Softball Drops Season-Opening Doubleheader at Virginia Intermont

Written by Sean Dahlin 

BRISTOL, Va.—Despite scoring 13 runs in game two, the Southern Virginia University softball team was swept in its season-opening doubleheader 8-0 and 14-13 on Saturday at Virginia Intermont College. 

"It was good to face solid competition in our first day of the season," said third-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "Although we have phases of the game we need to work on as a team, I'm encouraged by our offensive output and competitiveness." 

After being shutout in game one 8-0, Southern Virginia (0-2) entered game two in the bottom of the seventh with a five-run lead. Virginia Intermont (6-0), however, rallied back to score six runs highlighted by an RBI-double from catcher Samantha Belcher to bring teammate Sarrah Hulsey across home plate for the walk-off win. 

At the start of the seventh inning, the score was even 8-8 before the Knights' senior co-captain Laura Tome (Pasco, Wash.) hit in teammate Marva Warndahl (Woodland, Wash.)—who went 3-for-4 and scored two runs—on a triple followed by freshman second baseman Cheyenne Hegsted's (Rupert, Idaho) two-run blast on route to scoring five runs before the Virginia Intermont comeback. 

The Cobras took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning before the Knights pulled ahead with a three-run second inning behind a two-RBI double from Che. Hegsted, who was 3-for-5 at the plate with a game-leading four RBI and two runs scored. 

Southern Virginia extended its lead to five, putting up a four-spot on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth highlighted by a home run to left field from sophomore Annie Biggs (Gilbert, Ariz.). Virginia Intermont answered with six runs in the fourth through sixth innings, including a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth by Katelyn Mitchell. 

Biggs, Chance Hegsted (Rupert, Idaho) and Tome each finished with two hits apiece in the game. 

Cobra reliever Laura Craven (1-0) earned the win throwing the final inning. Knights starting pitcher Biggs (0-1) threw the complete 6.2 innings allowing 13 hits and recording one strikeout while being given the loss. 

In the first game, Virginia Intermont scored runs in all five innings except the fourth. Through the first 18 outs of the contest, the Cobras jumped to a 6-0 lead by way of two solo shots to left field from Hannah McCloud and Micalah Sacre.

Game one ended when Sacre scored, giving Virginia Intermont the eight-run-rule lead over the Knights.

Southern Virginia recorded three hits in the contest, two by sophomore starting catcher Sarah Edwards (Phoenix, Ariz.)—who went 2-for-2 with a double—and a single from Mackay to left field in the top of the second.

Starting pitcher Rachel Watts (1-0) earned the win striking out five batters and allowing one hit in three inning while Southern Virginia senior right-handed starter McKenzy Mackay (Kaysville, Utah) was given the loss, allowing eight runs on nine hits through four complete.

Softball plays its first series of the season at home taking on NAIA-member Bluefield College in a doubleheader on Monday, Feb. 25, starting at 2 p.m.