COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Virginia softball team (1-2) split action on day one at the Gamecock Invitational on Friday (Feb. 11), posting a shutout of Lipscomb in game one before dropping a one-run game to South Carolina in the nightcap.

The Cavaliers defeated Lipscomb (0-1) by a score of 2-0 to start the day before falling to South Carolina (1-0) by a score of 3-2 to close the day’s action.

GAME 1: Virginia 2, Lipscomb 0
Virginia got off to the quick start against the Bisons, pushing home a run in the first as a Katie Goldberg double drove in leadoff hitter Lauren VanAssche. The Cavaliers then extended the lead with a single run in the fifth when a double from freshman Sarah Coon drove in Tori Gilbert.

Aly Rayle (1-0) picked up the win as she worked 5.1 innings in the start. She struck out six and walked one, while allowing only three hits in the outing. Mikayla Houge picked up the save, working the final 1.2 innings. Houge struck out one and allowed two hits.

Makayla Veneziale (0-1) took the loss for Lipscomb, allowing two runs on six hits with three walks and a strikeout through 5.0 innings.

GAME 2: South Carolina 3, Virginia 2
Virginia scored in the second inning, capitalizing on solid baserunning and an error by the Gamecock defense. Tori Gilbert doubled to open the inning and then took third on a groundout to third base. The throw back to third from the first baseman was off the mark and Gilbert scrambled home to put the Cavaliers on the board.

South Carolina answered in the fifth inning when Katie Prebble laced a two-out triple off the wall down the right field line to drive in two runs and put the Gamecocks on top 2-1. South Carolina added a third run in the sixth with a solo home run from Riley Blampied.

Gilbert then came up with a solo home run in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 3-2, but the Cavaliers couldn’t tie things up as South Carolina picked up the win.

Savanah Henley (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing two runs while striking out six in her 4.2 innings of work. She scattered six hits and allowed five walks in that time.

Leah Powell (1-0) picked up the win for the Gamecocks, allowing the two runs on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in the complete-game effort.

• Lauren VanAssche went 2-for-4 with a run scored in game one as she moved to leadoff against the Bisons.
• Aly Rayle and Mikayla Houge combined for the shutout with Houge picking up her fourth career save.
• The win by Rayle against Lipscomb was her 20th career victory in the circle for the Hoos.
• Tori Gilbert hit her second home run of the season with her solo shot in the seventh vs. South Carolina.

“Our pitching staff did an excellent job of coming back after yesterday when we were all over the place. They settled in really well and only gave up three runs through two games today. I was proud to see them come back on the turnaround and fight back. Tori Gilbert had an excellent day across the board. She’s seeing the ball well right now and it’s fun to see her hard work pay off. I never feel like we’re out of the game. As long as we have a swing left, I feel like we have a chance. We’ll get some rest and get after it against a good George Washington team on Saturday.”

Virginia continues play at the Gamecock Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 12) when the Cavaliers face George Washington at 6 p.m.