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March 27, 2005

Box Score

RALEIGH, N.C. – The University of Virginia softball team was within one out of sweeping a three-game series from NC State, but the Wolfpack’s Heather Gelbard hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to lift NC State to a 5-3 victory over the Cavaliers Sunday afternoon (March 27) at Walnut Creek Sports Complex. UVa led 3-0 with two outs in the sixth inning, but the Wolfpack scored all five of its runs with two outs for the come-from-behind victory. The Cavaliers now stand at 12-17 overall and 2-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. NC State is now 29-17 overall and 2-3 in the conference.

The Cavaliers won the series two games to one by virtue of a doubleheader sweep Saturday. Dating back to the seventh inning of UVa’s 7-6 10-inning victory in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader, Virginia held NC State scoreless for 15 consecutive innings before giving up two unearned runs in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game. All 11 of NCSU’s runs in the series were scored with two outs in innings.

Second-year pitcher Coty Tolar (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter) had a perfect game going until a UVa infield error allowed the Wolfpack’s first batter to reach base with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Tolar, who retired the first 17 batters she faced, lost her no-hit bid on the next batter as Gelbard singled. Shanna Smith then broke up the shutout with a RBI single that scored Blair Harkey. Abbie Sims followed with a run-scoring single that plated pinch runner Ashleigh Davis to make the score 3-2. Third-year Erin Horn (Tallahassee, Fla./Leon) relieved Tolar and after a walk loaded the bases, she got out of the sixth inning by inducing a popup.

In the bottom of the seventh, NC State’s Miranda Ervin drew a lead-off walk. Horn then got the next two batters to pop up to shortstop. Pinch hitter Jennifer Patterson kept the Wolfpack alive with a single and then Gelbard ended the game with a three-run homer to center field.

The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when third-year right fielder Jessica Taylor (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Academy) hit a one-out double to right center. She moved to third on a ground out and scored on fourth-year catcher Jenn Wynn’s (Herndon, Va./Herndon) single through the left side of the infield. In the fifth inning, Virginia increased its lead to 3-0 on first-year shortstop Kierstie Cameron’s (Pinon Hills, Calif./Serrano) two-run homer to right center.

In 5.2 innings, Tolar allowed two unearned runs on three hits. She struck out two batters and did not issue a walk. Horn (3-4) took the loss in the circle. She gave up three runs on two hits and issued two walks in one inning. Sims (12-7) picked up the win in relief. In two innings she gave up one only hit with two strikeouts and one walk. Brooke Isley pitched the first five innings and allowed three runs on nine hits with two of strikeouts.

Taylor had three of UVa’s 10 hits in the contest and tallied eight hits in the three-game series. Wynn and fourth-year left fielder Lauren Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) both had two hits in the game.

The Cavaliers return to action on Wednesday (March 30) when they travel to Harrisonburg, Va., for a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader at James Madison.

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