LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Cavaliers put together a seventh-inning rally, but came up just short as Virginia (14-26) fell by a score of 3-2 at Liberty (30-12) on Wednesday (April 21) at the Liberty Softball Stadium.
After cutting the lead to one run with a bases-loaded groundout from Ashley Jennings (Forest, Va.) in the seventh, the Flamers were able to get the final out to keep Virginia from tying the game and capture the 3-2 victory.
Mikaila Houge (4-8) took the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits. Houge (Collins, Iowa)walked two and struck out one in 4.2 innings of work before leaving the game with the bases loaded in the fifth. Aly Rayle (Herndon, Va.) entered in relief and struck out the first batter faced to end the threat and keep the game within reach. Rayle worked the final 1.1 innings.
Karlie Keeney (11-4) picked up the win, allowing the two runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. She left the game with no outs and the bases loaded in the seventh. Emily Kirby picked up her second save of the season, working the seventh with a walk and a strikeout.
Virginia struck first, pushing a run home in the second inning when Bailey Winscott (Clinton, Miss.) drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home Donna Friedman (Orange, Calif.). Friedman reached on a single to left center to start the inning for the Cavaliers.
Liberty answered with a run in the bottom of the inning before taking the lead in the fourth with a two-RBI triple.
Virginia would cut the lead to one with the Jennings groundout in the seventh, but couldn’t overtake the Flames.
NOTES ON THE GAME
• Aly Rayle retired all four batters faced in her relief outing – getting a strikeout, two flyouts and a groundout.
• Virginia scored first for the fifth straight game with its run in the first inning on Wednesday night.
• Both Virginia and Liberty loaded the bases twice each with both Virginia runs coming in bases-loaded situations.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“I’m proud of the team. We came out ready to play, intense and focused. It’s a tough week with six games and I liked how we have been mentally prepared to face tough opponents. We put ourselves in a position to win and if we can continue to do that more and more, we’ll push through and start getting those games. We had competitive at bats and played some great defense – that combined with our approach in the circle says we are in a good place heading into this weekend.”
NEXT UP FOR THE HOOS
Virginia will return home for an ACC series against Syracuse that begins with a doubleheader on Friday at Palmer Park. First pitch for Friday’s doubleheader is set for 4 p.m. All four games are set to be streamed on ACCNX.