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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The University of Virginia softball team (3-6) split a pair of games Friday on the first day of the Cavalier Invitational, which is being held at Captains Field in Newport News, Va.

The Cavaliers earned a 9-1 victory over George Washington to open the day. Virginia outhit the Colonials 12-3 in the winning effort, led by multi-hit performances from Clara Kendall and Abby Snyder.

Freshman Melanie Mitchell earned the win after tossing four innings and allowing one run on one hit, a solo home run by Kristina Wright. Mitchell fanned five batters and picked up her third win of the season. Nicole Koren came on to toss the final inning; she recorded two strikeouts in the stanza.

The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Alison Pittman reached on a GW error and advanced to second after an overthrow to first base. Koren then grounded out to the pitcher but Pittman was able to move over to third. Sarah Tacke singled to left to score Pittman.

Virginia then recorded back-to-back three-run innings. In the second, Lauren McCaskey doubled to left and moved to third on an Abby Snyder single. With two on and one out, Synder stole second. Giannina Cipolloni then singled up the middle to bring home McCaskey and Tacke; she later scored on a Pittman single to center.

In the third, Clara Kendall got the offense rolling after her single to left with two outs. She moved to second on a fielding error by the left fielder and McCaskey walked to put two runners on base. Snyder singled through the right side to bring home Kendall, and McCaskey would score on the play after a throwing error. Snyder then came in to score on a Kennedy Byxbee single to left.

The Cavaliers scored two runs in the fourth to take an eight-run lead. With two outs, Cynthia Javaras singled to right and Alex Skinkis singled to left. Kendall then tallied her second hit of the game, a single to left, to load the bases. McCaskey was hit by a pitch to bring in Javaras and Rachel Harvey had an infield single to bring in Skinkis.

In the second game of the day, Virginia fell to Notre Dame by a score of 11-3. The Cavaliers were out hit 14-4 despite two home runs from senior Nicole Koren.

Mitchell started the contest but threw only an inning, allowing four runs on five hits. Stephanie Coates came on to throw 3 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits. Kristen Hawkins also made her debut in the circle later in the game.

Koren was responsible for two of UVa’s three runs, hitting solo shots in the first and fourth innings. Tacke and freshman Taylor Williams also had singles for the Orange and Blue.

The final day of the Cavalier Invitational continues at 10 a.m. Saturday when George Washington takes on Notre Dame. Virignia will then play Notre Dame at approximately 12:30 p.m. and George Washington at 3 p.m.

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