No. 23 UNC Sweeps Series with Virginia Softball
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (19-17, 5-7 ACC) lost a doubleheader to No. 23 North Carolina 2-0 and 7-6 Saturday as the Tar Heels swept the series at The Park.
Junior pitcher Melanie Mitchell (White Plains, Md.) was perfect through five innings of game one and allowed just one earned run in the 2-0 defeat. In game two, Virginia put together a six-run seventh inning, highlighted by an Erica Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) pinch hit home run, but fell short, 7-6.
North Carolina improves to 27-10 overall and 6-3 in the ACC.
The Cavaliers outhit UNC 4-2 in the first game of the day. Sophomore Stephanie Harris (Knoxville, Tenn.) led the way with two hits while sister Megan Harris (Knoxville, Tenn.) doubled and freshman Rachel Gillen (Wilmington, Del.) singled.
Mitchell was solid in her complete game outing with 11 strikeouts and no walks in seven innings of work.
North Carolina picked up a run in the bottom of the third after Virginia committed two throwing errors on Amy Nece’s successful stolen base attempt. Nece scored again in the top of the sixth on Ally Blake’s RBI single to right.
UNC’s Lori Spingola, who earned the win, struck out nine in the shutout.
In game two, North Carolina had a four-run third and a three-run fourth to take an early 7-0 lead. It was not until the final inning where Virginia began to rally.
In the seventh, Stephanie Harris led off with a single to right, Alex Skinkis (La Palma, Calif.) singled to short and pinch hitter Karli Johnson (Lovettsville, Va.) singled to left to load the bases. Harris was able to score from third on a wild pitch as both Skinkis and Johnson moved up a base.
Then with one out, senior Alexa Martinez (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) singled to left to score both Skinkis and Johnson. After pinch hitter Petyon Larus (Midlothian, Va.) walked to put two runners on, Erica Cipolloni hit a two-out pinch hit home run to left center. That cut the lead to 7-6. UNC called upon Spingola to get the final out as she struck out Megan Harris to end the game.
The Cavaliers were outhit 12-8 in the second game despite five Virginia hits in the seventh inning. Stephanie Harris singled twice to lead UVa at the plate.
Gillen threw the first 3.2 innings and allowed seven runs on nine hits in the losing effort. She also tallied three strikeouts. Senior Stephanie Coates (Gloucester, Va.) came on to throw the final 3.1 innings; she did not give up a run on three hits.
Ashley Bone earned the win for UNC. She tossed 6.1 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. Spingola earned the save.
Virginia plays host to Radford in a doubleheader Wednesday at The Park. The first game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start.