Virginia Softball Takes Pair Of Games At Panera Bread Challenge
Feb. 25, 2006
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The University of Virginia softball team registered a pair of victories Saturday (Feb. 25) in the Panera Bread Challenge at Frost Stadium. The Cavaliers used a seventh inning home run by third-year first baseman Brooke Sorber (Alexandria, Va.) to post a 4-3 win over Alabama-Birmingham and then rode a strong pitching performance by second-year Karla Wilburn (Del Mar, Calif.) in a 2-0 victory over host Chattanooga. With the two wins, UVa improves 2-2 in the tournament and 4-2 on the season.
Against Alabama-Birmingham (4-2), Sorber belted her first career home run, a solo shot to left field, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to snap a 3-3 tie and propel the Cavaliers to a 4-3 win.
The Cavaliers scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning to take an early lead on UAB. With one out, third-year catcher Michelle Salmiery (San Jose, Calif.) and fourth-year left fielder Erin Horn (Tallahassee, Fla.) hit back-to-back singles. UVa loaded the bases when second-year shortstop Lindsey Preuss (La Plata, Md.) was hit by a pitch. Second-year third baseman Whitney Holstun (Escondido, Calif.) drove in the first run of the game with a fielder’s choice groundout. Third-year Lara Rodriguez (Oak Hill, Va.) made 3-0 with a two-run pinch hit single to left. The Blazers came back to tie the game at 3-3 with three runs in the top of the fourth inning. Nicole Whitlock brought home the first UAB run with a double and Amanda Antonovich knotted the game at 3-3 with a two-run double.
First-year Madi Gore (Acworth, Ga.) threw the final 3.2 innings to improve to 2-0 on the season. Gore held the Blazers hitless and struck out three while walking two. Third-year Coty Tolar (Marietta, Ga.) pitched the first 3.1 innings and gave up three runs on five hits with one strikeout and one walk. The Blazers’ Kayla Harris (1-2) took the loss in the circle. She pitched the final 3.1 innings and allowed one run on two hits with a strikeout and a walk. Starter Amanda Antonovich went the first 3.1 innings and gave up three runs on five hits.
Horn went 3-3 with her first career triple against the Blazers, while third-year catcher Michelle Salmiery (San Jose, Calif.) went 2-3.
Against Chattanooga (5-8), fourth-year center fielder Jessica Taylor (Philadelphia, Pa.) provided Virginia the only run it would need with a home run down the right field line to lead off the game. It was her second career home run. UVa increased its lead to 2-0 in the third inning. Taylor drew a two-out walk and raced around the bases on fourth-year second baseman Sara Larquier’s (Burbank, Calif.) double to center field. With the double and RBI, Larquier tied the Virginia school records for career RBI (158) and extra-base hits (94).
Wilburn registered her first collegiate win and shutout in the circle for UVa. Wilburn (1-1) tossed a three-hitter with five strikeouts and one walk. Chattanooga’s JayCee Wood (4-2) was the losing pitcher. She allowed two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
In addition to hitting the home run and scoring a pair of runs, Taylor drew a pair of walks.
UVa wraps up play in the Panera Bread Challenge Sunday with a 9:00 a.m. game against East Tennessee State and a 11:15 a.m. game vs. Maine.