Virginia Softball Continues Winning Ways With Doubleheader Sweep Over N.C. State
April 24, 2004
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia softball team increased its winning streak to seven games by sweeping an Atlantic Coast Conference doubleheader from N.C. State on Senior Day on Saturday (April 24) at The Park. The Cavaliers erased a 4-0 deficit to post a 5-4 win in the first game, then tallied a 6-2 win in the nightcap. With the two victories, UVa improves to 36-23 overall and 4-4 in the ACC, while N.C. State falls to 32-23 overall and 3-5 in the conference.
Fourth-year shortstop Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) set a new Virginia school record for walks in a season when she drew her 55th walk to break Kristen Dennis’ mark of 54 walks in the 2002 season. Field also tied Dennis’ school and ACC career record for walks with the 144th of her career. Field drew four walks in the doubleheader with two in each game.
The Cavaliers came erased a 4-0 deficit to defeat N.C. State 5-4 in the first game. UVa scored the game-winning run with no outs in the bottom of the seventh when first-year second baseman Elea Crockett (Tucson, Ariz./University) drilled a triple down the right field line to score fourth-year shortstop Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) from first base. Field led off the inning by drawing a walk, her second walk of the game.
N.C. State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Heather Gelbard and Abbie Sims hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Jennifer Chamberlain drove in State’s first two runs with a triple to right field. The Wolfpack extended its lead to 4-0 with two more runs in the third. Shaina Ervin drove in Sims with a single and Allison Cuculich plated Ervin with a double to left center. UVa cut the deficit in half with two runs in the bottom fourth. Fourth-year first baseman Hannah Owings (Issaquah, Wash./Liberty) led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on third-year catcher Jenn Wynn’s (Herndon, Va./Herndon) single. Both runners scored on second-year third baseman Sara Larquier’s (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs) triple to left field. The Cavaliers knotted the game at 4-4 with two runs in the fifth. Field led off with a walk and scored on Crockett’s RBI triple to right center. Wynn tied the game with a RBI double to left center that scored Crockett.
Second-year Erin Horn (Tallahassee, Fla./Leon) earned the win with one inning of relief work. She struck out two of the three batters she faced in the seventh in improving to 15-8 on the season. Fourth-year Joanna Barstad (Canby, Ore./Canby) pitched the first 2.2 innings and allowed four runs on six hits. First-year Coty Tolar (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter) kept UVa in the game with 3.1 innings of relief work in place of Barstad. Tolar allowed three hits and struck out two and walked two. Abbie Sims (20-9) took the loss in the circle for N.C. State. She allowed five runs on seven hits with four walks and nine strikeouts.
In UVa’s 6-2 win in the second game, Field gave Virginia a quick 1-0 lead as she led off the bottom of the first with her team-leading 10th home run of the season. N.C. State jumped on top 2-1 in the second inning when Heather Gelbard hit a two-run single. UVa regained the lead with four unearned runs in the fourth inning. Third-year left fielder Lauren Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) led off the inning with a single to left. After a successful sacrifice bunt by second-year right fielder Jackie Greer (Portage, Mich./Portage Northern) moved Dennis to second, second-year center fielder Jessica Taylor (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Academy) reached on an error by NCSU’s first baseman. Field then walked to load the bases and after a fielder’s choice groundout by Crockett, Owings delivered a two-out, two run single through the left side of the infield to put the Cavaliers on top for good, 3-2. Wynn followed with a two-run double to center that scored Crockett and Owings to increase UVa’s lead to 5-2. Virginia added an insurance run in the sixth when Larquier drove in Crockett with a long single to right center. Crockett reached base with a single through the right side of the infield and moved to second on Owings’ single.
Horn earned her second victory of the afternoon with a complete-game effort. She allowed two runs on six hits with nine strikeouts and four walks. Horn (16-8) held the Wolfpack to one hit over the final four innings. Shaina Ervin (10-11) took the loss in the circle for N.C. State. She allowed six runs (two earned) on 10 hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
The Cavaliers wrap up regular-season ACC play on Sunday (April 25) when they travel to College Park, Md. for a doubleheader against Maryland. The first game is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.