BOSTON – The Virginia softball team (21-12, 8-1 ACC) swept its second straight ACC series with a 6-5 win at Boston College (14-14, 2-7 ACC) on Sunday. The Cavaliers came up with big defensive plays in the seventh inning to hold onto the win and post the program’s best start in ACC play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia scored in the first inning with a solo home run in the first from Tori Gilbert before Boston College answered on an RBI single from Darien McDonough.
The Cavaliers pushed back in front in the third inning with four runs. The first came off an RBI double from Sarah Coon before a three-run home run to left center from Katie Goldberg capped the inning to give the Hoos the 5-1 lead.
A sixth run came home in the fourth inning when Abby Weaver doubled to right center to score Lauren VanAssche.
Boston College responded in the sixth, pushing two runs home with no outs to force a Cavalier pitching change before a two-run home run would pull the Eagles within one at 6-5.
The Cavaliers held on in the seventh, erasing a runner at second and getting a diving snag in shallow right field from second baseman Arizona Ritchie to end the game.
Mikayla Houge (9-4) picked up the win, allowing four runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts through 5.0 innings of work. Madison Harris picked up the save for the second consecutive day, working the final 2.0 innings after entering with the Cavaliers leading 6-3 with no outs in the sixth and a runner on first. She allowed one run on two hits – one a home run – with a strikeout.
Abby Dunning (2-6) took the loss, allowing six runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts through 3.0 innings of work.
NOTES ON THE GAME
• The 8-1 start to ACC play is the best in program history, passing the previous best of 7-2 in 2010.
• With the win, Virginia sweeps consecutive three-game ACC series for the first time in program history.
• It’s the first time for Virginia to sweep two ACC series in a season since 2019 (vs. Pitt, at NC State).
• It’s the first back-to-back ACC series sweeps for UVA since 2010 (two games vs. Maryland, three vs. Va. Tech).
• Tori Gilbert hit her ninth home run of the season and third first-inning home run in the last four ACC games.
• Katie Goldberg added her seventh home run of the season with her three-run shot in the third inning.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“Boston College is tough. They put us in high-pressure situations and I’m really proud of our response. Mikayla (Houge) didn’t have her best stuff today, but she grinded out five innings for us. Madi (Harris) came in and grinded it out. That’s a tough Boston College team and I’m proud we stayed poised and persistent to grind it out. Arizona Ritchie came up with a huge play at the end. Defense never slumps and I think Coach Tony Bennett would agree with me on that. We put a lot of pride and effort in our defense and made some great plays today. The wins are the result of a lot of work and diligence. We’re looking forward to getting home, getting a little rest and getting after it again with a good Longwood team on Tuesday night.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia returns to action at home against Longwood on Tuesday (March 29) in a 5 p.m. contest at Palmer Park. The game against the Lancers kicks off an eight-game home stand for the Cavaliers.