Lynchburg, Va. -- University of Lynchburg's softball team battled to a doubleheader split with non-conference rival Averett Thursday afternoon, winning the opener, 6-5 in 8 innings, before falling, 4-2, in the nightcap.
Sophomore center fielder Haylee Wood (Goode, Va.) led the Hornets' offense with a 4-for-5 day at the plate, including the game-winning single in the eighth inning of Game 1.
The loss in the nightcap ended Lynchburg's 13-game regular-season win streak.
Thursday's games also brought an end to Lynchburg softball's 2019 Suicide Awareness Week. The team raised $63 for the Lynchburg/Bedford chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at its ballgames.
Game 1 Final: Lynchburg 6, Averett 5 (8 inn.)
Game 2 Final: Averett 4, Lynchburg 2
Records: Lynchburg 7-1, Averett 8-3
Venue: Moon Field, University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, Va.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Things started poorly for the Hornets as Averett began the game with three straight hits and an early run, but sophomore right-hander Kayley Cox (Yorktown, Va.) entered in relief and pitched out of the first-inning jam without allowing more damage.
Lynchburg tied the game in the third when senior first baseman Mackenzie Chitwood (Ferrum, Va.) doubled to right center, scoring Wood from second.
Cox held the Cougars at bay for the next several innings until the visitors found their bats in the fifth, when Kaitlyn Aherron and Erin Rankin clubbed back-to-back home runs to put Averett ahead, 4-1.
Senior third baseman Taylor Mabry (Bassett, Va.) cut into the deficit with a solo homer in the fifth, and Lynchburg rallied again an inning later to tie the game thanks to an RBI single from Wood followed by a throwing error on a stolen-base attempt that brought Coffey home.
Lynchburg had a chance to win the game in the seventh when sophomore right fielder Jordyne Vance (Lynchburg, Va.) doubled down the right-field line, but Averett caught the would-be winning run at home to send the game to extra innings.
Averett took a 5-4 lead in the eighth, but junior right-hander Alex Cisar (Sykesville, Md.) and the Hornet defense got out of the bases-loaded jam without further damage, thanks in large part to an outfield assist from Vance in right.
Lynchburg tied the game quickly with a Hugate single followed by a sacrifice fly off Coffey's bat and, two batters later, Wood singled sharply to right to bring Hugate in as the Hornets won in walk-off fashion.
After a scoreless first two innings, Averett exploded for four runs in the third to take the lead.
Coffey doubled home a run in the bottom of the fourth to put Lynchburg on the board, and the Hornets scored again in the fifth on a Cougars throwing error.
Lynchburg loaded the bases in the seventh on two walks and a Chitwood single, but Aherron pitched out of the jam to nail down the doubleheader split.
Lynchburg will hit the road this weekend for Salisbury, Md., to compete in the Salisbury Invitational. The Hornets will take on three quality opponents in Cortland, The College of New Jersey, and 17th-ranked Salisbury.