KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Cavaliers hit four home runs on the day, including a walk-off from Tori Gilbert and a pair of round trippers from Leah Boggs, as Virginia (10-8) split a pair of games on Friday (March 4) at the Tennessee Invitational.
The Cavaliers defeated South Alabama (5-11) in the first game on the walk-off from Gilbert before falling to No. 18 Tennessee (12-6) in the nightcap by a score of 7-5.
GAME 1: Virginia 6, South Alabama 4
Virginia got off to the quick start, getting back-to-back hits from Lauren VanAssche and Sarah Coon to start the first for the Hoos and spark a three-run rally. An error in the next at bat started the scoring before consecutive RBI groundouts put the Cavaliers on top 3-0 before South Alabama would get out of the inning.
A solo home run in the fourth got the Jaguars on the board. South Alabama then took the lead in the sixth, loading the bases before an RBI walk started a three-run rally.
Leah Boggs homered in the bottom of the sixth to tie things up before Gilbert hit her pinch hit, two-run shot in the seventh to give the Hoos the win.
Savanah Henley (3-4) picked up the win in relief, working 1.2 innings and allowing two hits while striking out two. She entered the game with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth and Virginia holding to a one-run lead.
Jenna Hardy (1-7) took the loss for the Jaguars, allowing the six runs – five earned – on five hits with a walk and eight strikeouts.
GAME 2: No. 18 Tennessee 7, Virginia 5
Leah Boggs got the Hoos started in the first with a two-out home run to put Virginia on the board. The Vols would respond in the home half, however, pushing a pair of runs across the plate to take the 2-1 lead.
Virginia came through in the top of the second, loading the bases with no outs to spark a rally. The Cavaliers then got runs on an RBI single from Bailey Winscott, a hit by pitch on Sarah Coon and an RBI groundout from Boggs to take the lead back at 4-2 in favor of the Hoos.
Tennessee again answered with a two-run home run in the third to tie the game. The runs continued in the fourth with a two-out rally as the Lady Vols pushed three more runs home for the 7-4 lead.
Virginia got another home run in the sixth when Baylog delivered her first of the season to trim the lead to two runs, but could get no closer as Tennessee picked up the win.
Savanah Henley (3-5) suffered the loss in relief, allowing five runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work.
Erin Edmoundson (7-1) picked up the relief win for Tennessee, allowing one run on four hits with a strikeout in 4.2 innings of work. Ashley Rogers got her third save as she worked the final 1.1 innings with two strikeouts.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• Virginia is now 2-0 against South Alabama with wins in back-to-back seasons over the Jaguars.
• The Hoos are now 2-10 all-time against Tennessee and faced the Vols for the first time since 2019.
• Leah Boggs hit a home run in each game, bringing her season total to three for the season.
• Tori Gilbert’s walk-off home run was the first for UVA since Lacy Smith vs. Syracuse (3/17/18)
• Sydney Hartgrove made her first collegiate appearance with the start at catcher against South Alabama.
• Aly Rayle worked 2.1 scoreless to close out the game against Tennessee with four strikeouts and a walk.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“I’m really proud of the fight and grit we showed in both games today. We know we can come from behind late in games and we continue to put ourselves in positions to win in the seventh. As we continue to grow and learn, our at bats will increase in quality in pressure moments and our pitching staff will shut down big innings. We get closer and closer to reaching our full potential every game. I’m excited to get back on the field tomorrow. I love this team and love fighting with them.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia will return to action against Dartmouth to close round-robin play at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning before facing off against an opponent to be determined in the afternoon as the tournament moves to bracket play.