HENDERSON, Nev. Fifth-year senior Karla Wilburn tossed her first career no-hitter in the Virginia softball team’s 11-0 win over Saint Louis (1-1) Friday in Henderson, Nev. Four Cavaliers Nicole Koren, Abby Snyder, Sarah Tacke and Giannina Cipolloni hit home runs and Cipolloni’s first career bomb was a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Cavaliers improved to 5-2 as they continue play in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, hosted by UNLV.
Wilburn, a native of Del Mar, Calif., is the first Virginia pitcher to record a no-hitter since Erin Horn did it against Maine on Feb. 26, 2006. Wilburn improved to 4-0 in the circle this season, finishing with three strikeouts and one walk.
Virginia’s four home runs in the contest also tied a program record. The Cavaliers have previously hit four home runs in a game three other times, the last being against UNLV on Feb. 22, 2007.
Cipolloni, a freshman from Philadelphia, went 4-for-4 at the plate with three singles in addition to her grand slam and finished with four RBI. Tacke, Snyder and Koren also each had two hits.
Virginia took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. With one out, Cipolloni singled and stole second. Tacke then ripped a two-out double to left to score Cipolloni.
The Cavaliers added two more in the second. McCaskey and Snyder recorded back-to-back singles to put two runners on base. Koren would reach on a fielder’s choice as McCaskey slid safely into third to load the bases. After Steffan struck out and Pittman popped out, Cippolloni singled through the middle to bring home McCaskey and Snyder. Virginia led 3-0.
After a Virginia walk to lead off the fourth, Nicole Koren homered to center, her second of the year, to give the Cavaliers a 5-0 advantage.
Tacke led off the fifth with a home run over the right field fence, commencing Virginia’s six-run fifth. With two outs, Snyder then hit her first home run of the year to center. Koren was next and singled through the left side, later advancing to second on a wild pitch. After Steffan walked, Pittman reached on a fielding error to load the bases. That’s when Cipolloni stepped to the plate and blasted one over the left field fence for a grand slam.
The Cavaliers finished with 11 hits in the contest.
Kelcie Matesa took the loss for Saint Louis. She struck out two and walked one in four innings of work. Emma DeKalb came on to pitch the fifth.