Story Links

GREENVILLE, N.C. The Virginia softball team won the 2009 Pirate Invitational Sunday with a 12-1 victory over East Carolina. Both the Cavaliers and Pirates went 3-1 in the season-opening tournament but Virginia won the tie-breaker, scoring 26 runs in four games.

The Cavaliers are off to a 3-1 start in their first four games for the first time since the 2004 campaign.

Virginia had two big innings in the final game of the tournament, scoring six runs in both the second and seventh. Seven different Cavaliers recorded hits, including triples from fourth-year Casey Steffan and first-year Giannina Cipolloni, and a double from Abby Snyder. Alison Pittman, Carly Winger, Nicole Koren and Karla Wilburn all had singles in the winning effort.

Wilburn, a fifth-year pitcher, recorded her second consecutive complete game to pick up the win in the circle. Against the Pirates, Wilburn allowed just three hits and fanned six while not walking a single batter. East Carolina’s lone run in the bottom of the seventh was unearned.

After a 1-2-3 first inning, Virginia had a strong second inning, putting six runs on the board. Tacke was hit by a pitch to start the stanza. With one out, Koren registered a single to center, moving Tacke to third. Koren stole second and Tacke came home to score on the play after the throw by the catcher to second went into center field.

Snyder was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Wilburn singled to load the bases, and Wind came on to pinch run for Wilburn. With two outs and the bases loaded, Pittman singled to left to bring home Snyder. Cipolloni then ripped a bases-loaded triple into right center, bringing in Wind, Steffan and Pittman.

The Cavaliers went three-up and three-down in the next four innings, but the Virginia defense remained strong, holding the Pirates scoreless through six.

Virginia put up six more runs in the top half of the seventh, batting through the lineup. Snyder reached on a fielding error and moved over to second after a SAC bunt by Wilburn. Steffen then tripled to right center to score Snyder. Pittman reached after getting hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. With one out, Winger singled to left and Steffan scored. Tacke, the next batter, reached on another ECU error, scoring Pittman and still the bases were loaded. A wild pitch scored Cipolloni and moved both Winger and Tacke up a base.

After a Clara Kendall walk that again loaded the bases, Koren grounded to short, forcing Tacke out at third but Winger was able to score on the play. With two on and two out, Snyder doubled to center to score Kendall.

The Pirates were able to get one back in the seventh. Marina Gusman-Brown led off with a double to left center. After a flyout and a groundout that advanced Gusman-Brown to third, Jillian Gallagher reached on a Virginia error and Gusman-Brown was able to score. Sarah Bibee, the next batter, grounded out to Pittman at second to end the game.

Virginia returns to action Thursday at UNLV’s Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. The Cavaliers will face Brigham Young at 5 p.m. Pacific time in their first game of the tournament.

Print Friendly Version