GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Virginia softball team (9-5) picked up two more wins at the UNCG Invitational on Saturday (Feb. 26), combining to score 20 runs in wins over Towson and Loyola-Chicago.
The Cavaliers defeated Towson (1-10) in a run-rule victory, 12-4, in the first game before downing the Loyola-Chicago (3-5) by a score of 8-0. It was the second run-rule victory of the weekend for the Hoos and third this season.
GAME 1: Virginia 12, Towson 4 (5 Innings)
The first game of the day was a game of answering rallies for the Hoos as Virginia had to twice come from behind against the Tigers.
Towson pushed two runs home in the second before Virginia would answer with a three-run rally in the home half as Sarah Coon, Kelly Ayer and Arizona Ritchie all scored.
The Tigers would again push in front with a pair of runs in the fifth inning, taking a 4-3 lead on the Cavaliers. Virginia would respond in a big way, however, batting around in the home half of the inning to plate nine runs and grab the run-rule victory over Towson.
Savanah Henley (2-4) picked up the win in relief for the second straight game, allowing two runs on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 2.0 innings of work.
Melissa Abrahamian (0-5) took the loss for Towson as she allowed five runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work.
GAME 2: Virginia 8, Loyola-Chicago 0
Virginia continued to build on its lead across seven innings to claim the shutout victory over Loyola-Chicago in the second game of the day.
The Cavaliers got an RBI single out of Leah Boggs in the first adding two more runs in the third on a RBI single from Tori Gilbert and a groundout from Boggs. That 3-0 lead would hold until the sixth when Bailey Winscott delivered an RBI single to left field for the four-run lead.
Virginia then opened up the offense in the seventh inning, plating four more runs on the way to the 8-0 victory. It started with a sac fly from Boggs before Abby Weaver delivered an RBI double to left field. Kelly Ayer then came up with an RBI single before moving around the bases and coming home on a wild pitch.
Mikayla Houge (5-0) picked up the win, working 6.0 scoreless innings while allowing two hits. She walked two and struck out five. Madison Harris then worked the seventh, shutting things down for the second straight game as she walked one batter in her inning of work.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• With the wins, Virginia is now 16-10 all-time against Towson and 2-0 against Loyola-Chicago.
• Sarah Coon hit two, two-RBI doubles in the fifth vs. Towson – starting and ending the scoring with each hit.
• Coon went 2-for-2 with the four RBI and a pair of walks in the game against Towson.
• Reece Holbrook notched her first collegiate hit with an RBI single in the fifth-inning rally vs. Towson.
• Gabby Baylog scored her first run of the season and went 1-for-1 in the afternoon game against Loyola-Chicago.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“The last four games have been team wins. We’ve had a lot of players contribute in multiple ways and across multiple positions. It’s a testament to the utility and athleticism of our team that we can make moves and everyone is contributing. It’s fun to watch the compete and be the team we know they are capable of being. We’re excited to get after it tomorrow against a good team in UNCG.”
“There was not a game where we called it in early. Even if we didn’t score in an inning or have a quality at bat we kept our drive. The last inning of our second game we put a four-spot in the top of the seventh. That tells me the team is staying locked in and ready. We left a lot of runners on base, but we scored a lot of runs. Our pitching staff did a great job today, too. We’re playing well and we’re staying hungry for seven full innings and that’s important.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia is slated to close out the UNCG Invitational with a 2 p.m. contest against the hosting Spartans. Live stats and a streaming broadcast on ESPN+ are linked at VirginiaSports.com.