Cavaliers Top Virginia Tech in Eight Innings, 1-0
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia softball team (21-22, 6-11 ACC) topped rival Virginia Tech 1-0 Saturday in eight innings at Tech Softball Park in Blacksburg, Va. Senior Giannina Cipolloni had the winning RBI to score teammate Heidi Velk in what proved to be the game-winning run in game one of a doubleheader.
The Hokies (33-16, 10-6 ACC) outlasted Virginia in game two, 4-2, as the game concluded after an hour and 21 minute rain delay in the top of the first and a two hour and 47 minute suspension in the middle of the fifth.
In game one, the Cavaliers scored the winning run in the top half of the eighth to pick up their first extra inning win of the season.
With one out, senior Alexa Martinez (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) took first after being hit by a pitch and Velk (Murrieta, Calif.) came on to run for Martinez. The next batter, Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.), doubled to right center, allowing Velk to score all the way from first, giving Virginia a 1-0 lead.
Starter Melanie Mitchell (White Plains, Md.) had a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth that included two strikeouts to seal the victory for UVa. Mitchell finished with eight strikeouts and two walks in the winning effort. She also allowed just two hits in her sixth career victory against the Hokies (6-1 record).
Cipolloni led Virginia at the plate with a single and a double. Junior Taylor Williams (Woodbridge, Va.), freshman Rachel Gillen (Wilmington, Del.), freshman Megan Harris (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Martinez also tallied singles.
Virginia Tech starter Jasmin Harrell also tossed all eight innings and finished with eight strikeouts and one walk.
In game two, the Hokies put up four runs in the bottom of the first inning, where Virginia also committed three errors. The inning for Tech was highlighted by Kelsey Maricka’s two-run homer to center off Gillen, who started for Virginia.
The Cavaliers responded in the second. Sophomore Erica Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) led off the stanza with a single up the middle and took second on an Alex Skinkis (La Palma, Calif.) sacrifice bunt. After a Gillen groundout for the second out of the inning, Harris ripped another single up the middle and Cipolloni scored from second. Virginia cut Tech’s lead to 4-1 before the rain came in buckets and halted play for a second time.
When play resumed in the bottom of the fifth, it remained scoreless until junior Kristen Hawkins (Elizabeth, Pa.) hit a solo homer to center in thetop of the seventh. That cut Virginia Tech’s lead to 4-2.
Both teams finished with seven hits in the contest. Seven different players had hits for the Cavaliers, all singles except for Hawkins’ home run.
Mitchell came back to relieve Gillen in the second inning of game two. Gillen threw one complete, allowing three earned runs on five hits. She also had two strikeouts. In five innings of work, Mitchell did not allow a run on two hits. She finished with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Harrell also came back in relief to earn the win for Virginia Tech. She threw the final five innings and allowed a run on five hits. Bailey Liddle started the game and gave up a run on two hits.
The two teams are scheduled to conclude the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.