Mitchell Throws Gem in 7-1 Win Over Radford
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior pitcher Melanie Mitchell threw a one-hitter and struck out nine in the Virginia softball team’s 7-1 win in game one of a doubleheader with Radford Wednesday at The Park. The Cavaliers (20-18) fell in game two to the Highlanders, 12-1, in five innings.
Mitchell (White Plains, Md.) threw her 20th complete game of the season and picked up win No. 14 in the first game of the doubleheader. Radford’s one run was unearned as Mitchell walked just one batter in addition to her nine strikeouts.
Sophomore Stephanie Harris (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit a three-run homer in the bottom half of the sixth inning to lead Virginia at the plate; she also singled in the winning effort. Senior Kennedy Byxbee (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) tripled and classmate Giannina Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) contributed two RBI. The Cavaliers outhit Radford 7-1 in game one.
Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when junior Alex Skinkis (La Palma, Calif.) scored on a Marcy Bowdren (Fairfax Station, Va.) two-out RBI single to center.
The Cavaliers then added two more runs in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead. With one out, Skinkis walked and sophomore Karli Johnson (Lovettsville, Va.) singled to right to put runners on the corners. After Lauren Didlake (Bowling Green, Va.) came in to run for Johnson, Bowdren reached on a Radford error to load the bases. Junior Kristen Hawkins (Elizabeth, Pa.) and Cipolloni followed with back-to-back walks, allowing Skinkis and Didlake to score.
Radford (22-12) picked up its lone run of the game in the sixth but the Cavaliers responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by Stephanie Harris’ 3-run home run. With one out, Byxbee tripled to center and scored on Cipolloni’s sacrifice fly to right. Junior Taylor Williams (Woodbridge, Va.) followed with an single to third and freshman Megan Harris (Knoxville, Tenn.) walked to put two runners on for Stephanie Harris, who homered to deep center, giving Virginia a 7-1 advantage.
The Highlanders came out strong in game two, putting up three runs in the first, second and fifth innings. Radford’s offense came alive to outhit Virginia 12-3.
Virginia was led by Megan Harris and Cipolloni, who both doubled. Williams also singled for the Cavaliers and had a RBI.
Freshman pitcher Rachel Gillen (Wilmington, Del.) made two separate appearances in the game and took the loss, throwing a total of three innings. She allowed seven runs, six of them earned, on six hits. Senior Stephanie Coates (Gloucester, Va.) came on for two innings of relief. She gave up five runs on six hits.
Radford’s Micaiah Sacre earned the win in the circle after allowing one run on three hits. She also struck out eight and walked one batter. At the plate, Sacre was 4-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI.
Virginia continues conference play with a three-game series this weekend at Maryland. The Cavaliers and Terrapins begin the series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday in College Park, Md.