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Year in Review: 2011 Virginia Softball

Record: 24-31 (5-14 ACC)

MVP: Giannia Cippolloni

Cippolloni led the team in hits, runs, and stolen bases, where her 32 swipes were good for 2nd in the ACC.  Her strong season led the junior to selection to the All-Region second team.  

Overview: The UVA softball team started the year coming off its most successful season as a program, culminating in its first berth to the NCAA tournament.  However, expectations were not high.  The previous year's two big boppers, Sarah Tacke and Nicole Koren, who combined for 22 (of the team's 34) home runs both graduated, leaving the team in a hole.  Predictably, the young Hoos struggled, finishing last in the ACC. That said, the season was not without bright spots, like a series win at home versus Virginia Tech and an overall 4-5 record against ranked teams; not too shabby, especially considering those 9 games included 2 against Arizona and Alabama, each ranked first at the time.

Season Highlight(s):  Coming into the ACC tournament with no NCAA hopes and seeded last, it would have been expected if the team folded against the top-seeded Yellow Jackets.  This wasn't the case - the Cavaliers won 6-0 behind a complete game shutout by Melanie Mitchell.  The victory marked the first-ever victory for a #8 seed over a #1 seed in tournament history.

Season Lowpoint(s): An early season home sweep at the hands of woeful Boston College, who would finish the year 15-31 overall.  It was part of a run where UVA lost 10 of 11 games, a tough mental hole to dig themselves into

Future Outlook:  Virginia softball has a ways to go - in the short term, the team lost some of its top talent, and this year was expected to be a rebuilding year.  Look for an improvement out of the ACC basement next season.