By Wesley Evans
BRIDGEWATER, Va. -- The Southern Virginia University softball team picked up its first road win of the season Thursday as it won the second game of a rescheduled doubleheader, 5-3, against Bridgewater College. The Eagles took the first game by a 9-0 margin at BC Softball Field.
The Knights' offense started quick in game two as it took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Shortstop MaKenzie Cox started things off as she singled to right field to start the game. Freshman catcher Katie Evans followed up with a single of her own to the left side before Southern Virginia's leading hitter, Cheyenne Hegsted, reached on a fielding error by the third basemen, which left bases loaded.
Center fielder McKenzie Packard then grounded to the shortstop, who threw out Cox at the plate. With two outs and runners on second and third, starting Knight pitcher Cassandra Pacheco put the ball in play to score Evans, giving Southern Virginia the early lead.
After a scoreless bottom half for Bridgewater (16-11-1), Southern Virginia was back at it again, scoring two runs in the top of an error-plagued second inning by the Eagles.
Right fielder Lainie Thompson doubled to right centerfield before advancing to third on a McKell LaJeunesse sacrifice bunt. Thompson scored the next play as Cox reached on a fielding error by the pitcher. Evans followed as she picked up her second hit of the day, putting runners on first and second.
Hegsted again made contact and reached on another Eagle error by the shortstop, scoring Cox before Packard popped out to end the inning.
Both squads were held scoreless in the third and fourth innings before Southern Virginia tacked on two more runs in the top half of the fifth.
The Knights played small ball as Hegsted was hit-by-pitch before Packard walked. After a Pacheco sacrifice bunt, putting runners on second and third, Thompson again delivered with a two-RBI single to centerfield.
Bridgewater would go on to score one run each in the last three innings of play, and threatened to knot the score in the bottom of the seventh. The Eagles had bases loaded with two outs after a single and two walks, but Pacheco got out of the jam forcing Bridgewater's Haley Harris into a game ending ground out to third base, giving the Knights the 5-3 victory.
Cox and Evans finished 2-4 in the game while Thompson wound up 2-3 with two RBI.
Pacheco picked up the win pitching a complete game, giving up three runs on seven hits while walking six and striking out one.
Game one featured a different story as Bridgewater scored all of its runs in the first two innings of play. The Eagles jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead, highlighted by a Berkeley Driskill three-run homer over the left field wall off Knight starting pitcher Jamie Pinkston. Driskill finished 2-2 from the plate to go along with four RBI.
Despite four hits from Southern Virginia (4-19), two coming from Hegsted, nine runs was all the Eagle pitching staff would need as the Knights were held scoreless in the game.
Brianna Cox took the victory for Bridgewater pitching 3.0 innings and giving up only one hit while striking out two.
Pinkston took the loss in the decision, giving up nine runs on 10 hits while walking three and striking out one.
Softball will have one day off before traveling to Middletown, Pa. to take on Penn State Harrisburg in a doubleheader Saturday. The Knights are looking for their first ever Capital Athletic Conference victory as they takes on the Lions. The first pitch is slated for 1 pm.