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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (16-9, 3-0 ACC) returns home to The Park for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series with No. 23 Florida State (26-5, 3-0 ACC) this weekend. The Cavaliers and Seminoles will play a doubleheader at 12 p.m. Saturday before concluding the series at 11 a.m. Sunday. Live statistics for all three games will be linked on VirginiaSports.com.

On Saturday, a free tailgate will be held between games with Domino’s pizza and Pepsi products, while supplies last. The first set of trading cards will also be given away Saturday. Sunday is youth softball and Cavman’s Crew Day and all kids will be invited to run the bases following the game. UVa eye black will be given away and a postgame autograph session will be held.

Virginia is coming off an 0-4 weekend at the Judi Garman Classic last weekend in Fullerton, Calif., but will look to continue its strong start to the conference season after sweeping Georgia Tech two weeks ago.

Junior shortstop Alex Skinkis (La Palma, Calif.) leads the Cavaliers at the plate with a .314 average and paces the starting lineup with a .415 on-base percentage. Senior Giannina Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) is hitting .299 with 14 RBI and a team-high 15 steals. Sophomore Marcy Bowdren (Fairfax Station, Va.) contributes a .286 average, four doubles, five home runs and a team-high 20 RBI.

In the circle, junior pitcher Melanie Mitchell (White Plains, Md.) is 10-6 on the season with a 1.79 ERA. She has 126 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 98 innings pitched. Freshman Rachel Gillen (Wilmington, Del.) is 5-2 this year and senior Stephanie Coates (Gloucester, Va.) is 1-1.

Florida State swept NC State two weeks ago to open ACC play and has gone 6-2 since. Earlier this week, the Seminoles beat Jacksonville in a doubleheader, 6-0 and 7-1, and defeated Florida A&M 10-1 in five innings.

Sophomore Courtney Senas leads FSU offensively with a .330 average and also contributes 14 steals. Junior Tiffani Brown is hitting .308 with a squad-best 22 runs, 32 hits and 25 stolen bases.

Redshirt junior Monica Perry, a transfer from Illinois two years ago, leads the Florida State pitching staff with an 11-2 record and a 0.71 ERA. She has 110 strikeouts to go along with 19 walks in 89 innings of work. Freshmen Bailey Schinella (2-1) and Lacey Waldrop (12-2, 1.07 ERA) join Perry on the staff.

Florida State leads the all-time series with Virginia, 67-17. The Seminoles ended UVa’s run at the ACC Championship last year with a 12-5 win in Atlanta. In the regular season series in Tallahassee, Florida State won two of the three games.

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