Cavaliers Travel West for Judi Garman Classic
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (16-5, 3-0 ACC), receiving votes in both national polls this week, travels west for five games in the Judi Garman Classic Thursday through Saturday in Fullerton, Calif.
Virginia opens the tournament Thursday with a 9 a.m. Pacific (12 p.m. Eastern) game with UC Davis, before taking on Fresno State at 5:30 p.m. Pacific (8:30 p.m. Eastern). On Friday, the Cavaliers will meet Iowa at 9 a.m. Pacific (12 p.m. Eastern) and No. 7 Oklahoma at 1 p.m. Pacific (4 p.m. Eastern). UVa concludes the event at 9 a.m. Pacific Sunday (12 p.m. Eastern) with a rematch against No. 19 Michigan.
The Cavaliers are off to a 16-5 start after sweeping three games at Georgia Tech to open conference play last weekend in Atlanta. Junior pitcher Melanie Mitchell (White Plains, Md.) was tabbed the ACC pitcher of the week after two complete game outings to pick up wins nine and 10 on the year. She struck out 11 batters in game one of the series while allowing just three hits, and struck out five more in game three. On the weekend, she limited the Yellow Jackets to a .182 average and finished with a 1.00 ERA in 14 innings of work.
On the year, Mitchell is 10-3 with a 1.35 ERA. She has accumulated 107 strikeouts in 82.2 innings with just 11 walks. Junior shortstop Alex Skinkis (La Palma, Calif.) leads Virginia at the plate with a .322 average while sophomore Erica Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) hits .313 with a team-high 19 runs. Classmate Marcy Bowdren (Fairfax Station, Va.) is also hitting .313 with a squad-best 19 RBI.
UC Davis is 9-17 on the year. Virginia will meet the Aggies for the first time in softball. Fresno State enters the weekend with an 18-9 mark. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series with Virginia, 4-2. The two teams last meet in the 2010 Judi Garman Classic, a 1-0 Fresno State victory.
Big Ten foe Iowa is 9-10 on the season and will play the Cavaliers for the first time since 1997. In the series history, the Hawkeyes are 4-0 all-time against UVa. Oklahoma checks in with a 20-3 record on the year and is 2-1 all-time vs. Virginia. The two teams last meet at the 2010 Judi Garman Classic, a 2-0 Sooner victory.
Virginia will face Michigan for the second time this season after suffering a 7-1 loss at the Citrus Classic on March 3. The Wolverines are 16-7 on the year and lead the all-time series with the Cavaliers, 5-2.