CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (4-0) won a pair of games on Saturday (Feb. 11), defeating Lamar (0-5) and Houston (2-2) to remain perfect on the opening weekend.
The Cavaliers defeated Lamar 4-1 in the opening game of the day before downing Houston 14-7 in the conclusion of Thursday’s game that was suspended in the third inning. Saturday night’s originally scheduled game against Houston has been canceled and will not be played.
Jenny Bressler (2-0) picked up both wins on the day after starting the game against Lamar and then finishing the game against Houston in the nightcap.
GAME 1 – Virginia 4, Lamar 1
Virginia struck first, scoring in the fifth inning for the second straight game against the Cardinals. With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Jade Hylton ripped a line drive to third that was too hot for the third baseman to handle and Sydney Hartgrove came home on the play.
Lamar answered in the home half of the frame, loading the bases before a groundout would bring a run home and tie the game at one.
The Hoos would vault back into the lead in the sixth with a pair of home runs. M.C. Eaton hit a two-run shot to left before Gabby Baylog hit a solo home run to left center for the 4-1.
Bressler picked up the win, working 5.0 innings and allowing the one run on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Eden Bigham picked up her second save of the season, working the final 2.0 innings with three walks and four strikeouts.
GAME 2 – Virginia, Houston (Resumed from Thursday)
The game picked up in the bottom of the third as the two teams resumed Thursday’s suspended game with Virginia leading 8-1. The Cougars came out hot, pushing five runs across on four hits in the third to cut the lead to 8-6.
Houston would add another run in the fourth before Tori Gilbert hit a solo home run off the foul pole in the fifth inning to put the Hoos back in front by two at 9-7.
Virginia continued to build on the lead in the seventh, pushing five runs home to put the game out of reach. It started with a bases-loaded sac fly from Gabby Baylog before Gilbert came home on a delayed steal. An RBI double from Leah Boggs and an RBI single from Reece Holbrook continued the rally before the final run came home on a groundout from Sarah Coon.
Bressler, who started the game on Thursday, picked up the win as she returned to the circle to close out the final two innings. She worked 4.0 innings with one run on three hits and five strikeouts.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• With the win over Houston, the series is now tied 1-1 between the two teams.
• Virginia is now 2-0 all-time against Lamar with both wins coming this weekend in the
• M.C. Eaton hit her third home run of the season with her two-run shot in the sixth against Lamar.
• Tori Gilbert and Gabby Baylog each hit their first home runs of the season on Saturday.
• Virginia now has hit eight home runs on the season after four games.
• Freshman LHP Courtney Layne made her first collegiate appearance in the resumed game against Houston.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“It’s a really tough situation to pick up a situation that was started two days ago and have to finish it out. I’m proud of our team for staying the course and finishing out all seven innings. I thought we came in ready and we lost our focus a little in the bottom of the third when we picked things back up, but we never quit and never gave up. I’m proud of how the team bounced back and responded.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia will close out play at the Houston Invitational on Sunday morning when the Cavaliers face Nebraska at 10:30 a.m. ET.