CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Cavaliers drew 14 walks, including seven in a sixth-inning rally, to help Virginia (8-4) take a run-rule victory over University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1-4) by a score of 10-2 in six innings on Friday at Palmer Park.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawks struck first with a single run in the fourth inning before the Cavaliers would put together an answering rally in the home half of the fourth.
Virginia started its rally with a leadoff walk before back-to-back doubles from Kelly Ayer and Kailyn Jones would push two runs across the plate. The Hoos would work then load the bases before Gabby Baylog would draw a walk to push Jones home and give the home team the 3-1 lead.
A sacrifice fly from Leah Boggs in the fifth pushed a fourth run home before UMES would answer with a run in the top of the sixth.
The Cavaliers then broke the game open, grabbing the run-rule victory with six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Virginia batters drew three straight walks to load the bases before consecutive groundouts pushed two runs home. Jones then came up with her RBI triple and Boggs delivered an RBI single to put the Hoos on the cusp of the victory. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases again before two more walks pushed the final two runs home.
Eden Bigham (2-1) went the distance, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts across her 6.0 innings of work.
Katelyn Smitchko (1-2) took the loss as she allowed three runs on four hits with five walks and four strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work.
NOTES ON THE GAME
• Kailyn Jones finished a home run shy of the cycle as she went 3-for-3 with three RBI, two runs scored and a walk.
• The three hits and three RBI were career highs for Jones, while the two runs scored tied a career high.
• Eden Bigham went the distance for the third time this year and turned in her fourth game of at least 7 strikeouts.
• The 14 walks drawn by Virginia passes the previous high mark of 13 walks set against Coppin State (3/30/96).
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“I was really happy with our stick-to-itivness tonight. We had the 14 walks which tells me we were very disciplined at the plate. What a game for KJ (Kailyn Jones). She’s been grinding really hard so it was fine to see her come through with some big hits. We’re having fun and it’s nice to see the smiles and everyone loose out there going into the rest of the weekend. We have some weather on Saturday, but we’re ready to play and compete. We’re having so much fun playing together and working hard together.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia returns to action on Saturday against St. John’s as play at the Cavalier Clash continues. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. as expected inclement weather has forced alterations to the original schedule for Saturday’s games.
Updated Saturday Schedule – February 25
1:00 pm Virginia vs St. John’s
3:30 pm St. John’s vs Howard
6:00 pm UMES vs. George Washington