Jan. 30, 2013
Members of the 2013 Virginia softball squad will be sharing their thoughts on the upcoming season, how practice is going and much more. The Cavaliers open the season in a tournament at Campbell University Feb. 8-9.
Tuesday, February 5 - Melanie Mitchell
Hello from the pitchers! As the only returning member and fourth-year, I'm pretty much the "grandma" of the pitching staff. I'm also a systems engineering major who wears No. 20, and I'm quite the on-field diva. Entering my final season in a UVa uniform, I am so excited to begin yet another year. Preseason has been a real challenge, per usual. But as it comes to a close, I'm here to report on the goings on of the pitching staff and how eager we are to throw to batters that are not on our team! Not that we don't enjoy the intersquad competition, but it's much more enjoyable to throw to new faces.
This year, we have three pitchers and we truly combine to form a pitching "staff". Although we are three different types of pitchers, I feel that this has and will continue to make us special and unique. I have done my best to mentor the two first-years, Aimee (Chapdelaine) and Emma (Mitchell), over the course of the fall and winter in order to prepare them for their first season. However, real life game experience will prove to be the best teacher.
Otherwise, the team is getting really excited to start playing this weekend. It may be a bit chilly outside as it has been sporadically during the early part of the year, but hopefully it will warm up by the time we have our first home games in March. We are basically home the entire month of March, so this would be a most opportune time to come out and support the Hoos! We are making a push to get to the NCAA Regionals once again, and it will only come with hard work and the support of our fans. We are a team that likes to steal bases and make diving plays, making it an exciting atmosphere for watching a game. I feel that we are very prepared this year to turn our goals into a reality as we pursue not only an appearance at Regionals, but the outright ACC Championship.
So long for now, and Go Hoos!
Friday, February 1 - Kristen Hawkins
Hi everyone!! This is Kristen aka Hawkins, here to update you on the past few days. For all of you that I'm sure are dying to know (haha), I'm a fourth-year sociology major, representing #16 on the field and I am the catcher for our team. Shout out to all the catchers out there, especially the ones that came to our camp! The past week has not been the most optimal weather to practice in, BUT we did manage to squeeze in three days out on the field.
Now you may think that we would be slightly rusty, seeing how we haven't been able to practice outside that much because of the cold, but we rocked it like superstars. The team looked great on defense. There was so much hustle and nonstop talk between everybody that it's like we never skipped a beat. Our pitchers look fantastic and are making our offense work for every pitch. For me, there is honestly nothing better than stepping foot on that dirt, so being able to do so is a breath of fresh air and it's fun to be able to see how much hard work everyone has put in over break and since we have been back.
I am like a little kid at a candy shop knowing that season is exactly one week away! The team is extremely excited to open up play next Friday down in North Carolina against Robert Morris. None of us can believe how fast the fall and winter has gone but we are all so ready and beyond adrenalized to show everyone what UVa softball has in store for this season.
We will be traveling for an entire month but we'll be back March 6 to open up home play so make sure to come out and watch us! And if you want to make us huge signs that's totally cool too (hint hint, haha). We have some great opponents lined up for this season such as LSU, Oregon and home against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech plus more. It should be a fun filled schedule for everyone to watch and a great competitive schedule to hopefully propel us back to NCAA Regionals like we did my first year. As a whole, the team has been putting in a great amount of extra hitting and fielding and I just have a really good feeling about this year; we are going to be a team to reckon with! Go Hoos!! :)
Wednesday, January 30 - Alex Skinkis
Alex here, or Skink as the team likes to call me! I am a fourth-year commerce major, #5, and UVa's shortstop. Preseason has been going great for the team so far! We've been taking advantage of any weather that lets us go outside and get on the dirt. Outdoor days often involve some inter-squad scrimmaging which gets pretty competitive. Indoor days are a lot of hitting in the cage and some cramped field space on the gym floor that we often share with track. Balls shoot a lot faster on the floor than on dirt so it is a good surface to use to work on foot speed and fielding quickness.
The team is definitely ready to start playing next week. Practice is fun, but everyone is ready to play some new opponents. We want to get back to NCAA Regionals like we did my first year and the team is putting in the extra work to get there. We know that nothing is going to be handed to us and the team is excited to show what we can do this season! We travel for about the first month so I'm sure there will be fun stories to come from the road!
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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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