RALEIGH, N.C. – Aly Rayle came through in the clutch Friday night (March 18), re-entering the game with the bases loaded in the seventh and retiring three straight batters to earn the save as Virginia (16-11, 3-1 ACC) defeated NC State (19-8, 2-5 ACC) by a score of 4-1.
Rayle, who made the start and worked into the fifth, struck out two of the three batters faced after re-entering the game in the seventh inning to pick up the save for the Cavaliers in the series opener.
HOW IT HAPPENED
NC State scored in the first, pushing a run across with a single up the middle with a runner on second. The Hoos went home on the play, but the Wolfpack player slid under the tag at home to take the 1-0 lead.
The Cavaliers answered in the fifth when Katie Goldberg hit her solo shot to left field, tying the game at one.
Virginia took the lead in the seventh, using an RBI groundout from Arizona Ritchie to go in front 2-1. Sarah Coon then delivered a two-RBI single up the middle to take the lead out to 4-1 before NC State would get out of the inning.
Madison Harris (1-1) picked up the win, as she worked 1.2 innings in relief. She walked five and struck out three in the appearance. Rayle worked 5.1 innings on the night with seven strikeouts, two walks and allowed the one run on two hits.
Maddie McPherson (5-4) took the loss, allowing the four runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts through 6.2 innings of work.
NOTES ON THE GAME
• Katie Goldberg moved into the team lead in home runs with her sixth of the season.
• The home run from Goldberg gave Virginia 24 for the season to match last year’s home run total.
• Sarah Coon extended her streak of reaching base safely to 22 consecutive games.
• Madison Harris has now allowed only one run through nine relief appearances and 13.2 innings pitched.
• Rayle’s save was the first of her career through her 75 career appearances for the Cavaliers.
• In her career against NC State, Rayle is 4-1 with one save through six starts against the Wolfpack.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“Aly Rayle has ice in her veins. She is a fearless competitor and has been in high-pressure moments her entire career at Virginia. Our team competed the entire game – every pitch and every out each player was focused and locked in. Our at bats were really high quality out of the gate and it was only a matter of time before we came through with a big inning. I am really proud of this tam for sticking to our plan and fighting together. Games like this teach you a lot about yourself. Our team is still learning and growing every day. I love being their coach and taking the field with them each day.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia and NC State will continue the series with a single game at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be streamed on ACCNX.