Virginia Sweeps DH at Maryland in Conference Opener
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Virginia softball team (12-9, 2-0 ACC) opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with two victories over Maryland (10-9, 0-2 ACC) to sweep the doubleheader Sunday at Taylor Stadium in College Park, Md. Behind two solid outings from pitcher Melanie Mitchell, the Cavaliers claimed the first game, 5-3, and won the second, 3-1.
It marks the first series win over Maryland since the 2006 season; the two teams played just two games of the series because of inclement weather on Saturday.
Mitchell, a native of White Plains, Md., went the distance in both contests; in the second game she allowed one earned run on eight hits with four strikeouts and just one walk. The Cavaliers had a solid defensive effort behind her.
The Terps outhit UVa in game two. Sophomore Giannina Cipolloni and senior Nicole Koren each recorded two hits; Alex Skinkis and Alison Pittman also had singles for the Orange and Blue.
The Virginia bats were hot early. Cipolloni led off the game with an infield single and later scored on Koren’s double to right center. Koren then scored on Skinkis’ RBI single up the middle as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
UVa added another run in the third. Cipolloni again led off with an infield single. Koren then singled to left to score her teammate as Virginia led 3-0.
Maryland got one run back in the bottom of the third. With one out, Kathy McLaughlin beat out an infield single to second. A single from Vangie Galindo put two runners on; McLaughlin would score on a Kerry Hickey RBI single to right. Mitchell would get out of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning.
The Cavalier defense stayed tough and shut out the Terps for the final four innings of play.
Virginia took game one 5-3 after a solid outing from Mitchell and two-hit performances from seniors Sarah Tacke and Abby Snyder.
For the game, the Cavaliers outhit Maryland 9-6. Koren chipped in a double in addition to Tacke and Snyder’s two singles; Lauren McCaskey, Skinkis, Pittman and Taylor Williams also registered hits in the win.
Mitchell threw a complete game and finished with 11 strikeouts.
Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. McCaskey walked, stole second and came into score on a Tacke RBI single up the middle.
Tacke came through again in the second inning. With two outs, she singled through the right side to score Snyder and McCaskey, who each recorded singles earlier in the inning.
Aggressive base running led to two more runs for the Orange and Blue in the third. Clara Kendall and Alexa Martinez both walked. Williams reentered the game to run for Martinez and both runs scored on two errors by the catcher when Kendall attempted to steal third. Williams scored all the way from first after the second overthrow.
Maryland came back and cut the lead to 5-1 after Alex Schultz hit a solo home run over the center field fence in the fourth. The Terps added two more in the bottom of the seventh, but it would not prove to be enough.
Virginia is back in action at the prestigious Judi Garman Invitational, which begins Thursday in Fullerton, Calif. The Cavaliers will face Louisiana-Lafayette in its first game of the tournament at 9 a.m. PDT (noon EDT) on Thursday.