BUIES CREEK, N.C. - The Virginia softball team (1-0) opened its season in dramatic fashion Friday with a 4-2 victory over Southern Illinois Edwardsville (0-1) in eight innings. Sophomore Taylor Williams hit a bases-loaded triple with no outs in the top of the eighth to lift the Cavaliers to victory.
After the seventh inning ended in a 1-1 tie, senior Cynthia Javaras was placed on second as international rules applied. Classmate Alison Pittman then recorded a bunt single to put runners on the corners with no outs. After Pittman stole second, junior Giannina Cipolloni walked to load the bases. That's when Williams stepped to the plate and slapped the ball into left center. It rolled all the way to the fence allowing three runs to score.
SUIE got a run back in the bottom of the eighth but could not come back from the deficit.
Sophomore pitcher Melanie Mitchell tossed all eight innings to pick up the win. She struck out 10 batters and walked one.
For the game, Virginia outhit the Cougars 6-5. Williams and Pittman each recorded two hits, freshman Stephanie Harris had a RBI triple and sophomore Alex Skinkis also singled.
Erika Taylor took the loss for SIUE. She also pitched eight innings and gave up three earned runs. Taylor recorded seven strikeouts and walked one.
The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Taylor Tooley walked. The next batter, Laurie Siebert, singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. Megan Murphy then doubled to left, scoring Tooley and giving the Cougars a one-run advantage.
The Cavaliers were able to tie the game in the fourth. Williams led off with a single to left and stole second. Then with two outs, Harris dropped the ball near the right field line for a RBI triple to tie the game.
Both Harris (third base) and Marcy Bowdren (second base) made their Cavalier debuts vs. SIUE.
Virginia will face Campbell at 4 p.m. in its second game of the Hampton Inn Tournament.
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