Cavaliers Travel to North Carolina
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (15-17, 0-5 ACC) travels to North Carolina for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series with the Tar Heels this weekend. The two teams will play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday and conclude the series at 1 p.m. Sunday. Live stats for all games will be linked on VirginiaSports.com.
The Cavaliers, in search of their first ACC win of the season, are coming off a 1-2 performance last week as they wrapped up their 13-game homestand. UVa knocked off Georgetown 8-4 before dropping a pair of games to Maryland, 13-0 and 7-0, on Saturday. The third game in that series slated for Sunday was cancelled because of unplayable field conditions.
Freshman Stephanie Harris leads the Orange and Blue at the plate this season with a .347 average. She also contributes seven doubles, three triples and a team-best 20 RBI. Senior Alison Pittman and sophomore Alex Skinkis hit .297 and .284, respectively, while junior Giannina Cipolloni contributes a .282 average with six doubles and leads Virginia on the basepaths with 21 steals.
North Carolina is 22-12 on the year, including a 5-1 mark in conference play and is also 9-1 at home this season. The Tar Heels have won both their ACC series thus far, claiming two-of-three vs. Virginia Tech and sweeping Florida State at home last weekend. UNC beat the Seminoles 1-0, 3-2 and 4-0 to take the series.
Juniors Kelli Wheeler and Ally Blake pace the Tar Heel offense this season. Wheeler hits .438 with five doubles and seven home runs, while Blake is batting .361 with six home runs and 25 RBI. Teammate Haleigh Dickey, a sophomore, also contributes a .361 average to go along with seven doubles and a team-best 28 RBI.
UNC is led in the circle by two freshmen pitchers who have seen the majority of action this season. The reigning co-ACC pitcher of the week is Lori Spingola, who is 18-8 on the year with a 1.59 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 158 innings of work. Classmate Sara Buchholz is 4-4 with 23 strikeouts in 55 innings.
North Carolina leads the all-time series with UVa, 69-29-1. Virginia, however, claimed the series a year ago, taking two-of-three in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers won game one 5-4 and game three 3-1, with UNC earning an 8-0 victory in game two.