Salisbury, Md. -- University of Lynchburg's softball team rallied for a doubleheader sweep of The College of New Jersey Sunday afternoon on Day 2 of the Salisbury Invitational.
Lynchburg took the opener, 5-3, on a ninth-inning walk-off home run by senior first baseman Mackenzie Chitwood (Ferrum, Va.) and blew the Lions out in the nightcap, 15-3, in 5 innings.
Chitwood finished with five hits -- including a pair of homers -- and eight RBI on the afternoon.
Junior shortstop Kayla Hugate (Chesterfield, Va.) also tallied five hits and five runs on the day, while sophomore left fielder Kortney Leazer (Remington, Va.) and senior third baseman Taylor Mabry (Bassett, Va.) also homered for Lynchburg.
Both teams received votes in the most recent National Fastpitch Coaches Association top 25 poll.
Game 1 Final: Lynchburg 5, TCNJ 3 (9 inn.)
Game 2 Final: Lynchburg 15, TCNJ 3 (5 inn.)
Records: Lynchburg 11-1, TCNJ 2-4
Venue: Sea Gull Stadium, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Md.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Lynchburg took a first-inning lead when Chitwood singled Hugate home after the shortstop's leadoff triple, but TCNJ captured a 2-1 lead in the third inning. A Lions throwing error allowed Lynchburg to tie the game in the following frame, and the game went to extra innings tied, 2-2.
Both teams held in the eighth, but TCNJ was able to scrape a run across in the top of the ninth for a 3-2 lead.
Lynchburg promptly tied the game in the bottom half on Hugate's RBI double, but the potential tying run was cut down at home plate. The next batter, Chitwood, launched the game-winning homer to left field.
Sophomore right-hander Kayley Cox (Yorktown, Va.) earned the win with six innings of relief, allowing just one unearned run while striking out four.
TCNJ took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Lynchburg responded with six in the second, accentuated by Chitwood's grand slam with one out.
The Hornets added nine more in a monster fourth inning, sparked by Mabry's two-run homer. Leazer smacked a grand slam later in the inning to put the game well out of reach.
Lynchburg will remain up north to take on host and No. 17-ranked Salisbury Monday afternoon. The first game begins at 12:15 p.m.