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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (15-13) split a doubleheader with Liberty (15-9) Wednesday at The Park in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers won the first game, 4-0, but dropped the second, 6-4.

Freshman Melanie Mitchell threw a complete game shutout in game one. She allowed just three hits while striking out 11.

The Cavaliers outhit Liberty 9-3 in the contest, led by freshman Alex Skinkis’ 3-for-3 performance at the plate, which included a double and two singles. Giannina Cipolloni also had a pair of singles in the winning effort.

Three consecutive hits from Kristen Hawkins, Skinkis and Clara Kendall led the UVa’s first run in the second inning. Skinkis would score the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk by Alexa Martinez.

Virginia then took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Skinkis led off the inning with a single to right. Kendall reached on a fielder’s choice that led to Skinkis being thrown out at second. Kendall made up for it on the base paths; she stole second and third and eventually came in to score on an Alison Pittman RBI groundout.

The Cavaliers tacked on two runs in the sixth. With one out, Skinkis doubled to right center. Then with two down, Pittman beat out an infield single and stole second as Skinkis had moved over to third. They both came across to score on Taylor Williams’ single to left.

In game two, Liberty jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings of play. The Cavaliers were able to put two runs on the board in both the fifth and sixth innings to cut the lead to one. Liberty’s Kelly Strickland had a solo home run in the top of the seventh and Virginia was shut out in the bottom of the inning to close the game.

Nicole Koren took the loss for Virginia. She went 2 2/3 innings and allowed seven hits; just two of Liberty’s five runs off Koren were earned. Mitchell came on in relief and threw the final 4 1/3 innings. She gave up two hits and tallied six strikeouts.

Virginia was outhit in game two, 9-5. Kendall recorded two singles for the Orange and Blue; Hawkins, Pittman and Williams also had hits for Virginia.

The Cavaliers continue conference play this weekend at Virginia Tech. The two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va.

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