Softball Set To Open 2000 Season

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM Kristen Dennis, an All-ACC selection and ACC Rookie of the Year in 1999, hit .347 last season.
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Kristen Dennis, an All-ACC selection and ACC Rookie of the Year in 1999, hit .347 last season.
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 16, 2000

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The University of Virginia softball team will open the 2000 season by playing seven games in Las Vegas in a four-day span. The Cavaliers begin the season on Thursday, February 17 with a pair of games, and then take part in the 16-team 2000 UNLV Classic February 18-20.

UVa opens the 2000 season with a 3:00 p.m. game at UNLV on Thursday, February 17 and are then scheduled to play Portland State at 5:00 p.m. the same day. The 'Hoos open the 2000 UNLV Classic by playing Fordham at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, February 18. At 6:00 p.m. Friday, Virginia will play California-Santa Barbara. On Saturday, UVa takes on 12th-ranked California at 6:00 p.m. and Utah at 8:30 p.m. Virginia closes out play in the tournament with a 1:00 p.m. game against 11th-ranked Oregon State on Sunday.

Virginia, picked to finish second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2000 according to the Preseason ACC Coaches Poll, finished the 1999 season with a 35-26 overall record and a 4-4 mark in ACC play. The Cavaliers lost to Florida State in the championship game of the ACC Tournament last season.

The 2000 Cavaliers, under the tutelage of third-year head coach Cheryl Sprangel, return seven starters from the 1999 team. Second-year Kristen Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) leads the way after hitting .347 last season. Among her 61 hits were 16 doubles, one triple and two home runs. Dennis, an All-ACC selection and ACC Rookie of the Year in 1999, drove in 27 runs and scored 27 times. Dennis also posted a 9-6 record as a pitcher and sported a 1.64 earned run average. In addition, the 'Hoos return two other veteran pitchers in fourth-years Chrissy Quinn (Buckingham, Pa./Central Bucks East) and Stacey Zagol (Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga). Last season, Quinn was 9-8 with a 2.25 ERA and struck out 113 batters in 112 innings. Zagol was 11-10 with a 2.29 ERA in 1999. She pitched a team-high 134.1 innings and recorded five shutouts and 15 complete games.

Fourth-year Karen Breshears (Camarillo, Calif./Cornerstone Christian) returns to anchor the infield at third base. Breshears, a 1999 All-ACC pick, hit .274 last season and tied Dennis for team-high honors in RBI with 27. She is only one of two returnees who started all 61 games last season. The other returnee to start all 61 games is third-year right fielder Meaghan Young (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury), who was a 1999 ACC All-Tournament team selection. Young hit 321 last season with a school-record 67 base hits. She scored 28 runs and drove in 21 as well.