Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Despite a three-run blast in the opener down the left field line by sophomore catcher Sarah Edwards (Phoenix, Ariz.), the Southern Virginia University softball team dropped game one on Saturday 4-3 followed by a 15-3 loss to ODAC-opponent Randolph College.
"Sarah [Edwards] had a great day offensively and has been doing well as a vocal leader behind the plate this season," said third-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "We came up just short in a well-played first game from both dugouts, and McKenzy [Mackay] had another solid pitching performance."
In the opener, Randolph College (6-2) was quick to get on the board scoring three runs in the top of the first inning highlighted by a Patti Vinson two-run home run over the left field fence.
After blanking Southern Virginia (3-5) in the bottom half, the Wildcats added one more Alexis Arnett score on a bases-loaded walk to extend its early lead 4-0.
The Knights struck next as senior Laura Tome (Pasco, Wash.) led off with a single up the middle in the third inning followed by freshman Chance Hegsted (Rigby, Idaho) beating out the throw to first base on a bunt single. Edwards—who was 2-for-3 with three RBI—then knocked in Tome and Cha. Hegsted on her bomb over the fence to bring Southern Virginia to within one of the visiting team.
Both teams were held scoreless the rest of the contest in a defensive battle, including a pair of shoestring grabs in the fourth and fifth innings by Knights centerfielder Tome, who also added a hit and run.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Southern Virginia's opportunity to rally was cut short when senior shortstop Dinah Rogers (Huntington Beach, Calif.) hit a screamer to deep right-center that was snagged by the Wildcats' Rachel Hickman near the fence.
Starting pitcher Mackay (2-2) was given the loss, tossing her third complete game of the early season with five strikeouts while allowing four runs—two earned—on five hits. Randolph righty Logan Carter (2-1) earned the win throwing 7.0 innings of five-hit, three-run ball.
In game two, the Wildcats jumped out to an early lead scoring 12 runs on 13 hits in the first two innings of play behind Hannah Cook and Patti Vinson's three RBIs apiece respectively.
Southern Virginia cut into Randolph's lead (12-3) scoring its own three runs as Cha. Hegsted crossed home plate in the bottom of the first on a grounder to third base and freshman second baseman Katie Evans (Grays Lake, Idaho) hit in teammates Malia Falevai (Mesa, Ariz.) and Rogers on her double to right-center in the second.
The Wildcats finished with three more runs in the contest on an Ashton Ewers two-RBI single in the top of the fourth and an RBI-single to center field by Jessica Sanabria.
Knights' Falevai and Rogers each went 1-for-2 scoring a run apiece in the loss.
Randolph starting pitcher Kristen Hutchinson (3-0) got the win, striking out three batters, allowing no walks, three hits and three runs while sophomore right-hander Annie Biggs (Gilbert, Ariz.) was given the loss in her two innings of work moving to 1-3 in 2013.
Softball will take three days off before heading up north to Harrisonburg, Va., to face its second consecutive ODAC-foe Eastern Mennonite University in a doubleheader on Wednesday, Mar. 6.
Follow live stats as the Knights take on the Royals.