Tori Gilbert gets us on the board with her flare to right!
— Virginia Softball (@UVASoftball) March 25, 2023
PITTSBURGH – The Virginia softball team (22-10, 3-5 ACC) rallied down the stretch with three runs in the final two innings to grab a 4-2 win at Pittsburgh (14-13, 0-5 ACC) on Saturday to clinch the weekend series.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia got on the board in the third inning when Tori Gilbert flared a single to right to score Jade Hylton from second. Hylton singled deep to short before stealing second to set up the score on the Gilbert hit.
Pittsburgh answered in the fifth with a solo home run from Amanda Ramirez to left center before taking the lead four batters later when Yvonne Whaley dropped a line-drive single into center field. Macy Hamilton scored on the two-out hit from Whaley to give the Panthers the 2-1 lead.
Virginia tied it in the sixth with two outs in the sixth. With runners at the corners, Kelly Ayer hit one down the third base line. She beat the throw at first, but an error on the throw allowed all the runners to advance and Abby Weaver scored the tying run from third.
The Cavaliers took the lead for good in the top of the seventh with a sac fly from Tori Gilbert that scored Kailyn Jones. Jones ran for Sarah Coon after she was hit by a pitch. A double from Katie Goldberg put two in scoring position as Kassidy Hudson entered to run for Goldberg. Jones scored on the Gilbert fly before Hudson would score on a single from Leah Boggs to put Virginia up 4-2.
Eden Bigham (8-3) picked up the relief win as she struck out two in 2.0 innings of work. Bigham entered in the sixth with two on and no out. Following a sac bunt to put two in scoring position, Bigham struck out the next two batters to end the frame. She then retired the side in order in the seventh to lock up the win.
Dani Drogemuller (5-6) took the loss in the complete-game effort as she allowed the four runs on nine hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
NOTES ON THE GAME
- Eden Bigham picked up the win for the second straight game, this time in her relief appearance.
- Tori Gilbert has tallied two RBI in consecutive games for the Hoos this weekend.
- With the win, the Cavaliers improved to 17-10 all-time against Pitt and are now 4-7 in games at Pitt.
- Virginia has now won three straight series against the Panthers dating back to the 2021 series.
FROM HEAD COACH JOANNA HARDIN
“It was gritty and tough. There were great moments and ugly moments. We hit some balls hard that got caught in the wind. I’ve never coached a game in elements like this, but I thought we handled it with character and toughness. We clutched up there at the end and that’s what we’ve been talking about with timely hitting. Our offense came through and the pitching staff put it together today.”
UP NEXT FOR THE HOOS
Virginia and Pitt close out the series on Sunday (March 25). First pitch is set for 12 p.m. on ACCNX.