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March 29, 2006

Box Score

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Fourth-year shortstop Sara Larquier (Burbank, Calif.) slammed her school record 30th career home run to lift the Virginia softball team to a 3-1 eight-inning victory over Radford in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday (Mar. 29) at The Park. The Cavaliers, however, couldn’t sustain the momentum from the game one victory and fell to Radford 2-1 in the nightcap. UVa now stands at 18-12 overall, while the Highlanders are 23-15.

The first game was knotted at 1-1 after seven innings. Radford took advantage of a UVa error to score an unearned run in the sixth. Cassie Rhodes singled through the left side of the infield to score Jenn Everhart from third base with the first run of the game. The Cavaliers answered with an unearned run of their own in the bottom half of the sixth. Third-year second baseman Elea Crockett (Tucson, Ariz.) led off the sixth with a triple to right field and then scored on a throwing error after a fly out to left field.

Neither team scored in the seventh, forcing extra innings. In accordance to the international tie-breaker, a runner was placed on second to begin the eighth, and Virginia was able to keep Radford off the scoreboard. Third-year third baseman Meghan O’Leary (Baton Rouge, La.) was placed on second to begin the last half of the eighth. Larquier wasted no time ending the game with a laser shot over the center field fence on the first pitch to give UVa the 3-1 victory. With the homer, Larquier set the school record with her 30th career home run, breaking a tie with Kristen Dennis (1999-02).

Second-year Karla Wilburn (Del Mar, Calif.) pitched the first two innings as well as the final two frames to pick up the win in the circle. Wilburn threw a total of four innings and allowed just two hits with one walk and one strikeout. Third-year Coty Tolar (Marietta, Ga.) threw the third and fourth innings and held the Highlanders to one hit. First-year Madi Gore (Acworth, Ga.) pitched a scoreless fifth inning and allowed one hit. Fourth-year Erin Horn (Tallahassee, Fla.) allowed four hits and an unearned run while pitching the sixth. Radford’s Bre Felix went the distance in the circle and fell to 9-8. In seven-plus innings, she allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks.

Larquier had two of UVa’s six hits in the game. Four of the Cavaliers’ six hits went for extra bases. In addition to the homer by Larquier and the triple by Crockett, fourth-year center fielder Jessica Taylor (Philadelphia, Pa.) and third-year designated player Amy McKean (Kent, Wash.) both registered doubles.

Radford bounced back for a 2-1 victory in the nightcap. The Highlanders scored their two runs in the top of the fourth on Ashley Taylor’s two-run single to center field. Rhodes and Amanda Walling, who both singled earlier in the inning, scored on the hit. UVa narrowed the deficit to 2-1 with a single tally in the bottom of the seventh inning. Second-year first baseman Whitney Holstun (Escondido, Calif.) hit a one-out single to shortstop, but second-year pinch runner Kat Mirras (Montauk, N.Y.) was forced out at second on second-year left fielder Lindsey Preuss’ (La Plata, Md.) grounder. Preuss raced all the way around the base on Taylor’s RBI triple to right center. Radford got third-year catcher Michelle Salmiery (San Jose, Calif.) to ground out to second to end the game.

In addition to driving in Radford’s two runs, Taylor limited the Cavaliers to four hits while improving to 10-7 in the circle. Taylor struck out 10 and did not walk a batter. Wilburn (6-6) was saddled with the loss in just one-third of an inning as she allowed two runs on two hits. Horn tossed a total of 3.2 innings during two stints in the game and did not allow a hit while striking out six batters. Tolar pitched three innings and gave up four hits.

Virginia returns to action this weekend for a three-game home series against Atlantic Coast Conference rival North Carolina at The Park. A doubleheader will be played on Saturday (Apr. 1) at 1:00 p.m., followed by a single game on Sunday (Apr. 2) at 1:00 p.m.

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