Cavaliers Down Penn State, St. John's on Day One at Citrus Classic
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Virginia softball team (13-2) picked up a pair of wins Friday with a 13-1 victory over Penn State in five innings and a 4-1 defeat of St. John’s on day one of the Citrus Classic.
The Cavaliers have earned a victory in each of their last nine contests.
In the first game of the day vs. the Nittany Lions (2-7), Virginia scored in each of its four innings at the plate, including a five-run first and four-run third. The Cavaliers outhit Penn State 11-4 and got two hits from four players: senior Giannina Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa), sophomore Erica Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.), sophomore Marcy Bowdren (Fairfax Station, Va.) and junior Alex Skinkis (La Palma, Calif.).
Junior pitcher Melanie Mitchell (White Plains, Md.) registered her eighth win of the year. After giving up a leadoff solo home run to Penn State’s Alyssa Sovereign, Mitchell settled down, allowing only three more hits in the game. She finished with six strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
The Cavaliers went on to beat St. John’s (2-11), after jumping out to a 2-0 lead on a Bowdren two-run homer in the top of the first.
Though the Red Storm outhit Virginia 6-4, the Cavaliers took advantage of two St. John’s errors and got a complete game outing from freshman pitcher Rachel Gillen (Wilmington, Del). Gillen threw all seven innings to pick up her fourth victory on the year. She recorded six strikeouts and two walks.
St. John’s got a run back in the bottom of the on a Mackenna Neuroth home run, cutting the score to 2-1.
The Cavaliers then went up 3-1 in the top of the fourth when Erica Cipolloni led off the inning with a solo home run to left. That homer was Virginia’s 13th of the season, a total that surpassed what the 2011 squad did a year ago (12).
UVa expanded its lead to 4-1 in the fifth. Junior Kristen Hawkins (Elizabeth, Pa.) was hit by a pitch and stole second. After moving to third on a Heidi Velk (Murrieta, Calif.) sacrifice bunt, Hawkins would score on Taylor Williams’ (Woodbridge, Va.) single through the left side.
Virginia continues play at the Citrus Classic with two more games Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. The Cavaliers will meet Syracuse at 10 a.m. followed by a 2:30 p.m. matchup with No. 15/16 Michigan.