CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia softball team (0-0, 0-0 ACC) opens the 2012 season this weekend at East Carolina's Pirate Classic in Greenville, N.C. The Cavaliers will meet Drexel and East Carolina twice, along with Canisius, in the five-game round-robin tournament.
The Cavaliers open up the year Friday with a 10 a.m. contest with the Dragons, followed by host ECU at 2 p.m. On Saturday, Virginia will face Canisius at 10 a.m. before a rematch with Drexel at 12 p.m. UVa will conclude the tournament with a second game with East Carolina at 12 p.m. Sunday. All contests will be played at the ECU Softball Stadium and live statistics will be linked on VirginiaSports.com.
Virginia is coming off a 24-31 season (5-14 ACC) in 2011 but returns 14 letterwinners and eight starters from that squad. Sophomore Stephanie Harris led the Cavaliers a year ago with a .329 average and 30 RBI en route to earning second team All-ACC honors as a rookie. Senior captain Giannina Cipolloni hit .303 and set the program's single season record for steals with 32. She was a second team all-region honoree a year ago.
The Cavaliers, opening the season in the state of North Carolina for the fourth consecutive year, were picked to finish fourth in the ACC preseason poll. Head coach Eileen Schmidt begins her fifth season at the helm of her alma mater and is two wins away from 100 victories at Virginia.
Drexel went 15-27 (7-14 CAA) a year ago. The Dragons are led by senior Paige Collins, who paced the offense with a .333 average, 33 RBI and set a single-season program record with nine home runs as a junior. She is a three-time first team all-conference selection and made the summer roster for the Canadian National Team.
Virginia is 6-0 all-time against Drexel. The two teams met twice last year at the season-opening tournament, Campbell's Hampton Inn Tournament, in Buies Creek, N.C. The Cavaliers claimed both victories, 4-3 and 6-0.
Canisius finished 20-21 (7-9 MAAC) in 2011 and this year was picked to finish fourth in the conference's preseason poll. Senior Lizza Gatto, recently named to the preseason all-conference team, led the Golden Griffins last season with a .319 average, 26 runs and 21 steals.
The Cavaliers are 9-0 all-time vs. Canisius but have not met since the 1991 season. That year, Virginia earned an 8-0 win in Charlottesville.
East Carolina, coming off its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance, received votes in the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll. The Pirates (41-22, 14-10 C-USA) won their second consecutive C-USA tournament title and went 2-2 in the NCAA Regional in College Park, Md. Sophomore Kristi Oshiro led ECU at the plate as a rookie with a .314 average, 58 hits, 37 runs and eight doubles. She was named to the league's all-freshman team and is one of three East Carolina players selected to the C-USA preseason team, along with senior Suzanne Riggs and sophomore Jill Jeinick. ECU was picked to finish fifth in the 2012 conference standings.
Virginia is 34-24 all-time vs. East Carolina. The two teams met once last season in Greenville, N.C., with the Pirates earning a 3-0 victory.
Culture Change Under Way for UVA FootballFootball7/21/16Head coach Bronco Mendenhall, center Jackson Matteo and linebacker Micah Kiser represented Virginia at the ACC Football Kickoff on Thursday.Turner Embraces New Challenge at UVAMen's Lacrosse7/18/16Former UVA men's lacrosse standout Kip Turner is back at his alma mater as an assistant on new head coach Lars Tiffany's staff.Hunter Finds Comfort Zone at UVAMen's Basketball7/15/16The Virginia men's basketball team's freshman class includes De'Andre Hunter, a 6-7 forward from Philadelphia.
Director of News Content
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.
Davis, Osherow Named To All-ACC Academic Team
Softball | 6/23/2016
Outfielder Allison Davis and pitcher Erika Osherow were recognized for academic achievement and...
Davis, Ingraham Earn VaSID Honors
Softball | 6/23/2016
Rising juniors Allison Davis and Danni Ingraham earned VaSID second team honors the organization ...
Jeff White: Hardin Eager To Take On New Challenge
Softball | 6/13/2016
Virginia's new softball coach, Joanna Hardin, went 79-34, with one NCAA tourney appearance, in...
Virginia Names Joanna Hardin Head Softball Coach
Softball | 6/10/2016
Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage announced Friday (June 10) that Joanna Hardin, the...
Blake Miller Resigns As Virginia Softball Coach
Softball | 5/19/2016
University of Virginia director of athletics Craig Littlepage announced today that head softball ...
Allison Davis Named All-ACC Second Team
Softball | 5/12/2016
Sophomore outfielder Allison Davis earned All-ACC Second-Team honors when the league announced...
Virginia Falls In Saturday Doubleheader At Virginia Tech
Softball | 04/30/2016
Home runs proved to be the offense of the day as Virginia fell in both games of a doubleheader at...
Virginia Drops Series Opener At Virginia Tech 2-1
Softball | 04/29/2016
An unearned run proved to be the difference Friday night as Virginia fell to Virginia Tech 2-1 in...
- Online Stores