CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Cavaliers exploded out of the gate, scoring seven runs in the first two innings as Virginia (17-9, 5-4 ACC) defeated Syracuse (13-11, 1-5 ACC) by a score of 7-2 on Sunday (March 17) to clinch the weekend series.

Virginia struck first with an RBI single to center from Sarah Coon that scored Jade Hylton. Hylton reached with a leadoff double and took third on a foul fly before the Coon ball to center. Virginia loaded the bases from there and pushed a second run home when Shelby Barbee drew a walk to take the lead to 2-0.

The Hoos capitalized on a fielding error to extend the second on the way to a five-run inning. It started with an Abby Weaver single to left with runners on second and third and one out. A groundout moved Weaver to second before a fielding error at third kept the inning alive and set runners at the corners. Kelsey Hackett doubled to left center, driving in both runs, before she capped the scoring on a single up the middle from Shelby Barbee.

Syracuse got on the board in the fourth inning with a two-out, two-run home run from Laila Morales-Alves for the only runs scored down the stretch as Virginia picked up the win.

Mikayla Houge (1-1) picked up the win, allowing the two runs on five hits across her 4.0 innings of work. Eden Bigham picked up the save, striking out six and allowing just one hit and a walk through the final 3.0 innings.

Britney Lewinski (2-5) took the loss, allowing three runs on two hits with two walks in 1.0 inning of work. She was the first of three Syracuse pitchers in the circle on the day.


  • Virginia won the series with the 7-2 victory for the first series victory over the Orange in program history.
  • Mikayla Houge made her first start since the 2022 season – a start against Central Arkansas (5/24/22).
  • Eden Bigham’s save was her first of the season and the third save of her career.
  • Jade Hylton went 2-for-with two runs scored at the top of the lineup and led off the game with a double for the third straight game.
  • Three Cavaliers tallied two RBI on the day: Shelby Barbee, Kelsey Hackett and Abby Weaver.

“We talked a lot about staying true to ourselves. We had a plan going into today; we expected to see Madison Knight and got Britney Lewinski (in the circle). I liked our quick adjustments and the adaptability of our offense to make the quick adjustment in that first inning and then again to a new pitcher in the second inning. That was positive to see. The message was to be yourself, trust the plan and preparation, and to trust the work we’ve put in. I’m proud of the quality at bats and stringing at bats together to keep flipping the lineup. Mikayla Houge and Eden Bigham were great in the circle. That’s what it’s going to take is a team effort from everyone as we head into the rest of ACC play and Rutgers on Tuesday.”

Virginia continues to play at home with a single game against Rutgers on Tuesday (March 19). First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at Palmer Park.