BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Cavaliers never trailed on Friday (April 15) as Virginia (23-20, 9-8 ACC) used a pair of home runs to help grab a 5-3 victory at No. 2 Virginia Tech (31-6, 14-2 ACC) and even the weekend series with the Hokies.
It marks the third time the Hoos have beaten the nation’s second-ranked team in program history.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia scored first for the second straight game against the Hokies, plating a run in the first when Gabby Baylog homered to left field. The Hoos then doubled the lead in the third on an RBI single driven back up the middle by Leah Boggs that scored Arizona Ritchie.
Virginia Tech answered with a rally in the bottom of the third, pushing two runs home to tie the game.
The Cavaliers moved back in front in the fifth inning with an RBI single driven to left by Tori Gilbert that brought Reece Holbrook home. Holbrook reached on a walk to open the inning before moving to second on a sac bunt and taking third on a wild pitch to set up the score.
Virginia extended the lead in the sixth with a solo home run from Katie Goldberg and an RBI double from Holbrook that drove in Kailyn Jones. The Hoos would lead 5-2 after the sixth.
Virginia Tech used a fielding error with two outs in the seventh to bring home a run and keep the game alive, but the Hoos buckled down to shut down the inning and grab the victory.
Molly Grube (1-2) picked up the win, working 6.2 innings and allowing the three runs – two of them earned – on eight hits. She struck out five and did not walk a batter. Madison Harris picked up the save for her fifth of the season.
Emma Lemley (12-4) took the loss for the Hokies, allowing the five runs on nine hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.
NOTES ON THE GAME
• UVA beat a No. 2 ranked team for the third time in program history (5-4 vs. FSU – 2004, 2-1 vs. Arizona – 2010).
• It’s the first win over Virginia Tech since a 9-8 victory in Charlottesville in the 2017 season.
• Gabby Baylog hit her third home run of the season and brought UVA to 33 home runs on the season.
• The third-inning RBI single for Leah Boggs gave the UVA catcher 20 RBI for the season.
• Katie Goldberg’s sixth-inning home run was her eighth of the season and gave her 28 RBI on the year.
• Reece Holbrook’s RBI double in the sixth was her first double of the season and third RBI of the year.
• Molly Grube’s 6.2 innings of work was a season long as she picked up the victory.
• Madi Harris tied the single-season record for saves with her fifth to match Coty Tolar’s mark (2006).
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“Molly Grube pitched her butt off tonight. She came out and was competitive. She’s been working hard getting back into pitching shape and had flashes of what we know she’s capable of doing. I’m proud of her for sticking with it and putting it together. The offense had a great approach with good at bats the whole game. Lemley is a great pitcher and we knew we would have our hands full. I’m proud of the adjustments and putting up those runs late in the game really helped secure the victory. Tonight was another testament of what our team is capable of when we stick together. The world might be a little surprised, but we aren’t because we know the work that’s been going into this every day. I’m proud of everyone playing their role and doing their job tonight. It was fun and we’re excited to get the opportunity to play again tomorrow and have the chance to win another ACC series.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia and Virginia Tech will close out the three-game series with a single game at 2 p.m. on Saturday (April 16) at the Tech Softball Stadium. The series is part of the Commonwealth Clash presented by Smithfield and the winner of Saturday’s game will claim a point for their school in the annual competition.