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COLUMBIA, S.C. The Virginia softball team (7-4) defeated Troy 7-1 Friday in the first game of the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C. Sarah Tacke hit her third home run of the year while Giannina Cipolloni had her second in the winning effort.

Virginia had a solid offensive effort with eight hits, including two from freshman Clara Kendall. Alison Pittman, Carly Winger and Casey Steffan all had doubles.

Not to be outdone, pitcher Karla Wilburn improved to 6-1 on the year with a complete-game outing. Wilburn allowed one run on seven hits and also had a strikeout.

Virginia got on the board in the top of the first when Cipolloni, the second batter of the game, hit the ball over the center field fence.

The Cavaliers then added two more in the second. Lauren McCaskey led off the inning with a walk and moved over to second on a Steffan sacrifice bunt. Pittman then doubled to left center to score McCaskey. A Cipolloni walk and a Tacke hit by pitch loaded the bases. Kendall’s single through the left side scored McCaskey but Tacke was picked off at second to end the inning.

Troy (7-4) scored its lone run in the third. With one out, Hillary Hughes singled through the left side and moved over to second on a sac bunt. A Heidi Johnson double to left center brought Hughes in to score.

Tacke’s home run highlighted the fourth. Steffan led off with a double to right field. After Pittman and Cipolloni failed to reach base, Winger walked to put two runners on. Tacke blasted her third homer of the season to right for a 6-1 Virginia lead.

The Cavaliers added another run in the sixth when a Winger double scored Pittman, who reached after being hit by a pitch.

Ashlyn Williams (6-3) took the loss for Troy, throwing 5 2/3 innings and giving up seven earned runs on seven hits. She also struck out seven and walked five. Allison Moore came in to throw the final 1 1/3 innings.

The Cavaliers continue Gamecock Invitational action later today against Eastern Illinois.

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