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Big Bats Power Virginia Softball to Series Sweep at Pittsburgh

By Kathleen Boyce,


The Cavaliers used 15 extra base hits and seven home runs to win all three games on the road against the Panthers this weekend

After going 1-5 in its first two ACC series, the Virginia softball team looked to turn that momentum around against Pittsburgh in its second consecutive road series. The Hoos only scored one run in three games against No. 4 Clemson, but that would not be the case against Pittsburgh, as Virginia put up 21 runs on 15 extra base hits and seven home runs to complete the weekend series sweep over the Panthers.

Game 1 (Friday): Virginia 9, Pitt 0 (5 innings)

The Cavalier offense put on a show in a run-rule victory to open the series against Pitt, scoring nine runs on ten hits in five innings.

In the first inning, Jade Hylton reached on an error and stole second, and then scored on a double by Katie Goldberg. One batter later, Tori Gilbert crushed a two-run homer to center field, giving Virginia a 3-0 lead. The Hoos added a run in the second off of a Sarah Coon double and then two runs in the third inning after Lauren VanAssche singled to center field, making it 6-0.

Katie Goldberg hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth, which was one of seven extra base hits for Virginia in the opening game. Finally, Kelly Ayer scored on a throwing error and Katie Goldberg added an RBI double to make it 9-0 and cap a perfect night at the plate. Goldberg was 3 for 3 with three RBI and two runs scored as an offensive leader for the Cavaliers, and Tori Gilbert was 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs.

Eden Bigham pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits to get the win for UVA.

Game 2 (Saturday): Virginia 4, Pitt 2

Virginia used some late game heroics in a come-from-behind victory to earn the series win in game two. The Hoos struck first in the top of the third when Tori Gilbert hit an RBI single, but the Panthers responded in the bottom of the fifth with two runs of their own.

Trailing 2-1 going into the sixth inning, the Cavaliers scored three runs in the final two innings to secure the win. Kelly Ayer singled in the sixth and a throwing error helped Abby Weaver come around to score and tie the game. In the seventh, Sarah Coon was hit by a pitch and Katie Goldberg doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. Tori Gilbert hit a sacrifice fly to bring in one run, and then Leah Boggs singled home a second run. Eden Bigham pitched a drama-free bottom of the seventh, setting down the Panthers in order to seal the 4-2 win.

The team of Molly Grube, Jenny Bressler, and Eden Bigham combined to pitch the seven innings, with Bigham getting the win with two innings of work. Abby Weaver and Leah Boggs both had two hits for Virginia.

Game 3 (Sunday): Virginia 8, Pitt 5

Virginia really flexed its muscles in game three, hitting five home runs, including back-to-back blasts in the second and fifth innings.

Katie Goldberg continued her scorching hot series with a two-run blast in the top of the first. This weekend, Goldberg went 6 for 10 with three doubles and two home runs. Pitt responded in the bottom of the first with two runs, scoring on a wild pitch and an RBI double off of Savanah Henley. However, the Hoos struck again in the second inning with a two-run homer from Gabby Baylog and a solo homer for Jade Hylton to give Virginia a 5-2 lead.

Courtney Layne came in to pitch for Virginia after the first, and picked up her second win of the season in six innings of work, allowing just three hits and two earned runs with four strikeouts. Virginia added to its lead in the fifth when Tori Gilbert hit a two-run homer and Abby Weaver hit a solo shot.

Pitt’s Yvonne Whaley tagged Courtney Layne for a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, but Layne finished the inning to seal an 8-5 victory and the series sweep.

Jade Hylton went 3 for 4 from the leadoff spot with one homer, two runs, and one RBI. In the series, the Cavaliers had 15 extra base hits: eight doubles and seven home runs.

Winners of five-straight games, Virginia is now 23-10 and and 4-5 in ACC play. The Cavaliers will look to keep the momentum from this series sweep going when they host North Carolina at Palmer Park next weekend.

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