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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (4-0) returns to East Carolina this weekend for the Pirate Clash, where the Cavaliers will meet their first ranked opponent of the season.

Virginia opens the tournament with a 9 a.m. game Friday against Fordham, followed by a meeting with No. 21/23 Louisville at 11 a.m. Hofstra and a rematch with Fordham are scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, while the Cavaliers will face UNC Greensboro in the final game at 11 a.m. Sunday. Live stats for all five games will be available on

Off to the program’s best start since the 1994 team opened at 6-0, Virginia recorded wins over East Carolina, Canisius and two victories against Drexel last weekend in the season-opening tournament. Sophomore Erica Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) led the way at the plate with a .615 average over the four games, including three home runs and four RBI. Junior Kristen Hawkins (Elizabeth, Pa.) hit .500 with two home runs and five RBI. In the circle, junior Melanie Mitchell went 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 11 innings of work.

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