RALEIGH, N.C. – Virginia (20-30, 8-16 ACC) used a pair of home runs and another stellar performance in the circle from freshman Aly Rayle (Herndon, Va.) to earn a crucial sweep of NC State (26-26, 6-15 ACC) in 11-7 fashion on Sunday (April 28).
Rayle (9-12) earned her third win of the series, working 4 1/3 innings in relief. The right-hander allowed just a pair of solo home runs while striking out five Wolfpack batters. Rayle is the first Virginia pitcher to earn all three wins in an ACC sweep since Melanie Mitchell in 2010.
The sweep is Virginia’s second of the year in ACC action, marking the first time the Cavaliers have earned a pair of sweeps in league play since 2010.
After NC State regained a 7-6 lead, Virginia scored three runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead for good. Singles from Lacy Smith (Lancaster, Pa.) and Erika Osherow (Darien, Conn.) set the table with one out for the Cavaliers.
Freshman Abigail Barber (Providence Forge, Va.) delivered the clutch hit, a bases-loaded two-run single to the wall in left center, to give Virginia an 8-7 lead. A wild pitch allowed Tori Gilbert (Mechanicsville, Va.) to cross the plate and make it 9-7.
• Osherow opened the scoring with an RBI-single and Barber added a sacrifice fly to give Virginia a 2-0 lead in the first.
• A two-out double from Skylar Johnston put NC State on the board in the first inning, cutting the lead to 2-1.
• Sam Russ gave the Wolfpack its first lead with a two-out double in the second, scoring a pair to make it 3-2.
• Donna Friedman (Orange, Calif.) lifted a sac fly and Kate Covington (McLean, Va.) launched a three-run homer in the third to make it 6-3 Cavaliers.
• Brigette Nordberg pulled NC State back within one with a two-run shot in the third.
• Back-to-back homers in the fifth put NC State up 7-6.
• Barber’s two-run knock and a wild pitch put the Cavaliers up 9-7 in the sixth.
• Smith provided pivotal insurance with a two-run homer in the top of the seventh.
ON THE LINES
• Covington’s home run was her sixth of the season and first since March 12. She finished the game 2-for-5 at the plate with three RBI.
• Hayley Busby (Phoenix, Ariz.) notched her fourth-straight, multi-hit game with a 2-for-5 day.
• Smith’s homer was her 15th of the year. She finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and two walks.
• Osherow went 3-for-5 at the dish with an RBI and two runs scored.
Virginia concludes the 2019 regular season on Tuesday (April 30) with a doubleheader against Hampton. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at The Park.