CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia softball team (14-9) beat No. 25 Syracuse 2-1 after a 9-1 win over Princeton Saturday to open play in the UVa Invitational. Fordham is also participating in the tournament.
It was Virginia's third win over a ranked opponent this season (then-No. 11 Hawai'i, then-No. 13 Oregon).
Sophomore pitcher Melanie Mitchell led Virginia and finished with 12 strikeouts against the Orange. She allowed just three hits and one walk.
Virginia recorded four hits in the win, two of which came from freshman Marcy Bowdren, who singled and doubled. Sophomores Alex Skinkis and Taylor Williams also singled.
Syracuse (16-4) struck first with a solo home run by LiSaira Daniels and led 1-0 in the middle of the first inning.
In the bottom half of the inning, junior Giannina Cipolloni led off with a walk for Virginia and stole second. She would score on Bowdren's RBI double to left center.
The Cavaliers scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Alison Pittman walked and Bowdren singled through the left side. Both runners would move up a base on a passed ball. Pittman then scored on a RBI groundout from freshman Stephanie Harris.
Canadian national team player Jenna Caira took the loss in the circle for Syracuse. She pitched all six innings and allowed one earned run with six strikeouts and three walks.
Virginia defeated Princeton (1-3) by a score of 9-1 in five innings to open the tournament.
The Cavaliers outhit the Tigers 10-4 for the contest and were led at the plate by Bowdren. Bowdren hit her second home run of the season and also recorded a single and a double in a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. Cipolloni also recorded two hits in the victory.
Freshman pitcher Erica Cipolloni recorded a complete game and allowed one earned run on the four hits. She also recorded four strikeouts.
Virginia, the visiting team on the scoreboard, struck first with three runs in the top of the first inning. Cipolloni reached on a fielding error and stole second. The next batter, Pittman, followed with a bunt single to put runners on the corners. Cipolloni came into score on a Harris RBI single to right. With Pittman on third, Harris stole second, and Erica Cipolloni walked to load the bases. Pittman then came into score after Skinkis was hit by a pitch and Harris crossed home on an illegal pitch.
After Princeton got a run back in the bottom of the first, the Cavaliers put up five runs in the second inning, highlighted by Bowdren's two-run homer to left center. Skinkis doubled and Giannina Cipolloni and Cynthia Jaravas both singled in the inning.
UVa added an insurance run in the third after Cipolloni led off with a double to left. With one out, she stole third, and scored on Bowdren's singled through the left side.
Virginia continues play in its home tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday against Syracuse, followed by an 11:30 a.m. contest with Fordham.
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