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<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>COLUMBIA, S.C. The Virginia softball team (9-5) defeated Sacred Heart 12-4 in six innings Sunday to finish play at the Gamecock Invitational with a 3-1 record. Nicole Koren, a redshirt sophomore, went 4-for-4 at the plate to lead the Cavaliers.

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Senior Karla Wilburn had another solid outing and picked up the win to move to 8-1 on the season. Wilburn threw a complete game, allowing three earned runs on five hits while striking out six.

Virginia had 10 hits and 10 runs batted in against Sacred Heart. Koren’s 4-for-4 performance at the plate included her fifth home run of the season and she finished with five RBI. Alison Pittman, Carly Winger, Sarah Tacke, Abby Snyder, Cynthia Javaras and Wilburn also had hits in the winning effort.

The Cavaliers put up five runs in the bottom of the first. With one out, Giannina Cipollini walked and stole second. The next batter, Winger, singled to center and moved to second on the throw. After Tacke was intentionally walked to load the bases, Carla Kendall reached on a fielder’s choice and everyone moved up a base, including Cipolloni, who scored, after an Sacred Heart throwing error. Snyder followed with a single to center, scoring Tacke and Winger. Koren then singled to center to score Kendall and Snyder.

Sacred Heart got one run back in the second, but Virginia added two more runs in the third. Tacke singled, moved to second after a Kendall sacrifice bunt, then moved to third after a groundout to the right side. Koren then recorded her second single of the afternoon to score Tacke. Wilburn followed with a single of her own as Koren moved to third. She would score on a Javaras RBI single.

Sacred Heart had a big inning in the fourth, scoring three runs to cut the lead to 7-4, but Virginia kept plugging away, adding a run in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Winger scored on a Tacke sacrifice fly after being walked; Koren’s homer in the fifth was the lone run of that inning.

The Cavaliers scored three more in the sixth to end the game in a run-rule. Sacred Heart committed three errors in the stanza.

Virginia opens up the home portion of it schedule this weekend against George Washington. A doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at the newly-renovated The Park.

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