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April 29, 1999

Box Score | Box Score

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The University of Virginia softball team hosted the Liberty Flames in a doubleheader at The Park on Senior Day. UVA, winner in 18 of its last 24 games, was coming of two 1-0 losses to Virginia Tech on Tuesday. The Cavaliers were looking to build some confidence as Virginia closed out its regular season schedule before heading off to the 1999 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Tournament. Liberty came into Charlottesville with an overall record of 39-21, which included a 12-12 mark on the road. Virginia won both games of the doubleheader, winning the first contest 3-0 before routing the Flames 9-1 in the second game.

Julie Amaon, Cory Bolkan, Mariruth Graham and Lori Reese made their final appearance at the Park for the Cavaliers. Fittingly, the group of fourth-year players each had a roll in the Cavaliers sweep of the Flames.

In the first game of the afternoon, Virginia pulled out to a one run lead in the first inning. Meaghan Young (1-3, run) started things off for UVA with her second triple of the season. Two batters later, Reese (2-3, triple, RBI, run) hit an RBI single that scored Young to put the Cavaliers ahead 1-0. The score would remain 1-0 in Virginia’s favor until the sixth inning, when Virginia added two insurance runs by Reese and Kristen Dennis (1-2, RBI), respectively. Reese scored after she reached base on her third triple of the season and was driven home on Dennis’ RBI single. Dennis scored on a sacrifice hit by Amy Peay to make it a 3-0 game. The Cavaliers held on to the three run advantage, thanks in part to Stacey Zagol’s pitching. Zagol threw her 14 complete game and recorded her fourth shutout of the season to improve her record to 10-10. She allowed only three hits through seven innings of work and tallied nine strikeouts in the game.

Libi Cook (double), Amy Csider and Gina Miller each finished 1-3 for Liberty. Leslie Inge took the loss as a pitcher, as she gave up three runs on seven hits.

In game two, the Flames jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Cook (1-3, run) led the game off with a single and scored on Csider’s RBI. That would be the only hit and run for the Flames for the rest of the game, as it was all Orange and Blue from there. Bolkan made her final pitching performance at The Park count, as she threw a one-hitter to go along with three strikeouts to improve to 3-1 on the season. That would be more than enough support from Bolkan for UVA, as it’s offense roared to life in the decisive third inning. After scoring only four runs total in its previous four games, the Cavaliers erupted for nine runs in the third inning.

Amaon (1-2) stared the inning off with a single, and was replaced by Erin McMorrow who entered the game as a pinch runner. After a sacrifice hit by Graham (run), Young (2-3, 2 RBI, double run) hit a single. Corinne Good (1-3, RBI, run) then followed with an RBI single to score McMorrow before Reese (1-3, RBI, run) hit an RBI single to score Young to give UVa a 2-1 lead. Dennis (2-3, run) added a single before Karen Breshears (1-3, two RBI, run) ripped a two-run RBI to make it a 4-1 advantage. But that was just the beginning of the damage that Virginia would do in the inning.

The next batter, Jen Krill (2-2, RBI, run), singled to score Dennis to make it a 5-1 Cavaliers lead. Peay (two RBI, run) the scored both Breshears and Krill when Liberty’s Kristi Hanna recorded a throwing error. Ahead 7-1, Virginia would put the game away for good when Young recorded a two-run RBI double that scored both Peay and Graham to make it a 9-1 lead for UVA. In all, the Cavaliers scored nine run on eight hits in the inning. At one stretch in the inning, UVA had six consecutive hits en route to pulling ahead to an eight run lead.

Unable to get back on track, Liberty took the defeat after the game was called in the fifth inning due to the eight-run mercy rule.

An additional note for the day, Virginia’s Lori Reese moved into second place all-time on the Virginia hit lists, as she recorded her 178th hit as a Cavalier. She needs eight hits to tie and nine more hits to surpass Weezy Calderone’s (’93-’96) total of 186 hits to become UVa’s all-time hit leader.

“These were two very big wins. We beat a good Liberty team and hopefully these victories will give us (UVa) momentum heading into the ACC Tournament,” said assistant softball coach Jamie Pinkerton. I’m very pleased that we won both games, but I’m even happier to see the fourth-year players get two more wins at home in their final regular season games. It’s great to see them go out like that.”

With the sweep, Virginia’s record improves to 32-24 overall. The Cavaliers are 4-4 in the ACC. For the second consecutive year, UVa has posted at least 30 victories in a season. That marks only the second time in the history of the softball program that Virginia has posted back-to-back 30 plus wins in a season. UVa will now prepare for the 1999 ACC Softball Tournament which will be played in Tallahassee, Fla. on May 14-16. The tournament is hosted by Florida State University.

The two losses drop Liberty’s record to 39-23 overall. The Flames are 11-3 in the Big South Conference.

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