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UVA Softball Sweeps NC State in Weekend Series

The Cavaliers went to Raleigh and picked up three victories against the Wolfpack

Traveling to Raleigh for its second ACC series of the season, the Virginia softball team (18-11, 5-1 ACC) swept the NC State Wolfpack (19-10, 2-7 ACC). 

After finishing in 14th place in the ACC last season, the Cavaliers came into this weekend after making a statement by taking two games and winning the series against No. 24 Notre Dame last weekend. UVA also boasts the eighth-best defense in the country.

Friday (3/18): Virginia 4, NC State 1

In the first game, the Wolfpack got on the board in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI single. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers struggled at the plate, earning just two hits through the first four innings.

Katie Goldberg led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo blast, tying the game at one run apiece, and the Virginia pitchers held NC State scoreless after the early run.

In the seventh inning, the Cavaliers moved runners around the bases again. Leah Boggs doubled and Katie Goldberg walked, and then both runners advanced on a wild pitch with one out. Arizona Ritchie hit an RBI groundout and Sarah Coon came up clutch with a two-run single to give Virginia a 4-1 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, three straight walks loaded the bases and put the Cavalier lead in jeopardy. Aly Rayle, who started the game for Virginia and pitched the first 4.1 innings, reentered the game and came up clutch. Rayle picked up a strikeout and a flyout and then delivered another strikeout with a full count to strand all three runners and earn the save. 

Sarah Coon and Leah Boggs each had two hits, and Madison Harris picked up the win in relief. Rayle and Harris combined to allow just two hits all afternoon.

Saturday (3/19): Virginia 5, NC State 2

The Cavaliers scored in all but two innings in game two of the series, showing that the team can push runs across in bunches or one at a time.

Gabby Baylog hit an RBI double in the top of the first and Arizona Ritchie had one as well in the second inning. Tori Gilbert hit her sixth home run of the season in the third inning.

NC State got one run back in the bottom of the third off of an RBI double from Logan Morris, but then the Wolfpack defense committed an error that allowed Katie Goldberg to score in the top of the fourth.

NC State scored a run in the bottom of the fourth, but gave up another unearned run to the Cavaliers, so the team’s two errors proved costly.

The pitching combo of Savanah Henley, Mikayla Houge (win), and Madison Harris (save) held the Wolfpack to three hits and registered eight combined strikeouts. Katie Goldberg was 3-3 at the plate to pace her team.

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Sunday (3/20): Virginia 8, NC State 1

The bats were on fire in the series finale, with the Cavaliers putting up eight runs on eight hits, including a five-run third inning.

Tori Gilbert continued her impressive weekend with a two-run homer in the top of the first, scoring Lauren VanAssche. 

Then, in the third inning, Arizona Ritchie hit a two-run single and Sarah Coon blasted a three-run homer. The Cavaliers maximized the three hits from the inning.

Randi Farricker was the lone offense for the Wolfpack with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. She had the only hit of the game as Aly Rayle pitched five innings of one-hit softball and Mikayla Houge and Madison Harris didn’t allow a hit.

Finally, Abby Weaver added an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Virginia lineup flexed its hitting depth, as eight different Cavaliers had hits in the game. 

The Virginia pitching was top notch this weekend, allowing just six hits in three games and a total of four runs. The Virginia defense was also error-free. 

Virginia has now won eight of its last 10 games against NC State. 

With the sweep, Virginia moves to 18-11 overall and a very strong 5-1 start in conference action, its best start in ACC play since 2010. Up next, UVA gets a rematch against Liberty, who defeated Virginia 6-2 at the beginning of March when the two teams met in Lynchburg. The Cavaliers and Flames play on Tuesday at 7pm at Palmer Park. UVA will then head to Chestnut Hill for a three-game series at Boston College next week. 


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