LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Virginia softball team (13-4) dropped two games on the second day of the Citrus Classic being held as ESPN's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Cavaliers fell to Syracuse 3-1 in eight innings before a 7-1 defeat at the hands of No. 15/16 Michigan.
Junior pitcher Melanie Mitchell (White Plains, Md.) recorded a season-high 15 strikeouts despite suffering just her second loss of the season. She allowed just one earned run and walked one batter.
The Cavaliers were outhit 7-3 in the contest against Syracuse. Junior Alex Skinkis (La Palma, Calif.), freshman Megan Harris (Knoxville, Tenn.) and freshman Heidi Velk (Murietta, Calif.) each had singles.
Virginia went up 1-0 over the Orange (7-6) in the top of the fourth inning. Sophomore Erica Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) led off the stanza with a walk. On a Marcy Bowdren (Fairfax Station, Va.) sacrifice bunt, Cipolloni went to take third, left uncovered, and scored on a Syracuse throwing error as the ball drifted into left field.
The Cavaliers took that 1-0 lead into the top of the seventh inning, where Syracuse was able to tie the game. Lacey Kohl doubled off the left center wall with one out and scored when the next batter, Stephanie Watts, singled up the middle.
After Virginia went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Syracuse put up two runs on two hits to earn the 3-1 extra-inning victory.
In the second game, 15th-ranked Michigan was able to get five runs on two hits in the top of the first inning off UVa starter Rachel Gillen (Wilmington, Del.). The Cavaliers were outhit 5-1 in the contest as Skinkis tallied the lone hit, a single to center.
Gillen, who took the loss, threw 2/3 of an inning with three earned runs on two hits and two walks.
Senior Stephanie Coates came on and had a solid relief outing in place of Gillen. She tossed the final 6 1/3 innings and did not allow an earned run. Michigan (14-5) accumulated three hits the rest of the way.
The Cavaliers got their run in the top of the sixth inning. Senior Giannina Cipolloni (Philadelphia, Pa.) led off the stanza with a walk, stole second then stole third. She came home on Velk's RBI groundout to the right side.
Virginia concludes tournament play at the Citrus Classic Sunday with a 9 a.m. game against No. 18 Oregon.