliers won by a score of 4-1. With the help of senior right-hander Aly Rayle from the mound, Virginia held on in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and two outs to start the series off with a win.

After NC State scored in the second inning, Virginia eventually tied the game in the fifth inning thanks to a solo home run from junior infielder Katie Goldberg.

Going into the seventh inning, the game was tied at 1-1. An RBI groundout from senior infielder Arizona Ritchie gave the Cavaliers the lead at 2-1, while freshman utility player Sarah Coon hit a two-RBI single to extend the lead to 4-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Wolfpack loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning, but after re-entering the game, Rayle got out of the jam to secure the win for Virginia.

Rayle pitched 5.1 innings, striking out seven batters while walking two. Sophomore right-hander Madison Harris was credited with the win after pitching 1.2 innings in relief. Harris is now 1-1 on the season.

Virginia won the second game 5-2 on Saturday. The Cavaliers kept building their lead from the start of the game, scoring one run in each of the first four innings, and tacking on a fifth run in the sixth inning to seal the win.

Senior outfielder Tori Gilbert and junior infielder Gabby Baylog led the offense for the Cavaliers, both recording two hits and one RBI. Gilbert also scored two runs for Virginia, including a solo home run in the third inning.

NC State tried to fight back from the Virginia lead a couple of times, scoring a run in both the third and fourth inning, but couldn’t ever tie the game.

Sophomore right-hander Mikayla Houge got the win in relief for sophomore left-hander Savannah Henley. Houge pitched 3.1 shutout innings, improving to 7-4 on the season.

In the series finale on Sunday, Virginia swept the Wolfpack in dominant fashion, winning 8-1. 

An offensive frenzy of runs came for the Cavaliers in the third inning. After scoring two runs in the first, Virginia put up five runs in the third to make the game 7-0. 

Ritchie hit an RBI single to drive in Goldberg and sophomore infielder Abby Weaver to make it 4-0. Then, Coon blasted a three-run home run to right-center field, making the lead seven.

The Wolfpack offense was cold the entire game, only mustering one hit from graduate student infielder Randi Farricker’s solo home run in the fourth inning. Rayle picked up the win for Virginia after pitching five innings, only letting one run in and striking out seven.

The Cavaliers’ pitching and defense were excellent this series, surrendering four total runs to the Wolfpack over the course of three games.

Meanwhile, the 5-1 start through six games is the best start to ACC play for Virginia since 2010, when the Cavaliers were 6-0 to start the season. Coach Joanna Hardin praised the team after the sweep. 

“What a great team weekend,” Hardin said. “I felt our team came out today with a hunger to finish the series with a win.”

The Cavaliers have won back-to-back ACC series and look to continue that success into a midweek matchup against Liberty Tuesday. First pitch will be at 7 p.m., and the game will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra.