Kaleigh Rafter, a current member of the Canadian National Team, enters her second season with the Virginia softball program. Rafter serves as the offensive coordinator and oversees the catchers and infielders.
In her first season working with the Virginia hitters, the Cavaliers emerged statistically as one of the top offenses in the ACC. Virginia's team batting average jumped 16 points from the 2016 season and the Cavaliers were ranked in the top three in the ACC in four different categories. Virginia set single season school records in slugging percentage (.457) and extra-base hits (143) while hitting 53 home runs, two shy of matching the school mark.
Rafter joined the Cavaliers after spending the 2016 season as an assistant coach at Buffalo. While at Buffalo, Rafter helped the Bulls establish new single-season team records in hits (383), triples (15), home runs (36) and walks (160). Buffalo scored 223 runs and drove in 203 at the plate, the second most in program history. In the field, Rafter helped the defense increase its fielding percentage by 28 points from the previous year.
A decorated player with the Canadian National Team, Rafter began her collegiate playing career at Detroit Mercy in 2006. Through her three-year career with the Titans, she was twice named Horizon League Player of the Year and an All-Region selection by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Following her junior season at Detroit, Rafter took a redshirt year to compete with the Canadian National Team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
In the 2008 Olympic Games, Rafter helped lead Canada to a fourth-place finish and kicked off her career with the Canadian Women’s National Team.
Following the 2008 Olympics, Rafter returned to finish her collegiate playing career at Florida State, helping lead the Seminoles to a 44-16 record and an NCAA Regional appearance. Rafter was named an All-ACC first-team selection and an NFCA All-Region selection for the third time as Florida State finished as ACC runner-up in 2009.
Rafter continued her career with Canadian team and has built an extensive international resume culminating with a 2015 gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Her team claimed silver medals in the previous two PanAm Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2009) and Guadalajara, Mexico (2012). She has helped Canada to a pair of bronze medals at the International Softball Federation Championships in 2010 (Caracas, Venezuela) and 2016 (Surrey, Canada).
She also played two seasons professionally for Honda in the Japanese Professional Softball League.
Rafter holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and master’s degrees in criminology and sports management from Florida State.
'Hoos Look to Bolster Novice ProgramWomen's Rowing9/26/17Assistant coach Erin Neppel, who joined Kevin Sauer's staff in July, has been charged with reviving the Cavaliers' novice program.De Koning Finds Second Home at UVAField Hockey9/25/17A native of Holland, Nadine de Koning is a four-year starter for No. 4 Virginia, which hosts Pacific at 1 p.m. Monday at the U-Hall Turf Field.'Hoos Make Statement With Resounding WinFootball9/23/17On the blue turf of Albertsons Stadium, where Boise State rarely loses, Virginia rolled a 42-23 victory Friday night in a game shown on ESPN2.
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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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