No. 17 softball walks off in NCAA opener

MACKENZIE CHITWOOD'S HOME RUN FLIES OVER THE FENCE IN AN NCAA SOFTBALL GAME

Virginia Beach, Va. -- What other way to break a record?

On the first pitch of the bottom of the 12th inning, University of Lynchburg first baseman Mackenzie Chitwood (Ferrum, Va.) popped a home run over the left field fence, leading the Hornets to a 6-5, extra-inning victory over No. 13-ranked Manhattanville in the opening game of the NCAA Division III tournament's Virginia Beach Regional at Virginia Wesleyan University.

The big fly was Chitwood's 18th of the season, putting the senior in sole possession of Lynchburg's and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's single-season home runs record.

It also broke an eight-inning scoreless drought for the Hornets, who had just three hits after rallying for three runs in the third inning.

Chitwood went 2-for-3 with two RBI and three walks on the day, and sophomore right fielder Kortney Leazer (Remington, Va.) had two hits, including a two-run single in the third.

Lynchburg's two relief pitchers were stellar as well. Senior right-hander Taylor Belknap (Arden, N.C.) wriggled out of several jams after entering in the fourth. The Valiants (40-3) managed five hits and five walks against Belknap in 5 ⅓ innings, but she held the MAC Freedom champions to a single run.

Sophomore right-hander Kayley Cox (Yorktown, Va.) relieved Belknap with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth, escaped the inning and tossed four more scoreless frames with just three Manhattanville baserunners.

The Valiants got on the board in the top of the first. After two quick outs, MC No. 3 hitter Desiree Buboi singled, and cleanup hitter Evonne Torres clubbed an RBI double for a quick 1-0 lead.

Lynchburg responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half. Chitwood drove in junior shortstop Kayla Hugate (Chesterfield, Va.) with an RBI single, and junior second baseman Sarah Commons (Glen Allen, Va.) brought Chitwood in with an opposite-field double.

Manhattanville rallied in the third to take a 4-2 lead, but Lynchburg bounced right back in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman designated player Haley Drew (Appomattox, Va.) drew a bases-loaded walk to bring the deficit to one, and Leazer followed with a two-run single to right to put the Hornets on top.

The Valiants evened the tally in the fourth, and the game remained scoreless until Chitwood's homer ended it eight innings later.

Her record broke the single-season home run mark of 17 by Lynchburg hall-of-famer Caroline Cubbage, set by the three-time All-American in 2006. Chitwood has already broken Cubbage's career home runs and single-season RBI records this season. The current Hornet star has 41 career homers and 64 RBI in 2019.

The win is Lynchburg's first in the NCAA tournament since May 10, 2014, when the Hornets topped Agnes Scott, 6-2.

Lynchburg will move into the early game Saturday, against No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan. With the threat of bad weather in the Tidewater area for Saturday afternoon, the game has been moved to 10 a.m.

--LYN--

Softball unveils 2019 schedule
September 13, 2018 Softball unveils 2019 schedule
Fri Jan 17
at VMI Keydet Invitational -- Day 1
Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va.
Fri Jan 17
6 p.m.
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
Men's team only
Sat Jan 18
at VMI Keydet Invitational -- Day 2
Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 18
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Va. Wesleyan
Sat Jan 18
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 22
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Wed Jan 22
7:00 PM
Ferrum
vs. Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Fri Jan 24
at Finn Pincus Invite -- Day 1
Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sat Jan 25
at Finn Pincus Invite -- Day 2
Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sat Jan 25
1 p.m.
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
View Full Schedule
Fri Feb 14
6:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Huntingdon
Huntingdon Tournament
Sat Feb 15
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Emory
@ Montgomery, Ala. Huntingdon Tournament
Sun Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Millsaps
@ Montgomery, Ala. (Huntingdon College) Huntingdon Tournament
Wed Feb 19
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Sat Feb 22
5:00 PM
Penn St.-Abington
vs. Lynchburg
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Methodist Invitational
Sat Feb 22
5:00 PM
Manhattanville
vs. Lynchburg
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Methodist Invitational
Sun Feb 23
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Methodist Invitational
Wed Feb 26
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Greensboro
Sat Feb 29
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Feb 29
3:00 PM
York (Pa.)
vs. Lynchburg
Sun Mar 01
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
vs. Lynchburg
Tue Mar 03
2:00 PM
Averett
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Mar 07
12:00 PM
Washington and Lee
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Mar 07
3:00 PM
Washington and Lee
vs. Lynchburg
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
No Event
No Event
Sun Dec 01
Final
81 Lynchburg
68 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Wed Dec 04
Final
73 Lynchburg
78 at Ferrum
Sat Dec 07
Final
51 East. Mennonite
90 vs. Lynchburg
Wed Dec 11
Final
61 Lynchburg
42 at Averett
Wed Jan 01
Final - OT
85 William Peace
79 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Jan 04
Final
74 Va. Wesleyan
76 vs. Lynchburg
Wed Jan 08
Final
82 Lynchburg
69 at Randolph
Wed Jan 15
Final
51 Hampden-Sydney
76 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Jan 18
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 22
7:00 PM
Ferrum
vs. Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Sat Jan 25
2:00 PM
Washington and Lee
vs. Lynchburg
Alumni Day | Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 29
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 01
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Va. Wesleyan
Wed Feb 05
7:00 PM
Randolph
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Feb 08
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Randolph-Macon
Wed Feb 12
7:00 PM
Guilford
vs. Lynchburg
CODE RED Game
Sat Feb 15
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Shenandoah
Wed Feb 19
7:30 PM
Roanoke
vs. Lynchburg
Senior Night
No Event
No Event
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
No Event
Wed Dec 04
Final
58 Lynchburg
49 at Randolph
Sat Dec 07
Final
67 Emory & Henry
56 vs. Lynchburg
CODE RED Game
Fri Dec 20
Final
70 Lynchburg
26 vs. Hood
@ Daytona Beach, Fla. - Ocean Center Daytona Beach Shootout
Sat Dec 21
Final
60 No. 18 Marymount
56 vs. Lynchburg
@ Daytona Beach, Fla. - Ocean Center Daytona Beach Shootout
Thu Jan 02
Final
53 Lynchburg
75 at Randolph-Macon
Sat Jan 04
Final
54 Johns Hopkins
49 vs. Lynchburg
Tue Jan 07
Final
46 Guilford
50 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Jan 11
Final
55 Lynchburg
64 at Shenandoah
Note time change
Wed Jan 15
Final
69 Washington and Lee
60 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Jan 18
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Va. Wesleyan
Wed Jan 22
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Jan 25
4:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
vs. Lynchburg
Alumnae Day
Wed Jan 29
7:00 PM
Hollins
vs. Lynchburg
Wed Feb 05
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 08
4:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Guilford
Tue Feb 11
7:00 PM
Va. Wesleyan
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Feb 15
4:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Wed Feb 19
5:00 PM
Ferrum
vs. Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Sat Feb 22
2:00 PM
Randolph-Macon
vs. Lynchburg
Thu Feb 27
TBA
TBD
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salem Civic Center, Salem, Va. ODAC Quarterfinal
Sat Feb 29
TBA
TBD
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salem Civic Center, Salem, Va. ODAC Semifinal
Sun Mar 01
TBA
TBD
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salem Civic Center, Salem, Va. ODAC Championship
View Full Schedule
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