May 11, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -
Second-year left fielder Lindsey Preuss (La Plata, Md.) slammed a two-run homer and fourth-year pitcher Erin Horn (Tallahassee, Fla.) allowed just one hit in 6.2 inning to lead the Virginia softball team to a 3-0 win over Virginia Tech in the opening game of the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Thursday (May 11) at Anderson Stadium. With the victory UVa improves to 29-24 on the season, while the Hokies fall to 37-18. The Cavaliers continue play in the ACC Championship on Friday (May 12) at 12:30 p.m. when they play second-seeded North Carolina.
"What a great win," said head coach Karen Johns. "I couldn't ask for anything better. The key to the win was our defense. We overcame some walks by playing solid defense."
Preuss broke up a scoreless tie with a two-run homer to center field with one out in the sixth inning. Third-year designated player Amy McKean (Kent, Wash.) drew a walk and fourth-year Jackie Greer (Portage, Mich.), who was pinch running for McKean, scored on Preuss' third home run of the season. The Cavaliers also tacked on an unearned run to take a 3-0 lead. Horn reached on a throwing error by Virginia Tech's shortstop and third-year first baseman Brooke Sorber (Alexandria, Va.) and third-year catcher Michelle Salmiery (San Jose, Calif.) were both hit by pitches to load the bases. Then with two outs, fourth-year center fielder Jessica Taylor (Philadelphia, Pa.) drew a walk to force home Horn with the third run of the inning.
"I stuck with my game plan which was to make short compact swings," said Preuss. "She (Tincher) got me the first two times, but she left a pitch over the plate and I was able to take advantage of it and make solid contact."
Horn improved to 13-10 on the season with a gutsy effort in the circle. She limited the Hokies to one hit in 6.2 innings. She struck out six batters and walked six. Horn took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and gave up her only hit in the contest to Jessica Everhart with one-out in the sixth.
"We came out with a lot of determination to win today," said Horn. "We had confidence the entire game that we could win."
Third-year pitcher Coty Tolar (Marietta, Ga.) relieved Horn with runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Tolar got Kelly Brown to strike out looking on a 3-2 pitch to close out the game and earn her UVa single season school record fifth save. It was also the team's school record 10th save of the season.
Angela Tincher, the ACC Player and Pitcher of the Year, took the loss in the circle and fell to 24-7 on the season. She allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits with 14 strikeouts and four walks. She also hit four batters.
Sorber broke up Tincher's no-hit bid with perfect bunt single to third with two outs in the fourth inning.
The Cavaliers set a school record by being hit by four pitches in the contest. The former mark was three hit by pitches on three occasions. Fourth-year shortstop Sara Larquier (Burbank, Calif.) tied the school record by being hit by a pair of pitches. Eileen Schmidt was hit by two pitches in a game against Yale on March 14, 1994.