CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Freshman Bella Cabral’s three-RBI line drive to left center in the fourth inning was the decisive strike at the plate for the Cavaliers on Friday (March 22) as Virginia (19-9, 6-4 ACC) rallied to defeat No. 11 Clemson (21-8, 5-2 ACC) at Palmer Park.

The win in the series opener was the first over Clemson in program history and came as part of the Hoos rallying from a four-run deficit after two innings to pick up the victory.

The teams will play game two with a new start time of 4 p.m. on Saturday (March 23).

Clemson got off to the quick start with a two-out, two-run home run in the first inning from Alia Logoleo that scored Valerie Cagle who had reached on a single in the previous at bat. The Tigers then added back-to-back home runs from Aby Vieira and Kylee Johnson to start the second inning and take the lead to 4-0.

Madi Harris came to the circle out of the bullpen, retiring the next three batters to get the Hoos out of the inning and settle things down for the home team.

The Cavaliers fought back, responding in the third with a pair of runs to cut the lead in half. With two on and one out, Bella Cabral drove a single up the middle that allowed Leah Boggs to go to third and Jade Hylton to go to second. The throw home to cut off Boggs bounced off the Clemson catcher and back into the infield, allowing Boggs to come home on the error for the first run. Abby Weaver drove a single to center to that scored Hylton and put the score at 4-2.

Virginia took the lead with a four-run fourth inning. With one out and two on, Boggs drove a ball to short that was bobbled by the fielder, allowing Kelly Ayer to reach second safely and Boggs to reach. Kelsey Hackett advanced to third on the play and scampered home on the error to pull Virginia within one at 4-3.

Jade Hylton walked in the next at bat to load the bases and bring Cabral back to the plate. The freshmen delivered with a line drive to left center that cleared the bases and vaulted Virginia to the 6-4 lead.

Harris (5-1) picked up the win in relief, entering in the second inning with the Cavaliers down 4-0 and pitching 4.1 scoreless innings. She struck out four and walked one while allowing only two hits in her time in the circle. Eden Bigham picked up her second save, entering with two on and one out in the fifth. She worked the final 1.2 innings with three strikeouts and a walk.

Valerie Cagle (7-5) took the loss, allowing the six runs – four of them earned – on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. She worked 3.1 innings in the start.


  • The win over Clemson was the first in program history for the Cavaliers over the Tigers in the 11 games played between the teams. This is the fourth-ever series with Clemson.
  • Eden Bigham’s save was the second this season as she also got the save to clinch the series with Syracuse last weekend.
  • Bella Cabral’s three RBI was a season high as she went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Hoos.
  • The win was the second ever over an ACC team for Madi Harris who also picked up a win at NC State (3/18/22). Both wins came in relief.

“I loved the grit and the fight. We were down four after two and it’s easy to roll over. We stayed competitive and getting the two runs in the third inning was huge. Bella Cabral coming through in the fourth with the three RBI was clutch. Madi Harris really bridging things with her four and a third innings was big to set up Eden (Bigham) closing us out. It’s a team effort and we’ve been telling the team it will take different people on different days. That’s the beauty of our team is we can be dangerous and it’s fun to see this team be who they are and what we know they’re capable of being. We’ll be patient with the weather tomorrow and get after it in game two.”