RALEIGH, N.C. – The Virginia softball team (18-11, 5-1 ACC) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, using a pair of home runs and a five-run third inning to post an 8-1 win at NC State (19-10, 2-7 ACC) and sweep the weekend series.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia jumped out to the lead for the second-straight day, using a two-run shot from Tori Gilbert in the first to get on the board.
The Cavaliers then added five more runs in the third with a two-RBI double from Arizona Ritchie and a three-run home run from Sarah Coon before NC State would get a solo home run in the fourth. The solo home run broke up a no-hitter for starter Aly Rayle.
Virginia got the run back in the sixth inning when Abby Weaver delivered an RBI single to score Gilbert who was hit by a pitch.
Aly Rayle (4-1) picked up the win in the start as she allowed the one run on one hit with three walks and seven strikeouts through 5.0 innings of work.
Sam Gress (7-2) took the loss for the Wolfpack as she allowed two runs on three hits with a walk in 0.1 inning of work.
NOTES ON THE GAME
• With the win, Virginia is now 23-29 all-time against NC State and has won eight of the last 10 games.
• The 5-1 start to ACC play is the best start since the 2010 season when UVA started off the ACC slate 6-0.
• The sweep of the Wolfpack was the first sweep in ACC play for UVA since a 2019 sweep at NC State (4/26-28).
• The combined one-hit performance by UVA’s pitchers was the first since 2/10/2018 vs. Southern.
• Tori Gilbert moved into the team lead in home runs (7) with her two-run shot in the first inning.
• Gilbert and Coon homered to give UVA its seventh game this season with multiple home runs.
• Aly Rayle is now 5-1 all-time against the Wolfpack with one save in her UVA career.
• With the eight runs on Sunday, Virginia out-scored the Wolfpack 17-to-4 for the weekend series.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“What a great team weekend. I felt our team came out today with a hunger to finish the series with a win. From the first inning we put the pressure on and never let up. The ACC is a tough league and every game is going to be a dog fight. Our team showed a ton of grit and competed hard all weekend. That’s what I’m most proud of today. We will enjoy this on the way back home, rest up and get back to work on Monday. I love this team and that I get to go back to work with them tomorrow as we prepare to host Liberty on Tuesday.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia returns to action at home on Tuesday night, hosting Liberty in a 7 p.m. contest at Palmer Park.