CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (11-18, 7-14 ACC) got its first ACC series win at Palmer Park on Saturday (April 3), taking a 2-1 victory in 12 innings over Boston College (6-18, 2-11 ACC) to close the four-game set.
With the bases loaded in the 12th inning, Arizona Ritchie (Stafford, Va.) sent a chopper back up the middle to score Leah Boggs (Mansfield, Ohio) and lock up the series.
Mikayla Houge (3-5) picked up the win, working the final 5.1 innings in relief of starter Aly Rayle (Herndon, Va.). Houge (Collins, Iowa) limited Boston College to three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in her time in the circle. In the start, Rayle worked 6.1 innings with nine strikeouts and two walks while limiting the Eagles to three hits and one run.
Susannah Anderson (4-10) took the loss for Boston College, allowing the two runs on 10 hits with a walk and six strikeouts in her complete-game effort.
Boston College scored first, pushing a run home in the third inning when Nicole Giery doubled to center to score C.C. Cook.
Virginia answered in the sixth inning when Tori Gilbert (Mechanicsville, Va.) drove a ball into right field with two outs to score Emma McBride (Magnolia, Texas) from second. Gilbert narrowly missed on a three-run home run earlier in the bat as her ball was rule foul as it hooked past the left field foul pole.
The defense and pitching held up for the two teams down the stretch as each side turned away chances before Virginia broke through in the 12th inning. Back-to-back singles opened the inning before a sac bunt advanced the runners into scoring position. Pinch hitter Gabby Baylog (Waxhaw, N.C.) drew a walk to load the bases and bring Ritchie to the plate. The Cavalier second baseman then drove the second pitch she saw back up the middle to bring home the winning run.
NOTES ON THE DAY/SERIES
• The win gave UVA its first ACC series win at Palmer Park as the Cavaliers took three games in the four-game set.
• The 12-inning game is the longest played by UVA since the Hoos went 12 innings with UNCW on March 6, 2016.
• The series win is the second in ACC play this season as Virginia also took the Pitt series in pod play in February.
• Virginia has now played three extra-inning games this season and is 2-1 in those contests.
• The nine strikeouts by Rayle matched her season high in a win over NC State at home on March 20.
• The Cavaliers also took both games of Thursday’s doubleheader, winning 1-0 and 9-0 in those contests. It was the first doubleheader sweep by UVA in ACC play since the 2019 season when Virginia took both games from Pitt on March 10, 2019. The shutouts were the first back-to-back shutouts since the 2014 season.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“That’s a tough game to lose and my hat is off to Susannah Anderson. She threw it well and I think thew 25 innings on the weekend and was impressive. I’m proud we kept grinding. There were some tough calls and game-changing moments where we could have rolled over and felt sorry for ourselves. Instead, we kept turning the page and attacking. Our pitching staff was excellent today and threw well all weekend. This was a very competitive game against a competitive team. We’re excited to enjoy a day off on Sunday and get back to work on Monday.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia will return to action on Tuesday (April 6) when the Cavaliers host Liberty in a 4 p.m. contest at Palmer Park. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network.