Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University softball team split Monday's home-opening doubleheader with Davis & Elkins College dropping Game One 2-11 before rebounding in Game Two with a 5-2 victory.
Monday's victory was not only the first of the season for Southern Virginia, but it also ended a 21-game slide, which began on Mar. 23, 2011 when last year's Davis & Elkins squad swept a home doubleheader from the Knights.
"I think this is just what we needed," said second-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "We needed to build our confidence, and today we continued to work hard and do the right things and our diligence paid off with a win against a very good team."
Southern Virginia (1-5) struggled offensively in the opening game against Davis & Elkins (8-6) scoring only two runs—neither earned—on three hits against the Senator's sophomore pitcher Alanna Jones, who struck out nine Knights in seven innings for her sixth win of the young season.
Junior Britney Jones (Spanish Fork, Utah) had two of the Knights' three hits in Game One, while sophomore McKenzy MacKay (Kaysville, Utah) picked up her third loss of the year allowing eight runs—seven earned—in five innings of work.
Freshman Trichell Schwab (Bear Lake, Idaho) saw her first action on the mound this season relieving MacKay in the top of the sixth allowing three runs—two earned—on two hits in two total innings of relief.
Davis & Elkins jumped out to an early lead over Southern Virginia in the second game of Monday's doubleheader scoring one run in each of its first two at bats before Southern Virginia responded to its early deficit with two runs in the bottom of the second inning evening the score at 2-2 heading into the third inning.
After beginning the bottom of the second with consecutive singles from fellow freshmen Sarah Edwards (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Kelsey Benson (Providence, Utah), junior Sara Harmon (Buena Vista, Va.) came through with the Knights' first RBI of the afternoon when the third baseman singled to right field scoring Edwards and advancing Benson to third.
Southern Virginia's next batter, senior Mallory King (Tivoli, N.Y.), doubled to left scoring Benson and moving Harmon over to third, but despite having two runners in scoring position with no outs, the Knights would not score again in the inning as Davis & Elkins' Autumn Appleby worked her way out of an early jam with three consecutive outs.
The Knights took the lead in their next turn at the plate, however, when Schwab, who led off the inning with a single before stealing second, scored after the Senator's third baseman couldn't handle a throw from first trying to catch Schwab off the bag.
Davis & Elkins evened the score in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly following a leadoff double, but the Knights maintained their composure adding two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth on route their first victory of the season.
Errors proved costly for Davis & Elkins during Monday's loss as two Senator miscues led to three unearned runs for the Knights, while Southern Virginia finished Game Two without an error for the first time this season, making up for a 5-13 hitting disparity.
Senior Amanda Otto (Cypress, Texas) picked up her first win of the season in a complete-game effort.
Softball has five days off before hosting McDaniel College on Mar. 3 for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.