Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—In its sixth consecutive loss, the Southern Virginia University softball team lost both games of a Wednesday home doubleheader 6-1 and 10-1 to Virginia Intermont College.
"Our team played well for the first five innings of both games," said third-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "We'll work on finishing games in the final innings and look ahead to our next opponent."
Virginia Intermont (19-5) registered 16 total runs and 17 hits in a sweep of Southern Virginia (5-12) for its tenth straight victory highlighted by a game two complete game one-hit, eight-strikeout performance from Cobras starting pitcher Rachel Watts, who improved to 7-0 on the season.
The opening contest started as a pitcher's duel with Virginia Intermont striking first on a two-run home run over the left field fence by Hannah McCloud in the top of the first and a Micalah Sacre run in the third on an error.
The Knights cut into the deficit (3-1) as senior first baseman Malia Falevai (Mesa, Ariz.) crossed home plate on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Neither side recorded a run for the following 12 outs before the Cobras added three more scores in the top of the seventh starting when Megan Perry-Shifflett singled in Chelsea Forney on route to the five-run win.
Virginia Intermont's starter Sacre (6-1) struck out 14 batters in 7.0 innings while allowing one run, no earned runs, on four hits. The Knights' McKenzy Mackay gave up four earned runs on seven hits in her eighth complete game of the year.
Through five full innings of game two, the Cobras held a 3-0 lead on a Rachel Cook single to the shortstop and a Katie Smith two-RBI double to deep right field, both occurring in the third inning.
Upon five straight singles in the top of the sixth, Virginia Intermont put up seven runs on the scoreboard to increase its lead 10-0 initiated by Cook's second and third RBIs of the game on a single through the middle infield.
Southern Virginia attempted to lengthen the contest with freshman designated player Katie Evans (Grays Lake, Idaho) touching home plate on an error by the shortstop in the bottom half of the inning. However, the Knights' rally ended as Falevai popped up to third base for the final out of the day in the Cobras' nine-run defeat.
Southern Virginia's lone base-hit came from Falevai in the bottom of the fifth inning.
In Watts' one-hit outing, Virginia Intermont's starter improved her ERA to 2.33 while the Knights' Mackay (4-6) was handed her second loss, allowing three runs on three hits in her 3.0 innings of work.
Softball's next competitions are in Dover, Del., at future CAC-foe Wesley College in a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 23., beginning at 1 p.m.