Koren's HR Lifts Virginia Over No. 2 Arizona, 2-1
FULLERTON, Calif. – Nicole Koren’s two run homer in the top of the first inning was all the Virginia softball team (14-12) needed to upset second-ranked Arizona 2-1 Sunday at the Judi Garman Invitational.
It was the third win for the Cavaliers over a ranked team this season, including its second over a top-5 opponent. Virginia also defeated No. 4 Michigan 2-1 earlier in the year and No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette 10-4 in the first gamed of the Judi Garman Invitational on Thursday.
Despite Arizona (25-3) outhitting the Cavaliers 7-1, freshman pitcher Melanie Mitchell and the Virginia defense was able to hold off the Wildcats. Arizona notched its lone run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
In the first, Giannina Cipolloni led off the game with a walk. Lauren McCaskey then sacrificed bunted her teammate over to second before Koren stepped up to belt her team-leading seventh long ball of the season.
In the fifth, Brittany Lastrapes singled down the left field line to lead off the inning for Arizona. Lauren Schulzler beat out a bunt single to put to runners on; they each moved over a base on K’Lee Arredondo’s sacrifice bunt. Stacie Chambers flied out to center to score Lastrapes on a sacrifice fly, but Virginia got out of the inning on a Kenzie Fowler groundout to short.
Mitchell picked up the victory in the circle after tossing a complete game. She finished with six strikeouts. It was just the second loss of the season for Fowler, who also went the distance. She tallied six strikeouts as well.
Virginia returns home to The Park to host Liberty in a doubleheader on Wednesday. Game times are set for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.