Virginia Softball Splits Pair Of Slugfests In Arizona
Feb. 16, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Virginia softball team’s bats came alive Friday (Feb. 16) as the Cavaliers’ registered 28 hits and 18 runs, but split a pair of games in the Worth Wildcat Invitational at Hillenbrand Stadium. UVa gave up two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and fell to Texas Tech 8-7. The Cavaliers bounced back and turned the tables on Middle Tennessee State by scoring four runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh for an 11-10 come-from-behind victory. UVa now stands at 4-3 on the season.
Virginia led 7-6 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh against Texas Tech (4-2), but the Red Raiders got back-to-back pinch hits, including a single by Alex Watkins that brought home the tying run. UVa intentionally walked Ashley Parker and Devin Zaragoza to load the bases and Montana Patin ended the drama by drawing a bases loaded walk to force in the winning run.
In the final inning of the second game, first-year shortstop Abby Snyder (Cantonment, Fla.) got the Cavaliers’ rally going with a one-out walk. Third-year center fielder Lindsey Preuss (La Plata, Md.) moved Snyder to second with a single to shallow right. Then first-year right fielder Sarah Tacke (Merced, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Middle Tennessee State’s third pitching change of the game resulted in a pop up to second base. Fourth-year third baseman Meghan O’Leary (Baton Rouge, La.), who was a catalyst all day long, came through with her fifth hit of the day, a single to right center that scored Snyder and Preuss. First-year outfielder Nicole Koren (Warminster, Pa.) followed with a single to left field that brought Tacke home with the tying run. Fourth-year second baseman Elea Crockett (Tucson, Ariz.), who was playing in her hometown for the first time, delivered the game winning single to left field that plated O’Leary from second base after MTSU’s fourth pitching change.
In the first game, the Red Raiders jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as the first three batters reached on base hits with Patin bringing home the first run with a single through the right side of the infield. An illegal pitch brought home Zaragoza and Jennifer Corkin’s sacrifice fly to right field made it 3-0. The Cavaliers answered with five runs in the top of the second. Fourth-year right fielder Brooke Sorber (Alexandria, Va.) got the rally started when she was hit by a pitch. After a strikeout, Preuss hit a fielders’ choice grounder to third that turned into a three-base throwing error, allowing Sorber to score from first. O’Leary then scored Preuss with a single up the middle. O’Leary then scored from first base on Koren’s double to left center. After a walk to fourth-year second baseman Elea Crockett (Tucson, Ariz.), first-year first baseman Kelly Haller (Leesburg, Va.) cleared the bases with a two-run double to right center to make the score 5-3. UVa tacked on a sixth run in the third when third-year Whitney Holstun (Escondido, Calif.) scored on Koren’s fielder’s choice grounder to short.
The Red Raiders closed the gap to 6-5 in the third inning with RBI from Corkin and Bowers and then tied the game at 6-6 on a RBI double by Zaragoza in the fourth.
UVa regained the lead, 7-6, in the sixth. Crockett led off with a single to shortstop and advanced to second on Haller’s single to left field. Fourth-year designated player Amy McKean (Kent, Wash.) broke the tie with a RBI double down the left field line that scored Crockett.
Haller went 3-4 with two RBI, while Preuss and O’Leary both had a pair of hits against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders scored their eight runs on 15 hits.
Fourth-year Coty Tolar (Marietta, Ga.) was saddled with the loss. In 4.2 innings of relief work, Tolar allowed three runs on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Second-year Karla Wilburn (Del Mar, Calif.) pitched a total of 2.0 innings in two stints and allowed five runs on six hits with three walks and one strikeout. Ashly Jacobs (3-1) picked up the victory for Texas Tech. In 5.2 innings of relief, Jacobs gave up two runs on 10 hits with six strikeouts. Sarah Losleben started and went 1.1 innings and gave up five runs (four earned) on three hits. She struck out two and walked one.
The Cavaliers started off slow against Middle Tennessee State (1-4) as the Blue Raiders scored runs in each of the first three innings to grab a 3-0 lead. Virginia answered with three runs in the bottom half of the third. O’Leary started the rally with an infield single and moved to second on a throwing error by the pitcher on the play. Crockett’s infield single moved O’Leary to third and Haller followed with a RBI single up the middle. McKean loaded the bases with an infield single to short. Snyder tied the game at 3-3 with a long single to center field that brought in two runs. UVa took a 7-3 advantage with four runs in the fourth. Fourth-year catcher Michelle Salmiery (San Jose, Calif.) got things started by leading off with a home run to left center. It was UVa’s first home run of the season. O’Leary then reached on a single to second base. After stealing second, she moved to third on Koren’s single to left field. O’Leary then tried to score on Crockett’s fielder’s choice grounder and was ruled safe due to obstruction by MTSU’s catcher. Koren and Crockett scored on Haller’s double to left center to make the score 7-3.
The Blue Raiders responded with seven runs in the top of the sixth to take a 10-7 lead. Jessica Ives delivered a two-run pinch hit single and Whitney Darlington added a two-run triple to tie the game at 7-7. Muriel Ledbetter closed out the inning with a three-run homer to left center.
Wilburn earned the win in the circle to improve to 3-2 on the season. She pitched the final two innings and allowed three runs on five hits with a pair of strikeouts. Koren started and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Tolar threw the next 3.1 innings and gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits with one strike out. Amy Candioto (0-1) took the loss for Middle Tennessee State. She gave up two runs on two hits in one-third of an inning. Lindsey Vander Lugt started and went a total of 5.2 innings in three stints. She gave up eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Samantha Floyd pitched two-thirds of an inning in two stints and allowed one run on four hits.
O’Leary went 3-3 with three runs and two RBI against MTSU, while Koren had three hits. Haller had a pair of safeties and drove in tree runs while Crockett and McKean both had two hits. Middle Tennessee State scored its 10 runs on 14 hits.
The Cavaliers continue play in the Worth Wildcat Invitational with a pair of games Saturday (Feb. 17). UVa plays Temple at 11 a.m. ET and host and third-ranked Arizona at 5 p.m. ET.