CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – After a tie game early, the visiting Yellow Jackets pulled away down the stretch as Virginia (17-6, 0-1 ACC) dropped the ACC opener with Georgia Tech (13-8, 1-0 ACC) by a score of 5-2 at Palmer Park on Friday night.

Georgia Tech scored in the first with an RBI double from Sara Beth Allen that scored leadoff hitter Emma Kauf who reached on a walk.

Virginia took the lead in the third with a two-out single deep to short from Jade Hylton. Kailyn Jones and Leah Boggs both reached by walks before advancing on a sacrifice bunt from Lauren VanAssche. Hylton then delivered the chopper to short that allowed the runs to score for the 2-1 lead.

The Yellow Jackets answered with a solo home run in the fourth, tying the game with the long ball from Mallorie Black. Georgia Tech then reclaimed the lead in the fifth with a two-RBI double from Grace Connelly and extended it in the sixth with a solo home run to make it 5-2.

Eden Bigham (4-2) took the loss as she allowed the four runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts through her 4.2 innings of work.

Blake Neleman (4-3) picked up the victory, allowing two runs on the one hit with five walks and four strikeouts through her 4.2 innings of work. Chandler Dennis picked up her first save of the season as she closed out the final


  • Jade Hylton extended her team lead in RBI and now has 21 for the season.
  • The loss was the first at home for the Cavaliers in 2023 who are now 11-1 at Palmer Park this season.
  • Jenny Bressler and Savanah Henley also saw action out of the bullpen for Virginia on the evening.

“We knew it would come down to execution, timely hitting and execution of pitches. Georgia Tech did a good job of getting it done at the right time. We came up a little bit short. It was good learning and experience. We’re going to come out and be competitive tomorrow. We love being at home and playing in front of our fans. We got to their bullpen and they got to our bullpen and now it will be cat and mouse the rest of the weekend.”

Virginia and Georgia Tech are slated to continue the series at 1 p.m. on Saturday (March 11). It will be the team’s Strikeout Cancer Game and the first 500 fans will receive a free Strikeout Cancer t-shirt.