After winning the first two games against No. 24 Notre Dame to start ACC play on a high, the Virginia softball team (15-10, 2-1 ACC) nearly finished the sweep of the season, losing a tight game. with the Fighting Irish 3-2.
Notre Dame took an early lead at the top of center Abby Sweet’s first two-run homer, scoring Leea Hanks. Mikayla Houge started the game for the Cavaliers, but came out after recording one out as she had already given up a two-run homer, a single and a walk over the top of the first. Aly Rayle came in and pitched five innings, allowing just two hits.
Virginia tied the score late in the third. Bailey Winscott was hit by a pitch then stole the second. Lauren VanAssche singled into left field to bring Winscott in. Tori Gilbert doubled up to put two runners in scoring position, then Gabby Baylog had an RBI groundout. Katie Goldberg retired to end the inning.
The Cavaliers had a chance in the fifth inning to take the lead with the bases loaded and one out, but Notre Dame got the home out on a groundout, then pitcher Shannon Becker got another groundout to escape the jam.
Notre Dame broke the tie in the top of the seventh with an RBI outfielder pick of Emma Clark after two singles.
In the bottom of the seventh, Gabby Baylog hit a single, but that was all the Cavaliers could manage as the Fighting Irish took the win.
The Cavaliers beat the Fighting Irish 10-6, but squandered a few opportunities with runners in scoring position. Shannon Becker took the full-game victory for Notre Dame, while Madison Harris took the loss in relief for Virginia.
Lauren VanAssche, Tori Gilbert and Abby Weaver all had two hits for Virginia. Leea Hanks and Abby Sweet had two hits for Notre Dame.
Through the first 25 games of the season, Virginia is 15-10 and 2-1 in ACC play. UVA hosts North Dakota State at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Palmer Park before heading to Raleigh for a three-game ACC series at NC State next weekend.
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