March 30, 2014
PITTSBURGH – Freshman Katherine Kramer’s solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning tied the game, and the Panthers walked off with a bases loaded hit-by-pitch as the University of Pittsburgh softball team defeated Virginia 7-6 on Sunday afternoon at Vartabedian Field.
The Panthers (11-14, 3-5 ACC) completed the series sweep of the Cavaliers (4-27, 1-13 ACC) and were led by Maggie Sevilla who was a combined 7-for-11 at the plate with two homers, seven RBI and scored five times.
Kramer tied the game with her second career homer on the first pitch of the seventh inning. Taylor Henry followed that with a pinch hit single, and then Kathryn Duran’s sac bunt was thrown away at first which put her and Henry on second and third. Ashlee Sills was then intentionally walked and that led to Nirschl getting hit by a pitch to win the game. Nirschl batted .556 this weekend and collected six RBI.
“It was really great to complete the sweep. We battled today and overcame some mental errors in the field to get this victory,” head coach Holly Aprile said. “It was great to see us fight back for this victory and I am proud of Katherine [Kramer] for coming through with a clutch hit when we needed it.”
Virginia, as it did in every game this series, scored the game’s first runs. The Cavaliers plated three in the top of the third inning courtesy of a Katie Park three-run homer off the scoreboard in left field.
The Panthers though, responded in the home half of the inning with a five spot which gave them a 5-3 advantage. After Ashlee Sills walked to open the frame, Nirschl doubled to put runners on second and third. Two batters later, Sevilla singled both of them home to cut the UVA advantage to 3-2. Carly Thea then tied the game with an RBI single which scored Sevilla. Thea and Carissa Throckmorton would eventually score on UVA errors for Pitt’s fourth and fifth runs of the inning. The Panthers scored five runs on four hits and was helped out by three UVA errors in the frame.
The Cavaliers scored one run in the fourth inning on an RBI single from Iyana Hughes, and then plated two more runs in the sixth inning on a fielding error by Pitt to gain a 6-5 advantage. Savannah King was charged with the runs after exiting for Alexa Larkin in relief work. Larkin pitched the final 2.2 innings of the game and allowed just two hits, no runs and struck out five batters.
The Panthers completed their third come-from-behind victory of the weekend and their first win of the season after trailing in the sixth inning. Kramer’s homer was her second of the weekend and she finished the series 3-for-9 (.333) with five RBI. Collectively, the Panthers batted .395 against UVA (30-for-76) and scored 26 runs.
Pitt will look to extend its three game winning streak when the Panthers host Robert Morris on Tuesday afternoon before traveling to Boston College next weekend for its second ACC road series of the season.
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