Feb. 24, 2017
GREENVILLE, N.C. – On the first day of the ECU Pirate Invitational, Virginia (6-7) came away with an 8-1 victory over Seton Hall (3-2) in the afternoon game but fell to tournament-host ECU, 10-1 in nightcap.
Senior Katie Park (Scottsdale, Ariz.) sparked the three-run, sixth inning against Seton Hall with her second career triple, scoring Iyana Hughes (Manteca, Calif.). Park finished the game with a career-high four hits and drove in three runs. Hughes also put forth a monster effort and was 4-for-6 on the day. She scored three runs and is tied for the team lead with nine on the season.
The Cavaliers scored seven runs in the final two innings to get past Seton Hall and clinch their sixth victory of the year. So far this season, 38 of the 65 runs scored by Virginia have come in the fifth inning or later.
Lexi Mettler (Turlock, Calif.) earned her first career victory pitching 5.2 innings of scoreless relief. She struck out two batters and scattered four hits.
In the featured night game against host-ECU, Virginia surrendered five runs in the first inning and was not able to recover. ECU scored in all but one inning and secured the run-rule victory in the fifth inning.
The Cavaliers will repeat the same doubleheader on Saturday with different game times. Virginia will square off against Seton Hall at 9:30 a.m. and play ECU at 2:00 p.m.
After both teams got on the scoreboard in the first inning, runs were hard to come by the next four innings. Seton Hall pitcher Lauren Fischer settled in after allowing two hits and a run in the top of the first. She went on to retire seven-straight beginning in the top of the third inning.
Olivia Gott (Weston, Fla.) hit a fly ball to left field that was deep enough to score Hughes from third base for the Cavalier’s first run. The RBI was Gott’s team-leading, 11th of the season. Fischer helped her own cause with an RBI double in the bottom half to knot the score at one.
Mettler came on in relief in the bottom of the second and helped shut the door on Seton Hall for the remainder of the contest. The sophomore stranded a total of nine Pirate baserunners and the Virginia defense was mistake free for the second time this season.
Park gave the Cavaliers the lead in the sixth with her second triple of the season that scored Hughes. Two batters later, Danni Ingraham (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), blasted her second home run of the spring, a two-run shot to extend the Cavalier lead to 4-1.
Virginia capitalized on two Seton Hall miscues in the top of the seventh and piled on four more runs. Park added a two-run single in the frame, her fourth hit of the day. Hughes scored her third run of the game on Park’s single and has now scored six runs in her last two games.
The 11 Virginia hits in the contest were the second most in a game this season. The Cavaliers racked up 11 or more hits in the last three games.
For the second-straight season, ECU was able to put up big offensive numbers against Virginia. Last season, the Pirates defeated the Cavaliers 9-1 in Tempe, Ariz. ECU picked up right where they left off, scoring 10 runs in its first three trips to the plate.
Three players, Meredith Burroughs, Tate McClellan and Logan Wood each racked up two hits and drove in two runs for the Pirates.
The lone offensive highlight for the Cavaliers came in the fourth inning when Ingraham doubled home McKall Miller (Ashburn, Va).
The Virginia pitching staff struggled with control, matching a season-high with six walks.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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