March 31, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (11-24, 2-10 ACC) launched six home runs on the day to split a high-scoring doubleheader with North Carolina (19-17, 8-4 ACC) at The Park.
The Tar Heels captured the seesaw opening game by an 11-7 final in extra innings. Virginia bounced back on the strength of three, two-run home runs to take the finale, 10-5.
GAME ONE | UNC 11 – VIRGINIA 7 (8 INN.)
North Carolina emerged victorious in a back-and-forth opening act to the doubleheader.
Back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the first sparked Virginia an early lead in game one. Hayley Busby (Phoenix, Ariz.) hooked a 1-0 offering from Brittany Pickett around the left field foul pole before Danni Ingraham (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) launched a 1-0 pitch off the camera tower in center field.
The homers mark the third time the Cavaliers have gone back-to-back this season and the second time Busby and Ingraham have connected in consecutive at-bats.
North Carolina responded in the top of the fourth, stringing together four singles to plate four runs in the inning. The big knock came on a 3-2 pitch with two outs as Leah Murray singled home a pair to break a 2-2 deadlock.
Virginia answered immediately as a walk and two singles loaded the bases with one out. Ashlee Davis (Gilbert, Ariz.) roped a bases-clearing double into the left center gap, putting the Cavaliers back in front, 5-4.
The top of the sixth saw the Tar Heels push back in front with a pair of runs on three hits. Once again, Virginia had an answer as the seesaw affair continued on Erika Osherow‘s (Darien, Conn.) solo home run on the first pitch of the Hoos’ half.
In the seventh, North Carolina loaded the bases without an out, but a diving stab on a line drive by Busby turned into a double play and limited the damage to one Tar Heel run. Virginia used a two-out RBI-single from Olivia Gott (Weston, Fla.) to tie things in dramatic fashion, but the Tar Heels scored four runs in the eighth to earn the 11-7 win.
Osherow (5-11) took the loss in the circle. Pickett (17-5) earned the win for North Carolina.
GAME TWO | VIRGINIA 10 – UNC 5
A trio of two-run home runs powered Virginia to a 10-5 victory in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Ingraham, Gott and Lacy Smith (Lancaster, Pa.) all cleared the outfield wall to combine for six of the Cavaliers’ 10 runs in the game.
The Tar Heels scored a pair of runs in the top of the first to race out to a 2-0 lead. North Carolina used four hits to plate the two runs, but the Cavaliers cut down another potential run at home.
Much like game one, Virginia struck back immediately in the bottom half. Two walks and a Busby single loaded the bases before a wild pitch and sacrifice fly tied the game at 2-2. Gott would put the Cavaliers ahead with a towering, two-run shot to center.
Virginia expanded its lead in the second, scoring a pair on a Busby double and error.
The 6-2 advantage held until the top of the fourth, when North Carolina strung together five hits to score three times. The inning started with a triple before an outfield collision allowed the ball to drop for a double. Three seeing-eye singles drove in two more runs to cut Virginia’s lead to 6-5.
The Cavaliers pulled away down the stretch thanks to a pair of two-run home runs. Smith lifted her two-run shot to left center in the bottom of the fifth, expanding the Virginia lead to 8-5. Ingraham followed with her second home run of the day in the bottom of the sixth to push the score to 10-5.
Janelle Zellars (Forest, Va.) worked the final three innings in the circle to earn her first career victory. Zellars (1-0) did not allow a run in her outing, allowing just two hits while striking out one. The three innings marks the longest career outing for Zellars at Virginia.
Tabby Dabney (Mechanicsville, Va.) made the start for the Cavaliers, working 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander was charged with all five Tar Heel runs, falling victim to a pair of bad breaks that led to three of those runs.
Virginia closes its five-game homestand with a Tuesday (April 3) matchup against Radford. First pitch at The Park is set for 6 p.m.