Cavaliers Take Two at Hampton
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (25-17) took two games from Hampton (18-26) Wednesday in Hampton, Va. The Cavaliers earned a 5-0 victory in game one behind freshman pitcher Melanie Mitchell and defeated the Pirates 5-3 in nine innings in game two. Sophomore Stephanie Coates earned the win in that contest with a complete game outing.
The second game of the afternoon marked Virginia’s first extra-inning contest of the season. After Hampton scored in the bottom of the first, both teams remained scoreless with the Pirates holding a 1-0 advantage heading into the top of the seventh.
Sophomore Giannina Cipolloni led off the stanza taking first on a hit-by-pitch. She moved over to second on classmate Clara Kendall’s sacrifice bunt. Freshman Kristen Hawkins then stepped to the plate and ripped an RBI single up the middle to score Cipolloni from second and tie the game.
After Coates shut down Hampton in order in the bottom of the seventh, the Cavaliers took the lead in the top of the eighth. Because of international rules go into effect past the seventh inning, freshman Taylor Williams, the last batter in the seventh, was placed on second to begin the inning. Then with two outs, senior Nicole Koren belted a two-run homer to left center as UVa went up 3-1.
Hampton, though, was able to answer in the bottom of the eighth, putting up two runs after a Virginia error and a RBI single from Tamara Vickers. The game was knotted at three heading into the ninth.
With Sarah Tacke on second, Cipolloni reached on a bunt single to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch allowed Tacke to score as Cipolloni moved to second and Virginia once again regained the lead. Cipolloni then stole third and was able to cross home plate on a second Hampton wild pitch, giving the Cavaliers a 5-3 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Hampton had two runners on base but Coates was able to get two popups and a flyout to center to end the game and give Virginia the victory.
Coates tossed all nine innings for the Cavaliers and finished with six strikeouts.
Virginia outhit the Pirates 8-5 in the second game. Koren was 3-for-3 in the contest with two singles and a walk in addition to her two-run homer. Tacke, Abby Snyder and Williams also had singles.
UVa took game one 5-0 behind a complete game shutout from Mitchell, who limited Hampton to just two hits. She took a perfect game into the fifth inning and at one point recorded seven consecutive strikeouts. Mitchell finished with 13 punchouts on the afternoon.
The Cavaliers finished with 10 hits in the first game, led by two singles each from freshman Alex Skinkis and junior Alison Pittman. Lauren McCaskey, Koren and Cipolloni also recorded singles while Snyder doubled and Williams tripled.
Virginia took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. Skinkis led off with a single to center and moved to second on a Hampton fielding error. McCaskey followed with a single to right, scoring Skinkis, and stole second. After Tacke singled to right to move McCaskey to third and put runners on the corners, McCaskey was able to score on Cipolloni’s sacrifice flyout to center.
The Cavaliers scored two more in the fifth. Williams led off with a triple to left center and scored on another Pirate fielding error, which also allowed Skinkis to reach base and take second. She would score on Koren’s RBI single to left.
UVa added its fifth run of the game in the sixth. With one out, Pittman beat out an infield single to third. She scored on Snyder’s RBI double to right center.
Virginia (7-4 ACC) is back in action with a home series against NC State this weekend at The Park. The Cavaliers host the Wolfpack in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday. The series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday, which is also Youth Softball Day.
On Sunday, all kids 12 and under are invited to participate in a postgame clinic with the Cavaliers. Following the clinic, the softball team will be signing autographs. The Virginia Athletics Department is asking teams that would like to participate in the clinic to RSVP to Marty Northcroft at 434-982-5600 or via e-mail (email@example.com).