CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (15-10, 2-1 ACC) was hunting for the series sweep, but No. 24 Notre Dame (17-6, 1-2 ACC) used a seventh-inning run to take a 3-2 victory in the series finale at Palmer Park on Sunday (March 13).
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame got on the board in the first with a two-run home run from Abby Sweet to take the early lead.
Virginia would keep things in check defensively until the bottom of the third when the first run come home as Bailey Winscott scored on a single to left from Lauren VanAssche. Winscott was hit by a pitch before stealing second in the VanAssche at bat. Two batters later the Cavaliers would tie it up with a RBI groundout from Gabby Baylog as the ball came off her hand in the act of swinging and VanAssche scampered home.
Notre Dame moved back in front in the seventh. With two outs and runners at the corners, a soft chopper to third and the runner slid in safely just before the ball to put the Irish up 3-2.
Madison Harris (0-1) took the loss in relief, allowing the one run on two hits in 1.2 innings of work.
Shannon Becker (6-1) picked up the win in the complete game, allowing two runs on 10 hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• Aly Rayle continued her strong weekend, working 5.0 scoreless innings in relief with a walk and three strikeouts.
• Bailey Winscott set the table in the nine hole, going 1-for-1 with a walk and a hit by pitch with a run scored.
• The run surrendered by Madison Harris was her first of the season. She’s worked 11.0 innings and struck out 10.
• UVA out-hit the Irish 10-to-6 on the day and out-hit the Irish 26-to-17 and outscored them 15-to-9 for the series.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“We had our opportunities with the runners in scoring position and the right people at the plate – we just didn’t deliver the timely hit today. I’m proud of the effort. We never felt like we were out of a game all weekend and we weren’t. Our pitching staff kept us in the game with Aly Rayle came in and handled the pressure. She just handles herself like a champ. Madison Harris went for it in the close. It’s frustrating when you know you had the opportunity and didn’t get the timely hit, but there are a lot of positives to take away. Today being the two-year mark of when we shut down in 2020, it’s important for us to remember where we’ve been. The last two years have been hard for all of us, our kids and our student-athletes. People have lost family and loved ones and jobs – they’ve lost a lot. It would be easy to pout about not getting the win, but we’re really grateful to play softball today. We’ll get back to work tomorrow.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia closes out the five-game homestand with North Dakota State on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. at Palmer Park.