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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia incoming freshman pitcher Melanie Mitchell has been named the Washington Post Player of the Year as well as the Maryland Gatorade Softball Player of the Year.

Mitchell led McDonough High School to the Class 2A state championship and was named the most outstanding player of the All-Southern Maryland Athletic Conference in addition to being a first-team honoree. She capped her senior campaign with a 19-0 record and a perfect 0.00 earned run average while tossing 18 shutouts. She recorded 315 strikeouts in just 133 innings, fanning nearly 17 batters per game. Offensively, she hit .463 with 16 RBI and a .667 on-base percentage.

Infielder Alex Skinkis (La Palma, Calif./Oxford Academy) shared most valuable player honors of the Academy League in addition to being tabbed the small schools player of the year and named to the all-small schools team. Skinkis, a shortstop, hit .681 as a senior with 26 RBI. She also was named to the Division VI All-CIF Southern Section First Team.

Outfielder Taylor Williams (Woodbridge, Va./Hylton), was named to the Post’s all-met second team and was a first-team all-state selection by the Hampton Pilot. Pitcher Kristen Hawkins (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) was a first-team PSBCA Pennsylvania all-state selection and was named to the all-section team.

“These four young ladies had exceptional scholastic careers on the softball field and should be commended,” Virginia head coach Eileen Schmidt said. “What I love about them is their continued pursuit of excellence on and off the field. Melanie, Taylor, Alex and Kristen all bring something unique and special to our team and this University. These four, in addition to our returners, are a hungry group. It is fun to watch this program evolve and mature in their hands.”

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