BOCA RATON, Fla. – Virginia (0-4) dropped decisions to No. 6 Georgia and FAU on the second day of the FAU First Pitch Classic at the FAU Softball Stadium.
The Cavaliers gave the sixth-ranked Bulldogs a run in the opening game of the day, but Georgia’s prolific offense caught fire in the final two frames to open up a 15-7 win. In the nightcap, Virginia fell in a pitchers’ duel to FAU, 1-0.
GAME 1: No. 6 GEORGIA 15, VIRGINIA 7
Georgia scored seven times in the final two innings to ice away a come-from-behind victory over Virginia in the first game of the day.
Georgia struck first in the opening game of the day, capitalizing on a Virginia error to score two unearned runs in the top of the first. Freshman Clare Zureich (Cary, N.C.) hit a batter and walked another, but had Virginia seemingly out of the inning with a ground ball. The throw to first was muffed, allowing a run to score. Another hit-by-pitch pushed a second run across for the Bulldogs.
Virginia answered right back in its half of the inning, as Hayley Busby (Phoenix, Ariz.) led off with a single through the left side. After a walk put two aboard, Lacy Smith (Lancaster, Pa.) drove a two-RBI double into right center field to tie the game. A single from Arizona Ritchie (Stafford, Va.) and double from Donna Friedman (Orange, Calif.) put Virginia in front 3-2 after the first.
The Cavaliers expanded their lead in the second, as freshman Bailey Winscott (Clinton, Miss.) set the table with her first collegiate hit. Busby followed with a double to left center to put runners at second and third with one out. Senior Erika Osherow (Darien, Conn.) plated Winscott with a sacrifice fly to right, making it a 4-2 ball game.
A five-run top of the fourth swung the lead back to Georgia. A lead-off walk chased Zureich from the circle and another walk put a pair aboard. Freshman Aly Rayle (Herndon, Va.) entered and intentionally walked Georgia star Alyssa DiCarlo to load the bases. Rayle got a strikeout for the second out, but a triple from Alysen Febrey put the Bulldogs ahead 5-4. A double followed to extend Georgia’s lead to 7-4.
Virginia pulled a run back in the fifth with a Busby double and an RBI-triple from Osherow, making it a 7-5 ball game. Georgia came right back in the fifth, scoring a single run on a sacrifice fly. A seeing-eye single and a blooper scored three more for the Bulldogs before DiCarlo doubled to make it 12-5. Georgia would add a solo home run in the top of the seventh and benefit from a pair of Cavalier errors to build a 15-5 lead.
The Cavaliers notched a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh on RBI-singles from Olivia Gott (Weston, Fla.) and Friedman to make the final score 15-7.
Zureich was strong in her first career start, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing just two earned runs. She worked the first three innings with just two unearned runs on her line. The freshman struck out a pair and surrendered just an infield single on the day.
Rayle (0-1) was charged with the loss, surrendering three runs in her work.
GAME 2: FAU 1, VIRGINIA 0
Virginia and FAU locked horns in a pitchers’ duel in the nightcap. Both teams were held scoreless through three innings, as Erika Osherow fanned three Owls in the early going. On the other side, FAU freshman Syklar Whitty (1-0) was perfect through four innings.
FAU manufactured the first and only run of the night in the fourth. A single up the middle from Mia Olsen was followed by a sacrifice bunt to set the table. Lauren Whitt delivered for the Owls with an RBI-single to center.
Olivia Gott broke up the Owls bid for perfection with a four-pitch walk to open the fifth. An inning later, Ashlee Davis (Phoenix, Ariz.) broke up the no-hitter with a single to left field. Pinch runner Molly Keshin (New Canaan, Conn.) swiped a pair of bags, but was left stranded at third.
Virginia would threaten again in the final inning, as an error put one aboard and Donna Friedman singled to put Hoos at second and third. A comebacker to the mound ended the rally and gave FAU the 1-0 victory.
Osherow (0-1) was stellar for a second-straight outing to open the season. The senior tossed all six innings, allowing just the one run on five hits. All five hits were singles and Osherow fanned five while not issuing a walk on the night.
• Friedman had three hits on the day and has now hit in all three games she has played.
• Osherow has now tossed 11 2/3 innings and allowed just one run on six hits.
• Emma McBride (Magnolia, Texas) made her collegiate debut and first start in Saturday’s games.
Virginia caps the opening weekend of play with a 9 a.m. first pitch against St. John’s (1-3) on Sunday morning.