CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia softball team (21-14, 7-1 ACC) claimed a series win over No. 22 North Carolina (27-13, 5-7 ACC) after splitting a doubleheader Saturday at The Park. The Tar Heels took the first game 8-0 but the Cavaliers earned the victory in game two, 3-1, thanks to Sarah Tacke's three-run homer.
The series win over North Carolina is the first for Virginia since 2005. The Cavaliers also have five wins over ranked opponents this season and their seventh conference victory is the most winning seven league games in 2006.
In the second game, UNC took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Ally Blake led off with a single to center and moved to second on Brittany McKinney's sacrifice bunt. After taking third on a wild pitch, Blake scored when Stephanie Murad singled right back to Virginia pitcher Melanie Mitchell, who was able to knock it down, but both runners were safe.
Virginia answered in the bottom of the fifth. Lauren McCaskey was hit by a pitch and Nicole Koren walked to put two runners on base. Tacke then hit her second home run of the series, a three-run shot to right, to give the Cavaliers a 3-1 lead.
Mitchell retired the next six batters to give Virginia the series win. The freshman pitcher had one strikeout and no walks in a complete game outing in game two.
Both teams recorded three hits in the contest; Clara Kendall and Alison Pittman each had singles for the Orange and Blue.
The Tar Heels defeated Virginia in game one, 8-0, behind a no-hitter from two-time ACC Player of the Year Danielle Spaulding. She threw all seven innings and finished with 13 strikeouts.
Mitchell took the loss in game one, throwing the first four innings and allowing four runs on seven hits. Sophomore Stephanie Coates came on to toss the final three innings; she gave up four runs on six hits and also struck out three.
Virginia plays host to Towson Wednesday at The Park. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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