Feb. 10, 2017
TEMPE, Ariz. – Despite racking up 16 hits in the opening two games of the 2017 season at the Kajikawa Classic on Thursday (Feb. 9), Virginia (0-2) fell to No. 9 Oregon, 11-6 and eventually to host Arizona State, 4-1.
Three-hit efforts from Allison Davis (Oak Hill, Va.) and McKall Miller (Ashburn, Va.) led an 11-hit attack against ninth-ranked Oregon (1-0). Miller finished the day with four hits including the season’s first home run against Arizona State in the nightcap.
Arizona State (2-0), an NCAA Regional team last spring, surrendered five hits to Virginia. Two came off the bat of local product Katie Park (Scottsdale, Ariz.). As a team, the Cavaliers did not record a single strikeout at the plate. On the flipside, pitcher Erika Osherow (Darien, Conn.) pitched all six innings and fanned six Sun Devils in the process.
Virginia continues play at the Kajikawa Classic on Friday (Feb. 10) with two neutral-site games against Western Michigan (2:15 ET) and UTEP (7:45 ET). Both games will be played at the Tempe Sports Complex.
Game 1 – Oregon
After spotting the Ducks a 9-0 advantage over the first three innings, the Cavaliers chipped away and scored four unanswered runs. In the bottom of the fourth, Virginia capitalized on three Oregon errors. Miller drove in the season’s first run with a ground-rule double to left center field that scored Kaitlin Fitzgerald (Placentia, Calif.). Miller and Madison Labshere (El Cajon, Calif.) came around to score on consecutive Duck miscues to make the score 9-3.
Over the next three innings the Cavaliers collected six more hits on the nationally-ranked Ducks’ pitching staff and totaled 11 hits in the contest. Virginia tacked on two runs and sent six batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. Osherow drove in and scored a run in the Cavaliers final turn at the plate.
Virginia used four pitchers in the season opener. Osherow, Lexi Mettler (Turlock, Calif.) and Allison Davis (Oak Hill, Va.) combined to give up four runs over the final 5.2 innings. Mettler did the bulk of the work by tossing a game-high four innings. She scattered six hits and allowed two runs.
Game 2 – Arizona State
After the first nine batters of the game were retired, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 2-0 advantage courtesy of two-run home run by Marissa Stankiewicz.
The Cavaliers responded in the top half of the third inning with a long ball of their own. Miller blasted a solo shot over the right center field wall to cut the ASU lead in half. The hit was the first by an ASU opponent in 21 at bats after the Sun Devils tossed a perfect game in their season opener against UTEP earlier in the day.
The Sun Devils built a 4-1 lead after two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Arizona State starting pitcher Breanna Marcha did not allow a hit in the final three Virginia turns at the plate. The Cavaliers did however bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh with two outs but Marcha induced a game-ending comebacker to seal the 4-1 victory.