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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (17-19), behind 11 strikeouts from Melanie Mitchell, shut out in-state rival James Madison 6-0 Wednesday at The Park. Mitchell, winner of her last two starts, allowed just three hits in the complete game outing.

The loss dropped JMU’s record to 23-11 on the year.

Virginia tallied nine hits in the win, led by a 3-for-4 performance at the plate from junior Giannina Cipolloni and two hits and three RBI from freshman Marcy Bowdren. Alison Pittman, Stephanie Harris, Erica Cipolloni and Kristen Hawkins also had hits in the winning effort.

Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Giannina Cipolloni led off for the Cavaliers with an infield single and stole second. After taking third on a wild pitch, Cipolloni scored on her sister Erica’s single up the middle.

The Cavaliers put another run across in the third. With one out, Pittman recorded a bunt single. Bowdren then doubled to deep center field, allowing Pittman to score all the way from first.

UVa then had two-run innings in both the fifth and sixth. In the fifth, Giannina Cipolloni reached base on a bunt single with one out. After stealing second, Pittman walked and immediately took second as Cipolloni moved to third on a JMU throwing error. With runners on second and third, Bowdren singled through the right side, allowing both Cipolloni and Pittman to score.

The next inning, Hawkins led off with a walk and stole second. Sophomore Lauren Didlake followed with another walk and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Then with one out, Giannina Cipolloni singled to left to score Hawkins, and Pittman followed with a groundout to the right side to score Didlake.

James Madison’s Olivia McPherson took the loss after tossing the first 4 1/3 innings. She allowed four runs on seven hits and finished with two strikeouts and two walks. Brittany Jeans came on in relief and threw the final 1 2/3 innings with two runs on two hits. She had two walks and a strikeout.

The Cavaliers return to Atlantic Coast Conference play at Florida State this weekend. Virginia will face the Seminoles in a doubleheader at 12 p.m. Saturday and conclude the series at 12 p.m. Sunday.

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