CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – It was all Blue Devils from the start of Sunday’s rubber match, as Duke (14-18, 5-4 ACC) dominated the Virginia Cavaliers (16-13, 5-4 ACC) for an 8-0 run-rule victory to clinch the series at The Park.
The Blue Devils picked up their second ACC series win of the year in just five innings behind a career day from freshman Kristina Foreman, who went 2-for-3 at the plate and became the first player in program history to drive in five runs in a single game. Foreman drove in the game’s first two runs on a double to right center, catalyzing a four-run Duke first inning. The third baseman struck again in the fourth, sending a three-run blast over the fence in left for her second home run of the year to make it 7-0.
On the defensive side, Brianna Butler (6-2) was electric in the circle, holding the Cavaliers to just one hit over 4.0 innings of scoreless work. Butler continues to impress in ACC play, improving to 3-1 in the circle with a team-high 15 strikeouts and two complete games in 33.1 innings of work after Sunday’s showing.
Duke got things started thanks to Marissa Gagliano, who reached on a UVA fielding error, and Rachel Abboud, who tallied a single through the left side to put two on for Foreman. After the rookie opened up a 2-0 Duke lead, Raine Wilson added to it with a single to left that would bring home Foreman and make it a 3-0 ballgame. After a single from Jameson Kavel, the fourth and final run of the inning came home as Caroline Jacobsen scored Wilson with a sacrifice fly to right.
Foreman’s three-run blast pushed the Blue Devil lead to 7-0 in the top of the fourth. Virginia looked poised to begin a rally with a leadoff double to right center, its first hit of the day, in the home half. However, Jacobsen would turn in a jaw-dropping defensive play to clear the bases, fielding a fly out to right and then hosing the runner trying to tag up and steal third for the double play.
Jacobsen made one last impact in the next half inning, driving home Kavel after a leadoff triple that nearly went over the fence for a home run, her team-best fourth of the year. The run pushed Duke’s lead to 8-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, where the home team would reel in a second hit for the day, but could not do anything more as Duke secured the series with its third run-rule win of the season.
Duke finished with 10 hits on the day, its sixth double-digit hits performance of the year. After Foreman’s team-leading seventh multi-RBI showing of the season, the Blue Devils had two other players with multi-hit games. Kavel turned in a 3-for-3 performance, while Jacobsen went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs driven home. Gagliano, who upped her season-high hitting streak to seven-straight games, Abboud and Wilson rounded out Duke’s offensive production.
Amelia Wiercioch closed out the final inning of Sunday’s win, tossing a scoreless inning with only one hit allowed.
It’s back home for Duke’s next contest, as the Blue Devils will welcome Liberty to town on Wednesday, March 27. First pitch between the Blue Devils and Flames is set for 4 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, which fans can access through WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app. Wednesday’s game will be the second this season between the two sides, as Duke took a 3-1 decision against Liberty on Feb. 9 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
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- Duke is now 5-1 all-time against Virginia and has won both series played against them.
- The run-rule win is the third in Duke history in ACC play, with two of them coming against the Cavaliers.
- Duke’s success against the state of Virginia carries on, as it is now 8-5 against teams from the state and 7-3 versus UVA and Virginia Tech.
- Kristina Foreman is the first player in school history to record a five-RBI contest after going 2-for-3 at the plate and driving home five runs.
- Foreman upped her season total for multi-RBI games to seven, which leads the team.
- Duke is now 8-0 this season when scoring at least six runs in a contest.
- With her 3-for-3 performance, Jameson Kavel tied her career high with three hits in a game. This is the second time this season she has recorded three hits in a contest (March 2 vs. Kansas).
- Kavel tallied her team-leading fourth triple of the season on Sunday. She entered the weekend ranked 27th in the nation in total triples.
- Thanks to her single in the second inning, Marissa Gagliano improved her season-long hitting streak to seven-straight games.
- Rachel Abboud improved her career-long reached base safely streak to 19-straight games with her single in the opening frame.