Virginia Comes Back to Upset No. 11 Hawai?i, 6-4
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The Virginia softball team (9-4) put up three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning in a come-from-behind 6-4 upset of No. 11 Hawai’i Saturday in the Cathedral City Classic. Sophomore pitcher Melanie Mitchell had nine strikeouts in the winning effort. It was the first win over a ranked opponent for UVa this season.
The Cavaliers outhit Hawaii 10-5 in the contest, led by two hits apiece from junior Giannina Cipolloni and sophomore Alex Skinkis. The Rainbow Wahine (12-4) also committed four errors, while UVa did not make an error.
Virginia trailed 4-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Junior Alison Pittman led off the inning with an infield single that she beat out at first. The next batter, Cipolloni, tripled to right and Pittman scored all the way from first to tie the game.
Sophomore Taylor Williams then tallied an infield single and stole second. On the throw to second, the ball from catcher Sharla Kliebenstein went off teammate Dara Pagaduan’s glove and into centerfield. Cipolloni was able to score on the play to give UVa the lead while Williams moved to third and eventually came in on a Stephanie Harris RBI groundout.
Mitchell (6-3) threw her ninth complete game of the season and allowed just two walks to go along with her nine strikeouts.
Stephanie Ricketts (7-3) took the loss for Hawai’i; she threw six innings with five strikeouts and three walks. Only two of Virginia’s six runs were earned.
After UH took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, the Cavaliers responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Both Cipolloni and Williams reached on fielding errors to start the stanza. Freshman Marcy Bowdren laid down a bunt single to load the bases. A Harris fielder’s choice allowed Cipolloni to score and an Erica Cipolloni single up the middle brought in Williams and Bowdren for a 3-2 UVa lead.
The Rainbow Wahine took the lead back in the third inning when Melissa Gonzalez hit a two-run homer to center field, allowing Hawai’i to take a 4-3 advantage.
The Cavaliers conclude play in the Cathedral City Classic at approximately 8 p.m. Pacific (11 p.m. Eastern) tonight against top-ranked Arizona.