A pair of big innings from Georgia Tech proved to be too much for the Virginia softball team to overcome on Saturday in a 6-2 loss to the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets (18-25, 10-19 ACC) pushed home three runs in both the third and fifth innings to grab their third victory of the weekend over the Cavaliers (15-32, 10-26 ACC) and clinch the series.
Aly Rayle (3-8) took the loss for the Cavaliers after allowing three runs on three hits with no walks and a strikeout in 3.0 innings of work. Blake Neleman (11-7) picked up the victory for the Yellow Jackets after allowing one run on two hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Morgan Bruce picked up the save, her second of the season, after recording the final out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
Georgia Tech got on the board with an RBI double in the third and then used the long ball for the third straight game to put together the big inning with a two-run shot before Virginia got out of the frame.
The Yellow Jackets extended the lead in the fifth inning, using an RBI hit and capitalizing on an error to push three more runs home and take the lead to 6-0.
Virginia got on the board in the sixth with a sac fly from Katie Goldberg that plated Arizona Ritchie, who got on base with a double. The Cavaliers added one more run in the seventh when Ritchie drew a bases-loaded walk to score Tori Gilbert, but Virginia would get no closer.
The Cavaliers will look to avoid the series sweep on Sunday at noon. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.
“We have one more opportunity to reset ourselves and keep fighting for our season,” Virginia coach Joanna Hardin said. “I truly believe in our team; that we are capable of bouncing back after another tough day and coming out tomorrow to compete hard against a good Georgia Tech team. If we can keep learning and making adjustments, we have a great opportunity to take steps forward in building our program.”