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The Virginia softball season came to an end on Wednesday as the Cavaliers could not muster enough offense to keep up in a 4-2 loss to Kansas in the National Invitational Softball Championship on Wednesday in Fort Collins, Colorado. UVA ends the season with a 28-26 overall record. 

The Jayhawks struck first in the game with a two-run double from Olivia Bruno in the bottom of the first inning. Molly Grube got out of the rest of the inning, and then catcher Leah Boggs threw out her 16th runner of the season in the bottom of the second inning when a Jayhawk tried to steal second.

Kansas pitcher Katie Brooks held the Cavaliers to just one hit through three innings before running into trouble with her control in the fourth inning. The Cavaliers took advantage of a walk and two hit by pitches, including a bases loaded hit by pitch by Abby Weaver to score the team’s first run.

That chased Brooks from the game and Savanna DesRochers replaced her. Lauren VanAssche hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2, but that was all the Cavaliers could get in the inning.

Kansas wasted no time responding with three consecutive hits. Shelby Gayre hit an RBI single to retake the lead.

The Jayhawks retired the Cavaliers in order in the fifth and sixth innings. Through six innings, the Cavaliers had two hits and seven strikeouts. Meanwhile, Kansas had eleven hits, including a solo home run from Sara Roszak that represented a key insurance run, but UVA was still within striking distance headed into the final inning. 

Once again, the Cavaliers needed seventh inning magic to make a comeback. Two singles and a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with one out and forced another pitching change. Sydney Hartgrove got great contact on a ball, but lined into a double play to end the game and Virginia's season. 

Makenzie Wooten took the loss in relief, and Savanna DesRochers got the win, with Kasey Hamilton picking up the save after the double play.

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The 2022 season has been a major turnaround for the softball program. The Cavaliers finish with a 28-26 record, the most wins in a single season since 2010. Virginia just missed qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, but instead was rewarded with the number one overall seed in the National Invitational Softball Championship. The Cavaliers got some extremely valuable postseason experience this year and will look to carry that momentum into the 2023 season. 


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