VSU
Mattia

PETERSBURG, Va. -- The argument can be made that Jessica Mattia was the CIAA’s best pitcher in 2012. There seems to be little debate now.

The All-Conference First-Teamer hurled two 1-0 shutouts in the opening rounds of play at the CIAA tournament, lifting Virginia State into the semifinals.

Mattia (18-14), who tossed a one-hitter to down Fayetteville State to start the day, beat Chowan 1-0 in the nightcap of games at the Petersburg Sports Complex on Thursday. She scattered four hits and struck out nine while walking just one against the Hawks.

The game was scoreless through three innings before Virginia State’s Jameshia Smith slapped a two-out single up the middle to score Brittany Payne with what turned out to be the game’s only run.

In the opening contest of the day, Jessica Mattia won the game with her arm -- and her bat. Mattia, the league-leader in strikeouts, hurled a one-hit shutout and drove in the game’s only run as Virginia State (18-17) clipped Fayetteville State (10-36) 1-0.

Mattia, the No. 9 batter, singled up the middle with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie, then retired Sencerae Locklear with a runner on second base to close out the victory.

Mattia (18-15) struck out 11 and faced just three batters over the minimum. She retired the first 10 batters in order to start the game before Maya Washington singled. Dominique Johnson and Mattia each had two hits for Virginia State.