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.
Margin of Error Gone for CavaliersMen's Lacrosse4/29/16To become eligible for an NCAA men's lacrosse tournament bid, Virginia (7-7) must upset second-ranked Brown (13-1) on Saturday night.UVA Spring Football NotebookFootball4/27/16With spring practice over, Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall and his assistants have turned their focus to recruiting.Cavaliers Push On With Heavy HeartsBaseball4/25/16No. 21 Virginia, coming off an emotionally draining weekend in Coral Gables, Fla., meets ODU at noon Tuesday in Norfolk at Harbor Park.
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.
Virginia Falls In Saturday Doubleheader At Virginia Tech
Softball | 4/30/2016
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 | 4/29/2016
An unearned run proved to be the difference Friday night as Virginia fell to Virginia Tech 2-1 in...
Virginia Closes Regular Season At Virginia Tech
Softball | 4/28/2016
Virginia closes the regular season this weekend, traveling to face Virginia Tech in a three-game ...
Wednesday Softball Game With George Mason Cancelled
Softball | 4/27/2016
Expected inclement weather in the area has forced the cancellation of Wednesday afternoon's...
Virginia Hosts George Mason In Single Game Wednesday
Softball | 4/26/2016
Virginia closes out the home portion of the schedule on Wednesday, hosting George Mason in a...
Virginia Falls 8-6 In Series Finale At Georgia Tech
Softball | 4/24/2016
Virginia won the weekend series, but dropped the finale in an 11-inning marathon on Sunday at...
Virginia Powers Past Georgia Tech In Doubleheader
Softball | 04/23/2016
Virginia combined for 25 hits and 19 runs, including five home runs, to sweep a doubleheader with...
Virginia Continues ACC Play At Georgia Tech This Weekend
Softball | 04/21/2016
The Virginia softball team continues ACC play on the road this weekend, traveling to Georgia Tech...
- Online Stores