LYNCHBURG, Va. – An early lead held up as Eden Bigham struck out nine through 5.2 innings of relief work as Virginia (21-10) picked up a 3-1 win at Liberty (17-14) on Tuesday night (March 26).

Virginia pushed two runs home in the first with RBI doubles from freshmen Bella Cabral and Macee Eaton. Following a leadoff walk from Jade Hylton, Cabral laced a double down the third base line to get the Hoos on the board. Two batters later, Macee Eaton brough Cabral home with her double to left and put Virginia up 2-0.

Liberty responded in the second inning with an RBI single from Rachel Crain that scored KK Madrey who reached on a leadoff double. With two on and one out, Bigham came in from the bullpen. After a walk loaded the bases, she retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.

It was the first of three times Liberty would work the bases loaded only to have Bigham get out of the jam. In the third inning she retired back-to-back batters with the bases loaded and escaped a bases-loaded situation in the fifth with a strikeout.

Virginia’s third run came in the fifth inning as Hylton scored on a sac fly to center from Abby Weaver. Hylton walked to open the frame and stole second. She then advanced to third on a wild pitch to Weaver before the Cavalier senior delivered the sac fly.

Bigham and the Hoos retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh to take the win.

Bigham (8-6) worked 5.2 scoreless innings in relief, striking out nine while walking two and scattering four hits.

Elena Escobar (4-1) took the loss as she allowed the three runs on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work.


  • The win over Liberty was the first at Liberty since a 4-2 victory in game two of a 2015 doubleheader (4/22/15).
  • Virginia has won back-to-back games over Liberty after taking a 3-0 victory in Charlottesville last season.
  • Virginia leads the series with the Flames 49-30 and are now 16-16 in games played in Lynchburg.
  • Jade Hylton scored two of the three runs on the night with her runs in the first and fifth innings after drawing a walk in each inning.
  • Eden Bigham’s nine strikeouts takes her to 116 on the year and passes her season total from 2023.

“I like that we threw the first punch and put up the two-spot in the first inning. We had a clear plan and executed it well. (Elena) Escobar started flipping the changeup in and we got caught a bit between speeds, but we grinded it out. That third run in the fifth was big and really settled us in. Eden wiggled out of some really tough jams, but she’s tough as nails. We tell the team it’s going to take all of us. Madi Harris brought it this past weekend Clemson and Eden brought it tonight. I don’t know who it will be tomorrow, but we’re going to compete hard, stay scrappy and gritty and fight.”

Virginia continues to play on the road on Wednesday (March 27), traveling to face JMU in a 4 p.m. contest.