Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—In its final home doubleheader of the season, the Southern Virginia University softball team swept Tuesday's twin bill, earning 11-1 and 13-2 victories over USCAA-opponent the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
"Our seniors came up big today in key situations throughout both games," said third-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "The team executed in all facets of the game to send our seniors off the right way."
Southern Virginia's four seniors—Malia Falevai (Mesa, Ariz.), McKenzy Mackay (Kaysville, Utah), Dinah Rogers (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Laura Tome (Pasco, Wash.)—each competed in their final home doubleheader as Knights and contributed to the squad's success on Tuesday.
Falevai, who improved her batting average to a team-leading .458, went 4-for-4 on the day with two doubles, two RBI and three runs scored, and Mackay recorded eight strikeouts in her complete game one-run, one-hit performance while also pounding a pair of three-run home runs in the first inning of game one and fourth of game two for six RBIs overall.
"It was great to see McKenzy hit both those home runs today and continue to be our go-to pitcher with the complete game win in her final home games after three years as a Knight," said third-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "Not only has Malia provided an offensive charge to our lineup this year, but she has also shown a consistent glove at first base."
Tome added three RBI and a stolen base in her 2-for-5 showing at the plate while Rogers went 1-for-2 with two runs and an RBI in game two.
"Laura is one of our leaders on the squad that does the little things that don't always show up on a stat sheet. She had some great hits today," said Grawrock. "Dinah has been solid at shortstop in her two years here and did well in game two."
In game one, Southern Virginia (10-13) did all its scoring in two innings, first moving ahead of Maine-Presque Isle (0-8) with six runs in the bottom of the first highlighted by Mackay's three-run shot over the left field fence. Juniors Sara Harmon (Buena Vista, Va.) and Marva Warndahl (Woodland, Wash.) along with freshman Cheyenne Hegsted (Rupert, Idaho) each had RBIs in the first inning as well.
After a scoreless second, the Knights held the Owls to no runs in the top of the third before adding five more runs in the bottom half of the inning. Harmon brought in Falevai on a sacrifice fly to left field followed by freshman Alina Grawrock's (Aloha, Ore.) run on a Tome ground ball to shortstop.
Warndahl rounded out the scoring as she swiped home from third thanks to sophomore catcher Sarah Edwards (Phoenix, Ariz.) getting into a rundown but safely returning to first base.
Mackay improved to a team-leading 7-6 record in the Southern Virginia opening win. Maine-Presque Isle's starter Krista Coffin (0-6) allowed 11 runs on nine hits through 4.0 innings pitched in the loss.
Warndahl registered two runs and an RBI in her 2-for-3 outing at the plate.
The final home game of the season was a close battle for the first three innings with the Knights striking first in the bottom of the opening inning as Falevai doubled home twin sisters Chance Hegsted (Rupert, Idaho) and Che. Hegsted—who lead the team in stolen bases on the year with 10 and 9 respectively.
The Owls evened the score 2-2, however, in the top of the second when Jessica Camp hit a two-RBI single to center field.
Southern Virginia regained the lead for the final time of the day with an Annie Biggs (Gilbert, Ariz.) run in the bottom of the second and then extended its lead (4-2) in the third with Edwards this time stealing home.
After running out of the circle Maine-Presque Isle's starting pitcher Amanda Allen with one out in the fourth, the Knights racked up nine total runs in the inning on four hits highlighted by Mackay's second three-run bomb of the afternoon that dropped just over the center field fence. For the final runs of Senior Day at The Fields, Tome knocked in Biggs and Rogers on a two-RBI single that found its way through the middle of the infield.
Biggs finally closed the door on the game recording three-up, three-down in the top of the fifth on an Owl ground out to third base and a pair of line outs in the 11-run victory. Biggs improved to 3-7 overall while allowing zero earned runs on one hit through five complete.
"Annie [Biggs] bounced back after the second inning and shut down our opponent," said Grawrock. "She did a great job to round out two dominating pitching performances on the day."
Allen (0-2) was given the loss giving up eight runs in 3.1 innings pitched.
Southern Virginia scored 13 runs on six hits and took advantage of forcing seven walks while recording nine stolen bases in game two led by Biggs and Tome's two apiece respectively.
Softball takes two days off before traveling north 45 minutes to face its third ODAC opponent this season in a doubleheader at Bridgewater College on Fri., Apr. 5.