March 17, 2017
RALEIGH, N.C. – A grand slam and a three-run home run in the fifth and sixth innings respectively, powered N.C. State (9-16, 3-1 ACC) in a 10-3 series-opening victory over Virginia (10-14, 2-5 ACC).
N.C. State did the majority of its damage at the plate with just two swings. Already with a 3-1 lead, freshman Haley Finn cracked her first career home run, a grand slam, over the left center field wall in the bottom of the fifth. In the next frame, with a 7-3 advantage, Molly Hutchinson put the game out of reach with a three-run shot, her third of the year.
Riding the momentum of another tremendous defensive play by Iyana Hughes (Manteca, Calif.), the Cavaliers got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth with an RBI single from Erika Osherow (Darien, Conn.) that scored Kaitlin Fitzgerald (Placentia, Calif.).
Hughes ended the bottom of the fourth inning with her sixth outfield assist. Her toss from shallow centerfield cut down Mcauley Pricket trying to score from second base. Five of her assists this season have saved a run.
Virginia plated two more runs in the top of the sixth but the deficit proved to be too large. Allison Davis (Oak Hill, Va.) led the frame off with her third triple and scored one pitch later on Olivia Gott’s (Weston, Fla.) RBI single to left field. For Gott, the RBI was her team-leading 15th of the season. Later in the frame, Fitzgerald made the score 7-3 with her third hit of the night, an RBI single that scored Gott.
Facing a left-handed starting pitcher for only the second time this season, the Cavaliers struggled against N.C. State’s Peyton Silverman over the first four innings. After surrendering two hits in the top of the first, Silverman sat down the next 11 batters. She finished the night with six strikeouts and earned her sixth win of the season.
Fitzgerald matched a career-high with three hits and recorded her first multi-hit game of the season. Allison Davis and Gott were responsible for half of the Cavaliers eight hits.
N.C. State and Virginia will clash again tomorrow (March 18) at 5 p.m. for game two of the three-game series at Dail Softball Stadium.
-Virginia has now scored 53% (58 of 110) of its runs in the 5th inning or later, including three tonight.
-Playing for the first time since 2007 on St. Patrick’s Day, the Cavaliers drop to 7-6 all-time on March 17.
-NCSU has won nine of the last 10 games against Virginia.
-Last UVA win was the series opener on April 11, 2015
-Only the 2nd lefty pitcher Virginia has faced this season (0-2)
-The three-run, NC State third inning included two infield hits and three walks