March 18, 2011

MacKay Tosses No-hitter, Knights Shutout Shock

BUENA VISTA, Va. — Fueled by freshman McKenzy MacKay's no-hitter in Game 1 and junior Amanda Otto's shutout in Game 2, the Southern Virginia University women's softball team swept NCAA Division II Washington Adventist University in Friday's home doubleheader 8-0 (five innings), 8-0 (six innings).

After a 0-7 start, Southern Virginia (4-8) has now won three consecutive games and four of its last five as the Knights held Washington Adventist (3-3) to five total hits in 11 innings of play.

Coming off her first collegiate win on Tuesday—a four-hit, nine-strikeout shutout at Mary Baldwin—Mackay got the start in Game 1 and continued to roll against the Shock, striking out all three Washington Adventist batters in the top of the first.

Washington Adventist pitcher, Meagan Hess, struggled to find the strike zone in the bottom half of the inning and walked six of the first eight Southern Virginia batters that she faced resulting in three runs for the Knights before they recorded a single hit.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Southern Virginia's ninth batter of the inning, Chloe Stephens-Trammel, took advantage of Hess' early control issues with a single through the left side of the infield scoring two more for the Knights before Laura Tome was thrown out at second to end the inning.

Southern Virginia added to its 5-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Sara Harmon hit a two-out RBI single to center scoring Mallory King from third. The Knights tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third pushing their advantage to 8-0 and with MacKay dealing, that margin would be enough to invoke an eight-run mercy rule after the top of the fifth.

After struggling early in the season, MacKay (2-5) has been lights out in her last two starts, not allowing a single run in ten total innings of work. MacKay, a freshman from Davis, Utah, retired 15 of the 19 batters she faced during Friday's memorable outing, striking out eight, walking three and hitting one batter.

"It was amazing," said Mackay of her first career no-hitter. "The credit really goes to my teammates who made great plays behind me all game long."

Southern Virginia's Amanda Otto got the nod in Game 2 and like MacKay, had her best outing of the year. In six innings pitched, Otto (2-3) allowed only five hits while walking one and striking out five as the junior recorded her first shutout of the season.

The Knights held a 1-0 advantage heading into the bottom of the second, when Tome added to that cushion with her first homerun of the season, a lead-off shot over the left field wall giving the Knights a 2-0 lead.

Neither team would score for the next three and a half innings, until Southern Virginia exploded in the bottom of the sixth with six runs on four hits before the game was called.

Freshman Rebecca Rayburn recorded her first career hit in the sixth with a RBI single through the right side of the infield.

Cara Joyner went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored—the junior shortstop is now batting .375 in her three games with the team since finishing her season with women's basketball.

King finished with a game-high three RBI after going 1-for-4 from the plate.

Tome and Sierra Call each scored twice in the victory.

Softball will have four days off before traveling to Davis and Elkins College for a doubleheader on Wednesday, Mar. 23 beginning at 2 p.m.