CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (6-5) closed the weekend strong, taking both games of a doubleheader from George Washington (0-4) on Sunday (Feb. 28) at Palmer Park. The Cavaliers won the first game 4-3 in nine innings before taking game two by a score of 3-1.
Morgan Murphy (Chesapeake, Va.) delivered the walk-off hit in the first game, driving in Donna Friedman (Orange, Calif.) to give the Cavaliers the victory. She went 3-for-5 with two RBI in the first win over the Colonials.
Freshmen pitchers played big roles in both games on the day as Madison Harris (Forest, Va.) took the relief win in game one and Mikayla Houge (Collins, Iowa) took the win in game two with a complete game.
GAME ONE: Virginia 4, George Washington 3 (9 Innings)
Harris (2-3) picked up the win in the first game of the day, working 2.2 scoreless innings in relief. She allowed one hit while walking one and striking out two.
Virginia got off to the quick start, plating a pair of runs in the first inning with back-to-back RBI singles from Murphy and Savana Avilla (Phoenix, Ariz.).
The Colonials responded in the second, putting together a three-run rally to take the lead on the Cavaliers.
Virginia answered in the sixth, tying the game when Katie Goldberg (Atlanta, Ga.) drove in Ashley Jennings (Forest, Va.) from third with an infield single to second.
The Cavaliers claimed game one when Murphy delivered her double to the wall in left center to bring Friedman home from first in the ninth.
GAME TWO: Virginia 3, George Washington 1
Houge (2-1) took the victory in game two, working a complete game as she allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts in her 7.0 innings in the circle. She did not walk a batter.
Virginia struck first in the second game of the day, pushing a run home in the fifth inning when Friedman lifted a single over the third baseman to score Emma McBride (Magnolia, Texas). McBride doubled to open the inning before advancing to third on a sac bunt from Bailey Winscott (Clinton, Miss.).
The Cavaliers extended the lead in the sixth when Winscott delivered a two-RBI single that scored Leah Boggs (Mansfield, Ohio) and McBride. Boggs reached on a fielder’s choice before McBride singled to put two on for the Winscott hit.
George Washington got a solo home run in the seventh inning with two outs before the Cavaliers would close the door and take the doubleheader sweep.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• Madison Harris picked up her second relief win and factored into the decision against GW in two of three games this weekend after picking up the save in Saturday’s game and taking the relief win in game one on Sunday.
• Morgan Murphy went 3-for-5 with two RBI in the first game, including driving in the game-winning run. She finished the day batting 4-for-8 against the Colonials.
• Emma McBride recorded her first hits of the year, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the 3-1 win in game two. It was also her first start of the season.
• Donna Friedman and Katie Goldberg each tallied 3-for-5 outings in the first game against GW on Sunday.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“Both pitchers gave us chances to win. We threw the first punch of the first game and then gave up a three-spot. It was nice to see the team fight back and tie things up in the sixth before walking it off in extra innings. There were a lot of great defensive plays in both games. Our defense really showed up. We challenged our team before the day started to play aggressive on defense and they did that. One of our keys for the season is to just do your job and whatever is asked of you. People did that today. I’m really proud of Emma McBride in her first start. She’s been waiting patiently and putting in the work. She got her opportunity and made the most of it.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia will continue to play at home this weekend, hosting Clemson in an ACC series at Palmer Park. Play begins with a single game at 5 p.m. Friday (March 5) before a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday.