HOUSTON – Freshmen helped set the tone for the Cavaliers on opening day as Virginia (1-0) defeated Lamar (0-1) with a pair of home runs from Jade Hylton and M.C. Eeaton while right-hander Eden Bigham tossed a no hitter for the 5-0 victory at the Houston Invitational.
The Cavaliers’ second game of the day against hosting Houston was suspended in the third inning when a light pole lost power behind the first base dugout. Virginia leads 8-1 and the suspended game will be resumed at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday (Feb. 11).
GAME 1 – Virginia 5, Lamar 0
Virginia opened the season with a big outing from a group of true freshmen as the Cavaliers picked up the 5-0 victory over the Cardinals.
After a pitcher’s duel early, the Cavaliers got on the board with a five-run fifth inning with a pair of home runs from freshmen. Second baseman Jade Hylton started things with a three-run shot before designated player M.C. Eaton would extend the lead with a two-run shot of her own.
Eden Bigham tossed a complete-game shutout in twirling the no-hitter for the Hoos. Bigham struck out nine in the outing.
GAME 2 – Virginia 8, Houston 1 (Suspended Mid-3)
Virginia got off to the quick start against the Cougars as Eaton hit her second two-run home run of the day in the top of the first. Houston answered in the home half before Eaton would add a third run with an RBI single in the second inning.
The third inning saw more fireworks for the Hoos as Abby Weaver hit a three-run shot and Leah Boggs added a two-run homer to put Virginia on top 8-1 before the game would be suspended in the middle of the inning.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• Freshmen Jade Hylton and M.C. Eaton each hit home runs for their first collegiate hits.
• Freshman Eden Bigham threw the first no-hitter for UVA since Ally Frei vs. Hampton (4/30/19).
• Eaton turned in her second home run of the day in the suspended game against Houston and had three RBI.
• Jenny Bressler got the start in the game against Houston and had three strikeouts with two hits allowed.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“We were a little nervous; you could see the butterflies in the stomach and the excited energy to go and play someone else. Once we settled in and put up a couple of runs in the first game we were able to play to our potential and be the team that we are. Our team is pretty loose, we have a lot of fun and we looked a little tight there at the start of game one. I’m proud of the team. Our goal is to go play hard and have a lot of fun. They love playing together and they did that well. It was a strange situation in the second game, but winners adjust and we’ll figure it out later in the weekend.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia returns to action on Friday afternoon when the Cavaliers take on Sam Houston State in a single game at the Bearkat Classic. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. ET.