Written by Sean Dahlin
BRIDGEWATER, Va.—Despite four base hits and three RBI from senior first baseman Malia Falevai (Mesa, Ariz.) the Southern Virginia University softball team was swept 5-2 and 11-6 in Friday's doubleheader at Bridgewater College.
"To play a solid program like Bridgewater [College] on the road is not an easy task," said third-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "I felt we competed well but weren't able to come away with a win."
Bridgewater (16-8) started with an early lead over Southern Virginia (10-15) in the opener as Kasey Anderson crossed home plate in the bottom of the first. The Eagles then added three more runs in the fourth on a Morgan Williams two-RBI single to right field before she scored herself from third base on a wild pitch.
The Bridgewater lead was extended to 5-0 when Brooke Throckmorton was brought home on an Aven Thomas groundout to shortstop.
The Knights rallied back with two runs of their own to cut the deficit as freshman left fielder Chance Hegsted (Rupert, Idaho) hit in teammate senior shortstop Dinah Rogers (Huntington Beach, Calif.) in the top of the sixth followed by senior McKenzy Mackay's (Kaysville, Utah) RBI-single up the middle in the final inning.
Southern Virginia's comeback was cut short, however, when senior Laura Tome (Pasco, Wash.) grounded out to first base for the final out of game one.
Aside from Mackay's single in the seventh, Falevai added a single in the same inning for the Knights' two hits of the contest.
The Eagles' Kristen Hylton (10-2) earned the win going the distance in her five-strikeout, two-run performance. Mackay moved to 7-7 in the loss in her 11th complete game of 2013, allowing five runs—two earned runs—on seven hits to go along with seven strikeouts.
In game two, the Knights plated the first two runs of the ballgame in the top of the first on sophomore catcher Sarah Edwards' (Phoenix, Ariz.) RBI-double down the left field line before Falevai hit Edwards around on a single through the middle of the infield.
Bridgewater evened the score (2-2) in the bottom of the inning behind one swing of the bat on a two-run home run to left-center by Karie Burgess.
In the top of the third inning, Falevai singled home Edwards for the second time of the game and later scored to give Southern Virginia the two-run advantage until the home squad returned the favor with four runs in the latter half of the inning to retake the lead, highlighted by a three-RBI double in the right-center gap by Thomas.
Southern Virginia sliced the lead to 6-5 in the fourth on a Cha. Hegsted run. The Eagles then put the nail in the coffin with a five-run bottom of the sixth, including run-scoring doubles from Brianna Cox and Thomas on route to the twin bill sweep.
Falevai led the Knights offense going 3-for-4 with three RBI, one double and a run while Edwards went 2-for-4 recording two doubles, two runs and an RBI.
Twin sisters Cha. Hegsted and Cheyenne Hegsted (Rupert, Idaho)—who ranks second on the team hitting .370 so far—contributed with two hits apiece respectively in the loss.
Cox (2-3) registered the win for the Eagles thanks to 4.2 innings of relief while Mackay (7-8) was handed her second loss on Friday giving up a season-high eight walks, eight hits and seven earned runs through six complete.
Softball will continue to travel in its second straight road doubleheader to face NCAA Division II Davis and Elkins College on Mon., Apr. 8.