NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Virginia softball team (13-24, 9-19 ACC) came up short in a pair of pitched battles on Saturday (April 17) as Notre Dame (21-12, 12-10 ACC) took both games of the doubleheader by scores of 6-3 and 3-2 at Melissa Cook Softball Stadium.
Notre Dame rallied late in both games to claim victory, pushing home six runs through the fourth and fifth innings in game one to get past the Cavaliers, while two runs in the seventh inning of game two gave the Irish the walk-off win to close the day.
GAME ONE: Notre Dame 6, Virginia 3
Mikayla Houge (4-6) took the loss in game one, allowing five runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout. Houge (Collins, Iowa) worked 4.0 innings in the start.
Alexis Holloway (9-6) picked up the win as she allowed the three runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts in the complete-game effort.
Kate Covington (McClean, Va.) was three for four with two RBI to lead Virginia at the plate in the game.
Virginia got out to the early lead, using an RBI groundout from Covington in the first inning and a sacrifice fly from Leah Boggs (Mansfield, Ohio) in the fourth to go up 2-0.
Notre Dame responded in the bottom of the fourth, getting a solo home run to get on the board. It looked like the Cavaliers had kept the second run off the board as Abby Weaver tagged the runner on her way home as Weaver fielded the bunt, but after a conference the umpires reversed their call and ruled the runner safe and the game tied. The Irish would go on to plate two more runs and take the 4-2 lead.
Virginia got a run back in the fifth when Covington delivered an RBI double to the wall in right center, but Notre Dame would push two more runs home in the bottom of the inning for the final 6-3 margin of victory.
GAME TWO: Notre Dame 3, Virginia 2
Aly Rayle (2-5) suffered the loss in the second game of the day as Notre Dame rallied in the seventh inning of a pitcher’s duel. Rayle (Herndon, Va.) allowed three runs on nine hits with a walk and seven strikeouts as she went the distance for Virginia.
Payton Tidd (11-5) picked up the win as she allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts in her complete-game effort.
Virginia jumped out to the 2-0 lead on the Irish with an RBI groundout from Katie Goldberg (Atlanta, Ga.) in the fifth and a solo home run from Gabby Baylog (Waxhaw, N.C.) in the sixth.
The Irish cut the lead in half with a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth and then tied the game with a two-out single to short from Emma Clark as the soft single with runners in scoring position dropped in front of a diving fielder. A wild pitch then brought the winning run home as Notre Dame took the victory.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• Aly Rayle turned in her second complete-game of the season as she went the distance in game two Saturday.
• Gabby Baylog’s home run was her first at UVA. She is the seventh Cavalier with a home run this season.
• Baylog and Abby Weaver were both 2-for-3 in game two of the doubleheader to lead UVA at the plate.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“Today was a tough one, but I am so proud of the fight and grit our team showed. Our offense came out and executed the two goals we set for them today. Defensively we played hard for every ball. Our team has so much to be proud of and so many positives to take away from today. We are excited we get another opportunity to come back out and fight tomorrow for the last game of the series.”
NEXT UP FOR THE HOOS
Virginia and Notre Dame will close out the weekend series on Sunday (April 18) when the teams play a single game at noon at Melissa Cook Stadium on ACCNX.