VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Cavaliers gutted out a win on Friday (March 29) holding off a pesky Wildcat team down the stretch before pulling away in the seventh as Virginia (23-10) downed Villanova (18-12) by a score of 5-2.

The Cavaliers struck first, breaking up the pitcher’s duel with a pair of runs in the fourth. Macee Eaton opened with a double to left center and took third on a wild pitch. She came home on a groundout to second from Sarah Coon for the 1-0 lead. Kelsey Hackett reached on a dropped pop up to second with two outs then scored from first on a double to the wall in left center from Lauren VanAssche for the 2-0 lead.

A third run came home in the fifth as Eaton again came up with a big hit, this time driving a  ball up the middle  to score Kailyn Jones from second. Jones entered to run for Bella Cabral who was hit by a pitch and promptly stole second to get into scoring position.

Villanova got on the board in the sixth with a two-run home run to straight away center from Ava Franz that scored Lilly St. Jean. St. Jean reached in the previous at bat as an infield single to third hit the bag and popped awkwardly up into the air for the second time in the game.

The Hoos got both runs back in the sixth, taking the lead back out to 5-2. It started with a suicide squeeze from Cabral that brought home Leah Boggs. Boggs reached on a leadoff single and stole second before advancing to third on a groundout from Jade Hylton. Cabral reached safely on the squeeze play then stole second. She moved to third on a single from Abby Weaver and then scored on a sac fly from Eaton.

Eden Bigham (9-6) picked up the win, allowing the two runs on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Courtney Layne picked up her second save of the season, working 1.1 scoreless innings in relief.

Alyssa Seidler (7-3) took the loss, allowing two runs – one of them earned – on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts through 4.0 innings of work.


  • Virginia pulled even with Villanova 3-3 in a rarely played series between the two teams.
  • It’s the first meeting against the Wildcats since 2004 and the first win over Villanova since the 2004 season.
  • Macee Eaton tied a season-high with two RBI to match a mark set at No. 11 Alabama (2/17/24).
  • Eaton, Bella Cabral and Leah Boggs all went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored on Friday.

“There was some weird stuff that happened in the game today with foul balls into the dugout, bats flying through the air and balls hitting off third base. It was a weird game with some weird things and I thought our team stayed competitive and gritty. Villanova put that two spot up in the sixth and we had five quality at bats in a row to get those runs back in the seventh. It was gritty and competitive, and today may be the most proud I’ve been of this team. Villanova is tough and we know they’ll come back ready to go tomorrow. We’ll have our work cut out for us to finish this weekend strong, but that’s our goal to sprint through the finish line this weekend.”

Virginia and Villanova will conclude the two-game set on Saturday (March 30). First pitch is set for 1 p.m.