June 6, 2001
LYNCHBURG, Va. - Five University of Virginia softball players have been selected to the11-member 2001 University Division Softball VaSID All-State Team as selected by the states' Sports Information Directors. UVa's Kristen Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) and Cheryl Sprangel were also selected as the states' Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively. In addition to Dennis, the Cavaliers' Meaghan Young (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury), Ruby Rojas (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei), Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln), and Hannah Owings (Issaquah, Wash./Liberty) garnered all-state honors.
Sprangel led Virginia to a school best 52-17 record on the season. On April 17, she earned her 600th career victory in the first game of a doubleheader against Liberty, becoming the 27th Division I softball coach to record 600 or more career victories. In 18 seasons of coaching, Sprangel has notched a 612-464-1 record, including a 152-109 mark in four years at Virginia.
Dennis, a rising fourth-year, became just the second player in VaSID history to claim two spots on the all-state first-team in the same year as she was selected as both the designated player as well as a pitcher. Dennis, who recently earned second-team All-America accolades, also garnered All-Southeast Region, All-ACC and ECAC All-Star honors for her performance in 2001. She hit .380 (63-166) this past season and set UVa single season records with 11 home runs, 49 RBI and 47 walks. Her 113 total bases are the third highest total in school history. Dennis is also UVa's career leader in home runs (16) and walks (90). With 100 career RBI, Dennis is just two shy of that school record. In the circle, she posted an 18-7 record with one save and a 1.31 ERA. Dennis pitched 154.2 innings and struck out 200 batters while walking just 32.
Young is one of three outfielders named to the all-state team. Young, who was an All-Southeast Region, All-ACC, and ECAC All-Star selection this year, concludes her stellar career with 13 school records, including eight career marks. She was also named to the 2001 ACC All-Tournament Team for the fourth time, which is a school record. Young is just the second player in the history of the ACC Tournament, which dates back to 1992, to accomplish the feat. Young is the Cavaliers' all-time leader in games played (261), hits (285), at-bats (881), total bases (408), runs (149), doubles (51), triples (24) and stolen bases (51). In 2001, Young set Virginia single season records for at-bats (231), hits (88), total bases (129) and runs (57). Young hit a career high .381 this season and set a career best with 17 doubles. She was the only UVa player to start all 69 games this season. Young never missed a game in her career, and also started and played every inning of all 261 games over the past four years.
Rojas was named to the VaSID All-State team as the third baseman. She was also a 2000 VaSID all-state pick. The rising third-year started and played in 68 of 69 games and led the team in hitting with a .401 batting average (79-197) which is currently 25th in the nation. Her .401 average is the third highest in a single season at UVa. Rojas, the 2000 ACC Rookie of the Year, was second on the team with eight home runs, 12 doubles, 50 runs, 42 RBI, 119 total bases and 18 stolen bases. She set career highs in all offensive categories and her 119 total bases, 79 hits, and 50 runs are the second highest single season totals in school history. The eight homers tied the previous single season school record for home runs in a season. Dennis now holds that record with 11 homers.
Field is the shortstop for the all-state team. In her rookie campaign, Field hit .330 (62-188), which was fourth on the team and started 68 of 69 games at short. She drove in 40 runs, the most ever by a UVa first-year and belted five home runs to tie the school's rookie record. Field scored 35 runs and recorded 14 multiple-hit games, including a team-high five three-hit contests.
Rounding out the Cavaliers' all-state honorees is Owings, who was chosen as the first baseman. In her first year, Owings hit .291 (48-165) in 65 games. She drove in 32 runs and scored 17 times. Owings also excelled in the field as she posted an impressive .978 fielding percentage (just eight errors in 358 total chances).
Virginia Tech had four players named to the all-state team, while George Mason had on representative on the team.
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