KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Virginia softball team (12-8) hit five more home runs on Saturday (March 5) to power to a pair of wins on day two at the Tennessee Invitational. The Cavaliers defeated Dartmouth (2-7) by a score of 3-0 before downing South Alabama (5-13) by a score of 5-3.

GAME 1: Virginia 3, Dartmouth 0
It’s was a pitcher’s duel to kick things off on Saturday as the game was a one-run lead for the Cavaliers until the final inning as Virginia put up runs in the second and the seventh on the way to the shutout victory over the Big Green.

Donna Friedman delivered a sacrifice fly in the second to put the Hoos on the board and Lauren VanAssche hit a two-run home run in the seventh to put Virginia up 3-0.

Aly Rayle (2-1) picked up the win, striking out nine through 6.0 scoreless innings. She allowed one hit and walked two. Madison Harris then picked up her first save of the season, working a scoreless seventh with two hits and two strikeouts.

Brooke Plonka (1-4) took the loss for the Big Green, allowing one run on one hit in 2.0 innings of work. She walked one in the start.

GAME 2: Virginia 5, South Alabama 3
The Cavaliers used power to grab the win from the Jaguars, using four home runs – including three consecutive in the third inning – to grab the win over South Alabama.

The scoring started in the bottom of the first when Leah Boggs hit a two-run shot to get the Cavaliers on the board. Virginia then added to the lead in the third when Katie Goldberg, Tori Gilbert and Gabby Baylog hit solo shots in succession to take the lead to 5-0.

South Alabama responded with two runs – including a solo home run – in the sixth inning and a solo home run in the seventh to cut the lead to the final 5-3 margin.

Mikayla Houge (6-2) picked up the win, working 5.2 innings in the start. She allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Mackenzie Wooten picked up her first save of the season, closing out the final 1.1 innings with one run on three hits and a strikeout.

Olivia Lackie (3-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work.

• The three straight home runs against South Alabama was the first time for UVA since McKall Miller, Heidi Belk and Allison Davis did it at Longwood (4/15/15).
• Gabby Baylog hit her first home run of the season and second of her career in the game against South Alabama.
• Virginia hit five home runs on the day, giving the Hoos nine home runs through the first two days of action.
• The Cavaliers have 22 home runs to date which is two shy of matching the season total of 24 from a year ago.
• Aly Rayle’s nine strikeouts was a season high and the most since she struck out nine vs. Boston College (4/3/21).
• Madison Harris made her fifth appearance in relief and has not allowed a run since returning to the lineup.
• Mackenzie Wooten picked up her first save of the season, closing out the South Alabama game.

“I am so proud of our effort all day. The team has shown incredible resilience over the last four weekends and we are really starting to catch our rhythm as a unit. Our pitching staff kept us in both games today. Aly (Rayle) threw a gem against Dartmouth and Mikayla (Houge) kept us competitive for her entire outing. It’s great to see Madi Harris and Mackenzie Wooten get saves.

“Offensively it was great to see our team make adjustments from game one to two. We were much more aggressive against South Alabama and took advantage of a few mistakes over the plate. This team plays hard and competes every pitch of every game. I love being their coach and that we get another chance to play Tennessee tomorrow afternoon.”

Virginia closes out the Tennessee Invitational on Sunday (March 6) with a single game against No. 18 Tennessee. First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m. on SEC Network +.