Dec. 14, 2000
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - University of Virginia head softball coach Cheryl Sprangel has announced that four players have committed to attend Virginia and play softball for the Cavaliers. The four student-athletes who will enroll at Virginia for the 2001-02 academic year are: second baseman/outfielder Lauren Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon), pitcher/infielder Valerie Sevilla (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga), outfielder Mary Katherine White (Vienna, Va./James Madison), and catcher Jenn Wynn (Herndon, Va./Herndon).
Dennis is a 5-4 infielder/outfielder from Encinitas, California, and the younger sister of current UVa third-year pitcher/first baseman Kristen Dennis. She is a first-team All-League selection and a three-year letterwinner. As a junior in 2000, she led the team to the CIF Championship, a repeat accomplishment from 1998. She led the team in batting average and stolen bases in 1999. Dennis has also been named to the All-North County team, Union-Tribune All-Academic athletic team, and the North County Times Athlete of the Week. She is a member of the National Honor Society, California Scholastic Federation (CSF), and a Golden State Scholar/Diploma recipient.
"Lauren is an exceptional athlete and student. She is a solid fundamental player with consistent hitting techniques. Her speed will probably be the biggest asset to the team," stated Sprangel.
Sevilla is a 5-4 pitcher/infielder from Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is a three-time first-team All-League and Scholar Athlete selection. As a junior in 2000, she was named the team MVP and All-Inland Valley after leading Rancho Cucamonga to a 17-2 overall record. As a pitcher, she sported a 0.29 ERA and notched 84 strikeouts. She also batted .405, hit two home runs and drove in 22 runs on the season. Sevilla is also a member of the California Cruisers 18 Gold ASA team.
"We are excited about Valerie's versatility. We were looking for a strong outfield and hitter, but also received an excellent pitcher to add to our staff," Sprangel said.
White is a 5-6 outfielder from Vienna, Virginia. She is a three-year Liberty District and Northern Region first-team performer for James Madison High School. In 1999 and 2000, White also earned Virginia State AAA first-team All-State honors and Washington Post first-team All-Met accolades. In addition in 2000, White was selected to the Times Newspapers first-team and was honored with the Scholar Athlete Award. White batted .393 while playing right field in 2000 after hitting .448 in 1999 and .491 in 1998. White is also a member of the Shamrocks 18-Under team.
"At our summer camp, M.K. was named the best defensive player and that is where I see her contributing to the team during the initial stages of her career," commented Sprangel.
Jenn Wynn is a 5-7 catcher from Herndon, Virginia. Wynn is a two-time first-team All-District and All-Region pick. She is also a two-time second-team All-State selection and was named to the 2000 All-Met second-team. Last year, Wynn was named Herndon's MVP and to the Concorde District Tournament team. As a junior, she tallied 22 hits, one home run, and hit .333. She played for the 16-U Shamrocks from 1997-1999 and the 18-U Shamrocks in 2000. In 1998, Wynn helped lead the Shamrocks to a ninth-place finish at 16-U AFA Nationals.
"Jenn is the second of two talented local recruits. She is a very solid fundamental catcher, and will give us needed depth at the catching position," said Sprangel.
Virginia finished the 2000 season with a 27-38 overall record and a 3-5 mark in the ACC. The Cavaliers also advanced to the finals of the ACC Championship for the third-consecutive year.
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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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