Virginia Softball Registers Two Come-From-Behind Victories
April 6, 2002
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Virginia softball team overcame early deficits in registering come-from-behind victories over Maryland and North Carolina Saturday (April 6) in the Tar Heel Invitational at the UNC Softball Complex. The Cavaliers trailed Maryland 5-0 before scoring the final seven runs of the game for a 7-5 triumph. UVa spotted the Tar Heels a 3-0 lead before posting a 4-3 win. In the two games, Virginia outscored its opponents 11-0 after giving up eight early runs. The Cavaliers are 2-0 in the Tar Heel Invitational and now stand at 35-14 on the season.
Fourth-year All-American Kristen Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) led the Cavaliers to both victories. She earned the two wins in the circle with a total of nine shutout innings and was also a big spark at the plate with a home run in each game and a game-winning two-run single against North Carolina.
In the 7-5 win over Maryland, UVa spotted the Terrapins a 5-0 lead after an inning and a half. UVa got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when second-year catcher Stephanie Calhoun (Spring Valley, Calif./Mount Miguel) hit a sacrifice fly that scored first-year pinch runner Lauren Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon). Dennis was pinch running for her older sister Kristen, who led off the inning with a double. UVa added a pair of runs in the second inning to cut the deficit to 5-3. Second-year shortstop Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) led off the inning with a double and scored on Kristen Dennis’ bases loaded walk. Third-year third baseman Ruby Rojas (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) scored the second run of the inning on Calhoun’s single. In the fourth inning, Rojas hit a three-run homer to left field. First-year right fielder M.K. White (Vienna, Va./James Madison) and fifth-year center fielder Kelly McCabe (Maple Glen, Pa./Upper Dublin) scored on Rojas’ eighth homer of the season. Kristen Dennis followed with her eighth home run of the season to center field.
Dennis earned the victory with six innings of relief work in place of fourth-year Erin Allinder (Norco, Calif./Norco). Dennis allowed five hits and struck out six batters in improving to 17-6 on the season. Allinder gave up five runs on six hits in one inning of work. Amanda Bettker (9-9) took the loss for Maryland (22-14) as she allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in 3.1 innings.
Kristen Dennis also provided the heroics in UVa’s 4-3 win over North Carolina. In addition to earning the victory on the mound and hitting a solo home run in the third inning, Dennis drove in the game-winning run with a one-out, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Tar Heels took a 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the third inning. Dennis cut margin to 3-1 with her ninth home run of the season, a solo shot to left center. Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, second-year pinch hitter Tracy Sherman (San Clemente, Calif./St. Margaret’s Episcopal) led off the inning with a single. White then doubled to center field, which moved third-year pinch runner Katie Weinberg (Reston, Va./South Lakes) to third. Field doubled to center to score Weinberg and move White to third to trim the deficit to 3-2. After McCabe grounded out, Rojas drew a walk to load the bases. Dennis then delivered White and Field with a two-run single to right center to end the game.
Dennis improved to 18-6 on the mound with the win and the 18 victories matches her career high. In three innings of relief work, Dennis did not allow a hit and struck out one batter. Second-year Joanna Barstad (Canby, Ore./Canby) pitched the first four innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out two while walking two. Erica Ennis (3-5) took the loss for the Tar Heels who fell to 23-20 on the season. Ennis pitched one inning and allowed three runs on four hits. Ashley Allen pitched the first five innings and gave up one run on four hits.
Dennis, White and McCabe each had two hits against North Carolina, while Dennis and Calhoun had a pair of hits versus Maryland.
UVa continues play in the Tar Heel Invitational Sunday (April 7) with a 10:00 a.m. contest against Georgia Tech.