Virginia Softball Knocks Off Arkansas 4-1
Feb. 11, 2007
TAMPA, Fla. – The Virginia softball team bounced back from a pair of losses Saturday to register a 4-1 victory over Arkansas Sunday morning (Feb. 11) in the consolation game of the Best Western Invitational, which was played at the USF Softball Field. With the win, the Cavaliers wrap up the season-opening tournament with a 3-2 record. Arkansas falls to 1-4 with the loss.
Second-year Karla Wilburn (Del Mar, Calif.) pitched brilliantly in relief to register the victory and improve to 2-2 on the season. In 4.2 innings of work, Wilburn struck out a career-high eight batters while allowing only two hits and one walk. She retired 11 of the final 12 batters she faced. Wilburn replaced first-year Nicole Koren (Warminster, Pa.), who made her first collegiate start in the circle, in the third inning. Koren went the first 2.1 innings and allowed one run on four hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
After UVa got two routine groundouts to begin the game, Arkansas took a 1-0 lead on Kayla Johnson’s home run to left field. The Lady Razorbacks went on to load the bases, but couldn’t push a second run across the plate. The Cavaliers answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the opening inning. Fourth-year second baseman Elea Crockett (Tucson, Ariz.) led off with a bunt single and moved to second when the late throw to first was dropped by Arkansas’ second baseman. First-year first baseman Kelly Haller (Leesburg, Va.) drove Crockett home with a double to left center.
In the third inning, the Cavaliers put three runs on the scoreboard. Fourth-year third baseman Meghan O’Leary (Baton Rouge, La.) led off with a single to second base. She moved to second on Haller’s sacrifice bunt. A double by fourth-year designated player Amy McKean (Kent, Wash.) off the center fielder’s glove moved O’Leary to third base. O’Leary then scored on a single down the left field line by Koren that fell between Arkansas’ shortstop and left fielder. Third-year Casey Steffan (Long Valley, N.J.), who pinch ran for McKean, moved to third on the play with Koren taking second base. Both runners scored when first-year shortstop Abby Synder (Cantonment, Fla.) laced a single to right center to make the score 4-1.
Katy Henry (1-3) pitched the first three innings for the Lady’Backs and allowed four runs on seven hits and was saddled with loss. She struck two batters and walked one. Miranda Dixon threw the final three innings and only gave up two hits while striking out one.
Virginia had a season-high nine hits in the game with Koren leading the way with a 2-for-3 effort. She also scored a run and drove in another.
The Cavaliers return to action Feb. 16-18 when they compete in the Worth Wildcat Tournament in Tucson, Ariz. UVa opens the tournament on Feb. 16 with games against Texas Tech and Middle Tennessee State at noon and 2:00 p.m. ET.