The Virginia softball team escaped this weekend with a 2-1 series victory over NC State, splitting a doubleheader on Saturday and earning a 1-0 win on Sunday behind the pitching of freshman Melanie Mitchell. With the wins, the Cavaliers (27-18, 9-5 ACC) have tied a school record of 9 ACC wins set back in 2005 and look to head to the Regionals for the first time in school history. Mitchell earned ACC Pitcher of the Week honors for her performance against NC State and Hampton earlier this week.
Virginia currently sits in second place in the conference, behind Georgia Tech (13-1 ACC) and half a game ahead of Florida State (9-6 ACC). Remaining on the ACC schedule for the 'Hoos are Boston College this weekend (0-12 ACC) and Florida State the following.
With marquee wins over No. 2 Arizona and No. 4 Michigan and series wins over each ACC team so far except for the then-6th ranked nationally Georgia Tech, the Cavaliers are looking to make the NCAA Regionals for the first time in school history. The softball team is the only women's program at Virginia that has never made an NCAA post-season appearance. The top 64 teams in the country will make Regionals.
Mitchell, who also earned pitcher of the week honors on March 16, went 3-0 in three starts, taking a 5-0 win against Hampton and 4-1 and 1-0 victories in back-to-back days over NC State. In 24.0 innings pitched, including all 10 of Saturday's marathon with the Wolfpack, Mitchell gave up only one unearned run on 11 hits and struck out 29 batters. Her 21 wins in 2010 are the most for a Cavalier since 2002. The White Plains, Md., native has hurled a league-leading 211.1 innings and is third with 223 punch outs.
Virginia will play a doubleheader against Radford this Wednesday beginning 4:00 p.m. to conclude its regular season nonconference schedule.