UMW welcomes Spring Jubilee to kick off NCAA DIII week
By CHRIS MARKHAM and MIKEY BARNES
Every year, the NCAA sets aside one week to recognize Division-III athletics across the country and give proper thanks to the student-athletes who work hard in the classroom and on the field to represent their school proudly.
Since these athletes are not on D-I scholarships or receiving free merchandise, D-III athletes compete for the love of the game for the mental and physical challenge that it presents.
The University of Mary Washington kicked off this year’s D-III Week a few days early with its annual Spring Jubilee. The athletic department hosted a cookout by the baseball fields to welcome Eagle fans and students to support their teams on an extremely busy day at the Battlegrounds.
The baseball team hosted an exciting double header against conference rival York while the softball team hosted a double header against Southern Virginia.
Across the Battlegrounds at the Tennis Center, the nationally ranked men’s and women’s tennis teams took on a slew of CAC opponents in order to bolster their resumes.
NFL Hall of Famer and special assistant for UMW athletics Darrell Green made an appearance at the Battlegrounds as he met with fans to chat and take pictures. The UMW men’s basketball team was also honored at the fields for their historic season. It was a busy day for UMW athletics, so here is what you need to know:
Joining the Spring Jubilee on Friday, York College of Pennsylvania traveled down to Fredericksburg to compete in conference play.
The Eagles came into the match up against York 2-8 in conference play, looking to improve their placement in the conference standings. The Eagles began the double header having lost 12 of their last 13, with an overall record of 12-14.
Trying to end their skid and end up at the elusive .500 mark, the Eagles were determined to sweep their two games against York.
National champion swimmer and UMW student senior Alex Anderson threw out the opening pitch in game one.
York opened up the gates in the first game of the double header as they scored two early runs off freshman pitcher Erik Jorgensen.
York would go on to tack on five more runs before the Eagles put themselves on the board. Junior shortstop Kevin Stein tacked on the first run as he doubled down the left field line to score designated hitter Derek Nease.
Sophomore Andrew Slupek replaced Jorgensen in the top of the sixth inning. York tacked on four more in that inning, extending their lead to 10 runs as they led 11-1. The Eagles put up two of their own in the bottom half of that inning from a double by sophomore second basemen James Keller scoring Jono Haught and a single by Nease that scored Keller.
The Eagles scored three more in the bottom of the seventh to put it at 11-6. Haught drove in two on a single to center field to put it at 11-5, and sophomore center fielder James Sink drove in a runner on a balk two batters later.
York scored one more in the top of the ninth putting the score at 12-6, which would go on to be the final. Jorgensen received the loss for the Eagles putting his record at 2-3 on the season.
The elite eight finishing UMW men’s basketball team made an appearance at the double header as a way to honor the team for their best finish in program history.
Game two started out completely different as the Eagles found themselves on the scoreboard first with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Haught drove in their first run on a single to drive in leftfielder Brian Burns. Keller drove in the second run of the half of the inning with a single to left field scoring third baseman Thomas Weaver.
Sink drove in the final run of the inning on a sac fly to score Haught. Freshman Cole Jarvis started the game for the Eagles with a record of 3-1 on the season.
York tacked on two of their own in the top of the second to narrow the Eagles lead to one. The Eagles extended in to two runs in the bottom half of the second on a Keller single to right-center scoring Burns.
York took the lead in the top of the third on three runs to put the score 5-4. A Burns RBI single down the left field line tied the score in the bottom of the inning.
Bernie Mayflower replaced Jarvis in the fourth where the York put up two more, giving them a two run lead. Nease knocked the lead down to one run on a single to center field scoring James Keller.
The game continued to go back and forth as York added another run in the top of the fifth putting the score at 8-6. James Keller tied the score up in the bottom of the fifth with a two-RBI single to right field.
After five innings of back and forth scoring, neither team mustered up anything until the ninth inning. Going into the bottom half of the ninth, with the game tied 8-8, Keller came up to the plate with Kevin Stein on third. Keller ended the game on a game winning sacrifice fly to right field to score Stein and give the Eagles the victory 9-8.
This victory for the Eagles was their first since March 24 after a five game skid. This loss for York was their first in conference play on the season. This double-header split for the Eagles put their record at 13-15 on the season and 3-9 in conference play.
The Eagle’s will be back home for a double header against conference foe Marymount on April 12 for their final regular season match-up.
Following the baseball team’s exciting walk-off victory over conference rival York, UMW’s softball team followed suit with two dominating performances over another conference opponent, Southern Virginia University.
The Eagles hosted a double-header against the Knights Friday afternoon as part of UMW’s Spring Jubilee to kick off D-III Week and did not disappoint the large crowd in attendance at the Battlegrounds.
In game one of the double header, the Eagles kept their foot on the gas the entire game en-route to a 6-0 shutout over the Knights. Junior Hannah Otterman recorded the win as she pitched a complete game for the Eagles while only giving up three hits and striking out five knights.
The Eagles had the bats working early on when they struck in the bottom of the first inning off of Brittany Scites RBI that brought in Bireet Chitty to open up the Eagles’ scoring. UMW extended their lead in the next inning as they pounded two more runs through home base in the bottom of the second.
Brittnee Haynes got hit by a pitch to score Scites from third base and Emily Briggs capitalized on a Knight error to tack on another RBI for the Eagles.
Otterman got in on the scoring as well when she scored two runs in the fourth inning.
In the late game, Rachel Watts took the mound for the Eagles and proved to be more than effective. Watts pitched six scoreless innings while recording six strikeouts and only allowing two hits.
The Eagles carried over their offensive momentum from the early game into the next one as they continued to pound the Knights’ pitchers. After scoring a run in the first inning, the Eagles did most of their offensive work in the middle frames, as they put up three runs in both the third and fourth innings to take a commanding lead. Very disciplined and effective ball play led the Eagles to an 8-0 victory and sweep of the Knights.
The Eagles played a double header again the next day against Frostburg State, in which the Eagles lost 5-0, 5-4 to the Bobcats.
On Wednesday, the team lost both games in their double header against Christopher Newport University, putting their record at 11-10. The Lady Eagles will next play at Penn State-Harrisburg on Thursday, April 10 in another double header.
The nationally ranked UMW men’s and women’s tennis teams came up big during Spring Jubilee with a pair of key wins over conference opponents.
On the men’s side, UMW won five of the six singles matches against Christopher Newport University and swept all three doubles matches to take the 8-1 victory over the Captains.
In the number one match, UMW junior Tyler Carey downed Sam Thompson of CNU 6-1, 6-2. Matches three through six were all taken by Eagles, including an intense match in the number four spot between UMW’s Evan Charles and CNU’s Joey Manilla. The two alternated the first two sets 6-4 and then 5-7 before a 7-4 tie-breaker decided the third and most decisive game when the two were tied at six games apiece.
A dominating performance from UMW’s Brandon Griffin in the six-spot rounded out the singles competitions, as the freshman won 6-0, 6-1.
The doubles team of Carey and Charles won a hard fought match in the number one spot against Steven Boslet and Thompson by a score of 9-7.
Against Penn State-Harrisburg, the Eagles were even more dominant. UMW never lost more than one game in a set during all of the singles matches and lost only three games total.
In the doubles competition, there was much of the same. The Eagles outscored the Lions 24-7 in doubles to complete the 9-0 shutout Friday night.
On the women’s side, the Lady Eagles shut out the Spartans of York College 9-0. UMW swept the singles matches while only losing one game throughout all of the matches, getting as close to a perfect match as possible.
The Eagles were equally dominant in the doubles matches, as each duo for UMW won their matches 8-0.
The Lady Eagles turned around and did what they could not d do against York to Penn State-Harrisburg. Not only did UMW win all of their matches in both the singles and doubles competitions, but they did so while not losing a single game.
To put in perspective of just how dominant the Eagles were on Friday, they outscored their opponents 192-1 throughout the day.
Mackenzie Smith was the leader of the Eagles during the day, as she won her singles matches against York and Penn State-Harrisburg as well her doubles matches in the two spot and one spot respectively.
The men’s team will take their 16-4 record on the road to Salisbury Saturday, April 12 while the women will play host to Washington College, looking to improve on their 13-6 record.