LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Virginia softball team (27-22, 13-10 ACC) used a three-run sixth inning on Saturday (April 30) to rally for a 5-3 victory at Louisville (25-21, 9-11 ACC) and even the weekend series with the Cardinals.
The 13 ACC wins ties for the most in program history for the Cavaliers, matching the mark hit by the 2010 team which went 13-7 in conference play that season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia scored in the first inning when Katie Goldberg scored on a delayed steal attempt. Gabby Baylog got caught in a rundown between first and second to allow Goldberg the time to come home before sliding back safely in at first before Louisville got out of the inning.
The Cardinals tied things up in the second with a solo shot to left from before pushing into the lead with back-to-back doubles following the home run. Louisville then continued to score with a wild pitch in the third inning that put the home team up 3-1.
Virginia got a run back in the fifth with a bases-loaded single from Sarah Coon, but the Cardinals would escape the jam with three straight outs following the RBI hit. The Cavaliers then added three more runs in the sixth with a two-run home run from Katie Goldberg and a run that came home as a double steal attempt again worked out for the Hoos. An error on the play allowed Gilbert to come home from third for the 5-3 lead that would hold for the Virginia win.
Mackenzie Wooten (4-0) picked up the win in relief, allowing one run on five hits in 4.0 innings of work. She struck out two and walked one. Mikayla Houge picked up her second save of the season, closing out the final 1.2 innings with one hit allowed.
Taylor Roby (14-8) took the loss in relief for the Cardinals, allowing three runs – two of them earned – on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts. She worked 3.0 innings in relief to close out the game.
NOTES ON THE GAME
• The 13 wins in ACC play ties for the most in a season in program history with the 2010 team that went 13-7.
• The 27 overall wins is the most in a season since the 2010 team posted a 34-23 record.
• Virginia used three pitchers on the afternoon as Aly Rayle worked 1.1 innings in the start.
• With the sixth-inning rally, the Cavaliers improved to 18-1 this season when leading after six innings.
• Wooten has posted relief wins in back-to-back weekends for the Cavaliers also winning last Sunday vs. Pitt.
• Katie Goldberg was 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs and two RBI and also drew a walk on the day.
• Goldberg and Sarah Coon are tied for the team lead in RBI after the day with 32 RBI each this season.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“Today was a game of grit and toughness. We talked in our meeting this morning about owning our brand of softball. We are a team of ball players – we play solid defense, execute when called upon and you never know who is going to be the one to step up and get the timely hit. Everyone on our team is capable of being ‘the one’ on any given day. Today, Katie Goldberg came through with the timely hit and Mikayla Houge got her shot at redemption in almost the identical situation as Friday night’s walk-off loss. We are learning, growing and getting better every week.
“When we play with toughness and competitiveness we maximize our abilities and that is the goal. We want to be the best team we’re capable of being. I’m proud of the tenacity we showed. We have another opportunity to get better on Sunday, win the series and take another step forward as we head into the postseason.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia and Louisville conclude the weekend series at noon on Sunday. The game will be streamed on ACCNX.