March 29, 2014
PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh softball (10-14, 2-5 ACC) tallied 20 hits and scored 19 runs en route to a doubleheader sweep of Virginia (4-26, 1-12 ACC) on Saturday afternoon at Vartabedian Field.
The Panthers smacked six home runs in the two games combined, five of which were two-run shots. Maggie Sevilla and Tori Nirschl each hit two homers a piece, while freshman Katherine Kramer collected four RBI, including a career-high three in the opening contest.
The Panthers scored at least one run in every inning today except the first and the sixth innings of game two. As a unit, the Panthers batted .408 on the afternoon, while pitchers Savannah King and Alexa Larkin combined for a 1.17 ERA and struck out nine UVA batters.
"I was really pleased to see us perform to our capabilities today," head coach Holly Aprile said. "We played well in all three phases of the game [offense, defense and pitching] and we hope to carry this into tomorrow."
Game One: Pitt 10, Virginia 2 (Five Innings)
The University of Pittsburgh softball team earned its first conference victory as members of the ACC in game one of a Saturday doubleheader against the University of Virginia by a score of 10-2.
Pitt's bats carried the Panthers past the Cavaliers by hitting four home runs, three of which were two-run shots by Maggie Sevilla, Katherine Kramer and Tori Nirschl. Carissa Throckmorton also hit a solo blast. It was the first time Pitt has hit four home runs in a game since April 12, 2012 at DePaul.
The Cavaliers got out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first on three hits, an error and a hit by pitch. Savannah King settled down, and allowed just two base runners for the rest of the game.
The Panthers scored 10 runs on 10 hits, powered by a season-best four home runs. A two-run homer in the second inning by Maggie Sevilla opened up a 5-2 lead for the Panthers, and another two-run shot by Katherine Kramer three batters later extended the lead to 7-2. The blast to left was Kramer's first career home run.
The Panthers put two more runs on the board in the third after a two-run round-tripper by Tori Nirschl, which was her second of the season. Nirschl was 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBI and scored three runs in the opening contest.
Game Two: Pitt 9, Virginia 4
The Panthers used a three-run third inning and a four-run fifth inning to gain separation from the Cavaliers and completed the Saturday sweep with a 9-4 victory.
The Panthers totaled nine runs on 10 hits, led by the 1-2-3 hitters (Nirschl, Jordan Fannin, Sevilla) who combined for seven hits, six RBIs and five runs scored. Tori Nirschl got the scoring started for Pitt in the second inning on an RBI single, and ended her day with a two-run home run to left field in the fifth inning. Jordan Fannin scored two runs out of the two spot in the lineup, going 2-for-3 with a single and double and a walk. Maggie Sevilla continued her hot day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with 3 RBI, including a two-run homer in the fifth.
Like the first game, the Cavaliers jumped out on top by plating three runs in the first inning. None of UVA's runs were earned as the Panthers helped out the Cavaliers with an error and a wild pitch.
But the Panthers bats would not be denied as Pitt tallied three runs in the third to gain a lead it would not relinquish. Another big inning of four runs in the fifth gave Pitt a 9-4 lead and that would ultimately be the final score.
Alexa Larkin went the distance for the third time this year, going seven innings with seven strikeouts and giving up only five hits and one earned run. The outing was Larkin's fourth win of the season.
The Panthers look to complete the series sweep on Sunday when they take the field at Noon for the finale with the Cavaliers. Fans can watch the game and follow live stats by clicking here. Live in-game updates are also available by following @PittSoftball on Twitter.
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