ROCK HILL, S.C. – Virginia (5-3) bounced back to earn a pair of wins on Saturday (Feb. 15), defeating Holy Cross (0-4), 11-1, before earning a walk-off win over Georgetown (1-8), 7-6, in the nightcap.
GAME 1: Virginia 11, Holy Cross 1 (6 inn.)
Freshman Katie Goldberg (Atlanta, Ga.) went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a solo homer to lead Virginia to an 11-1, run-rule win over Holy Cross in the opening game of the day. Seven Cavaliers recorded an RBI and eight had a hit in the offensive onslaught.
Savana Avilla (Phoenix, Ariz.) jumpstarted the Cavalier bats with a lead-off triple to open the game. She scored on a sacrifice fly from Arizona Ritchie (Stafford, Va.) before Goldberg and Ashley Jennings (Forest, Va.) each collected RBI-knocks to make it 3-0 Virginia.
The Cavaliers extended the lead to 4-0 in the second inning as Bailey Winscott (Clinton, Miss.) drew a walk and later scored on an RBI-groundout from Tori Gilbert (Mechanicsville, Va.). Virginia would add two more in the fourth as Gilbert plated the first with a ground ball before Donna Friedman (Orange, Calif.) laced a two-out single off the third-baseman’s glove to drive in another.
Holy Cross broke up the no-hitter and pulled a run back in its half of the fourth, using a walk and two singles to make it a 6-1 game.
Virginia broke the game open in the sixth with five runs to invoke the run rule. Gilbert started the big frame with a walk and moved to second on a single by Ritchie. Molly Keshin (New Canaan, Conn.), who had entered as a pinch-runner earlier in the game, roped an RBI-single up the middle to make it 7-1. A throwing error allowed another run to cross on the play and Keshin crossed the plate on a wild pitch to stretch the advantage to 9-1. Solo homers from Goldberg, the first of her collegiate career, and Kate Covington (McLean, Va.) made it 11-1 Virginia.
Mackenzie Wooten (Windsor, Va.) kept Holy Cross off the board in the sixth to end the game.
Sophomore Aly Rayle (Herndon, Va.) earned the win to improve to 3-1 on the year. She fanned five Crusaders while issuing just a single walk.
GAME 2: Virginia 7, Georgetown 6 (8 inn.)
For the third time this season, Virginia won in extra innings as Covington delivered a walk-off single in the eighth to send Virginia to a 7-6 win.
Virginia jumped out to an early lead on Gilbert’s solo home run in the bottom of the first. After Georgetown tied the game in the third, a wild pitch and throwing error allowed Friedman to cross the plate and put Virginia ahead 2-1.
A two-out dribbler off the cap of the bat of Deidre Gallo, who doubled and scored earlier in the game, pushed another Georgetown run across to bring the Hoyas level at 2-2.
Keshin drew a walk with one away in the fourth to start a Virginia rally. After stealing second, she evaded a tag on a Mikaila Fox (Ocean Springs, Miss.) single to put runners on the corners. Bailey Winscott (Clinton, Miss.) singled home a run to give Virginia a 3-2 lead before Avilla lifted her first career home run, a three-run shot, to make it 6-2 Hoos.
Georgetown answered in the fifth with a pair of two-run homers to tie the game. Noelle Holliday and Ciara Sullivan provided the damage for the Hoyas.
After Rayle settled the game by entering the circle in relief, the Cavaliers walked off in the eighth inning to earn a third extra-inning victory. With the international tiebreaker in place, Jennings laid down a perfect bunt to advance the runner. Covington then delivered the game-winning knock, a single off the wall in right to give Virginia the 7-6 win.
Rayle (4-1) earned her second win of the day by tossing three perfect innings of relief, including five strikeouts.
FROM THE TOP STEP
“We talked about being aggressive earlier in counts and staying true to who we are,” head coach Joanna Hardin said. “I think we got a little big, tried to do a little too much yesterday and then froze. We just weren’t true to who we are as a team and as an offense. Today, the girls really committed to that and regardless of the score, up 10, tied, they stayed true to our approach and just being who we are. And if we do that, I think we have a chance for some success moving forward.”
Virginia closes the weekend with a 9:30 a.m. matchup against Boston on Sunday (Feb. 16).