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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (11-2) concluded its first homestand of the year with a 5-0 record after beating Saint Joseph’s 8-3 Sunday in the final game of the Cavalier Invitational. UVa is off to its best start since the 1993 team also went 11-2 in its first 13 games of the season.

Virginia outhit the Hawks 9-5 in the contest and got multiple-hit performances from sophomore Stephanie Harris (Knoxville, Tenn.) and juniors Kristen Hawkins (Elizabeth, Pa.) and Alex Skinkis (La Palma, Calif.)

Junior pitcher Melanie Mitchell (7-1) tossed her sixth complete game of the year. She gave up only one earned run on five hits and finished with 11 strikeouts.

Saint Joseph’s (4-3) pitcher Taryn Ashway took the loss in the circle. She threw all six innings and allowed eight runs on nine Virginia hits. She also recorded two strikeouts and two walks.

The Cavalier struck early with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, junior Taylor Williams (Woodbridge, Va.) walked and stole second. The next batter, sophomore Erica Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) singled through the left side. Williams turned the corner at third and ended up scoring when the throw home sailed over catcher Lauren Rendon’s head for a 1-0 lead.

Sophomore Marcy Bowdren (Fairfax Station, Va.) then reached on a bunt that was scored as a fielder’s choice when Cipolloni was tagged out at home on a squeeze opportunity. After Skinkis recorded an infield single, both runners would score on Harris’ RBI single through the right side to go up 3-0.

After the Hawks got on the board with a run in the third, Virginia added another in the fourth. Hawkins led off with a single and would later score on a Giannina Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) RBI groundout for a 4-1 lead.

The Cavaliers put up four more runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a Skinkis double and singles by Harris, Hawkins and freshman Heidi Velk (Murrieta, Calif.).

Virginia led 8-1 heading into the top of the seventh, when Saint Joe’s was able to get two runners across before Mitchell struck out Bernadette Moran for the final out of the ballgame.

Virginia heads to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports for five games in the Citrus Classic next weekend in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Cavaliers begin the tournament Friday with a 9 a.m. game against Penn State.

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