DURHAM, N.C. – The Virginia softball team (6-10, 2-8 ACC) dropped the series opener at No. 13 Duke (16-1, 5-1 ACC) on Friday (March 12) as the Blue Devils used a two-run sixth inning to take the 3-1 victory over the Cavaliers.

Mikayla Houge (2-3) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Houge (Collins, Iowa) worked 5.2 innings in the start.

Peyton St. George (7-0) picked up the victory, working a complete game as she allowed one run on two hits with 10 strikeouts.

Duke loaded the bases with one out in the second, using back-to-back singles and a walk to get the rally started. A sac fly brought a run home before Virginia would end the threat with a lineout to third, but the Blue Devils were on the board.

The Cavaliers tied things up in the fourth when Donna Friedman (Orange, Calif.) drove in Katie Goldberg (Atlanta, Ga.) from second with a single to left. Goldberg reached on a double down the left field line to get into scoring position for the Friedman hit.

Duke moved back in front in the sixth, loading the bases for a second time with back-to-back singles and a walk to start the frame. An RBI groundout and a dropped fly ball allowed two runs to score before the Cavaliers would get the second out of the inning. With two runners in scoring position, Virginia turned to Aly Rayle (Herndon, Va.) out of the bullpen. She retired the first batter faced to end the inning.

Virginia was unable to put together an answering rally as Duke took the opening game of the series.

• Donna Friedman hit safely for the sixth time in the last seven games and drove in the only run for the Hoos.
• Friedman is tied with Kate Covington for the team lead in RBI this season as each batter has nine RBI.
• Aly Rayle made her second appearance of the season, working 0.1 innings in the appearance against Duke.

Virginia will continue the four-game series at Duke on Saturday (March 13) with a doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m. on ACCNX.