CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Cavaliers took advantage of a pair of miscues in the first inning and made the early lead stand on Sunday (March 21) as Virginia (8-14, 4-12 ACC) took a 2-0 victory over NC State (13-8, 9-8 ACC) in game three of the weekend series at Palmer Park.
Molly Grube (Chesterfield, Va.) picked up the win as she struck out a season-high six batters and allowed only two hits through 5.1 innings of work. Grube (1-1) walked six in the outing, but kept the Wolfpack off balance and the defense delivered as Virginia stranded eight NC State runners in the outing.
Mikayla Houge (Collins, Iowa) picked up her first career save, working the final 1.2 innings with three strikeouts. Entering the game with a runner on second and one out in the sixth, Houge struck out the next two batters to get Virginia out of the inning with the shutout intact. She then retired the side in order in the seventh for the save.
Virginia scored its two runs in the first inning, taking advantage of a fielding errors on back-to-back batters to get the inning started.
After reaching on an error, Katie Goldberg (Atlanta, Ga.) went from first to third when Emma McBride (Magnolia Texas) lay down a sac bunt that died in front of the plate. The NC State pitcher fielded the ball, but the throw was off to allow McBride to reach and Goldberg to advance to third. A double steal scored the first run and left McBride at second who would then score two batters later when Abby Weaver (Roanoke, Va.) singled to shallow center.
The Cavaliers would make the 2-0 lead hold down the stretch to take the 2-1 lead in the weekend series with the Wolfpack.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• Virginia has now scored first in eight of its last 10 ACC games this season.
• Molly Grube struck out a season-high six batters in her start.
• Mikayla Houge struck out three of the last five batters as in picking up the save – her first of the year.
• Katie Goldberg saw her nine-game hit streak snapped as she reached on the error in the first inning.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“It was a tough day at the plate and you have to give it to their lefty today. She came out and threw well. We did enough and took advantage of mistakes on their part. It’s kind of nice to be on this side of that. We’ve struggled to be consistent defensively and given away a couple of games the last few weeks. We capitalized today and took advantage of the extra outs they gave us. Molly Grube threw it really well and Mikayla (Houge) shut the door. That’s a great opponent and a tough team and we’re excited to have the opportunity to win the series tomorrow.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia and NC State will close out the weekend series on Monday afternoon when the teams face off at Palmer Park at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ACCNX through the WatchESPN app.