Breshears, Dennis and Reese Selected to 1999 All-ACC Softball Team
May 26, 1999
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia softball players Karen Breshears (Camarillo, Calif./Cornerstone Christian), Kristen Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa) and Lori Reese (Shippensburg, Pa./Chambersburg) were three of 12 players selected to the 1999 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Team which was voted one by the five head coaches in the ACC. UVa joined Maryland and North Carolina with three representatives on the All-ACC team, followed by Florida State with two and Georgia Tech with one.
Breshears started all 61 games for UVa at third base. Aside from being named to the All-ACC Team, she was also selected to the 1999 ACC All-Tournament team this year. Breshears was one of UVa’s most consistent players all season long. She batted .274 in 179 appearances at the plate where she recorded 49 hits, including six doubles, three triples and one homerun. Breshears tied for first on the team with 27 RBI, scored 15 runs and was second on the team with 125 assists to go along with 34 putouts. She was successful on three of her six stolen base attempts, gathered ten sacrifice hits and tallied a .935 fielding percentage at third base. This was Breshears second All-Conference honor in her three seasons of collegiate softball. She was also selected to the Mid-American Conference First-Team in 1997 while playing for the University of Toledo.
“This is a great honor for Karen,” said assistant softball coach Jamie Pinkerton. “She teamed with Lori Reese to form one of the strongest left sides (infield) in the ACC. It is great to see Karen gather the same respect from the other coaches in the conference that Cheryl Sprangel (UVa head coach) and I had for her all season long. She really came on strong for us down the stretch with her great defense and her timely offense and ended the season with an outstanding ACC Tournament.”
Dennis, a first-year at Virginia, spent time this season as a first baseman, pitcher and designated hitter for the Cavaliers. She entered the ’99 season with Virginia carrying high expectations from her excellent high school career. She did not disappoint anyone with her performances this season, as she stepped right into the Cavalier lineup and finished the year as one of UVa’s top players. Aside from being named to the All-ACC Team, Dennis was tabbed as the 1999 ACC Rookie of the Year. She becomes the first Cavalier ever to earn the honor as a softball player.
Dennis started all 59 games she appeared in this season for Virginia. She was selected to the 1999 Atlantic Coast Conference All-Tournament Team and was chosen to the UNC Triangular Classic All-Tournament Team this season. Dennis was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week on April 27 and was tabbed the ACC Player of the Week on Feb. 23. 15 of her 59 starts were as a pitcher, were she posted a record of 9-6 (.600). She demonstrated she is one of UVa’s most versatile players as she excelled at first base, pitcher and at the plate in her first season of collegiate play.
Dennis batted .347 with 176 appearances at bat. She recorded team-highs with 247 putouts, 27 RBI, 16 doubles and two homeruns. Dennis finished third on the team with 61 hits (including one triple) and 27 runs scored. She was successful on seven of her nine stolen base attempts. Dennis appeared in 18 games as a pitcher, were she posted a 1.64 ERA. She faced 482 batters through 111 innings of work and was second on the team with 92 strikeouts and four shutouts. Dennis finished third on the team with ten complete games pitched and tallied a .986 fielding percentage. She also gathered one save as a pitcher.
Dennis ranks first in the ACC in double per game with a 0.27 average, fourth in the conference with a .347 batting average, fourth in the ACC with a 1.64 ERA, fourth in the conference with a 5.80 strikeouts per game, fifth in the ACC in pitching victories percentage with a mark of 9-6 (.600) and is fifth in the conference with one save this season.
“This was a great way for Kristen to close out her first season of collegiate play,” said Pinkerton. “It is an honor for her to be selected the ACC Rookie of the Year considering all of the talented first-year players that are in the conference. Being named Virginia’s first ever Rookie of the Year selection, coupled with her Second Team All-Southeast Region selection, reflects just how talented of a player she is.”
Reese started all 61 games she appeared in at shortstop. She was named the ACC Player of the Week on May 4 and was selected to the ’99 UVa ‘Hoos Who All-Tournament team. Reese stands second on Virginia’s all-time hit list at UVa with 181 career hits, second only to Weezy Calderone’s mark of 186 career hits at UVa. She batted .333 with 192 appearances at the plate and was second on the team with 64 hits, including 10 doubles, three triples and one homerun. Reese scored a team-high 40 runs and was second on the team with 26 RBI. She was successful with a team-high 23 stolen bases on 24 attempts, good for a .958 succession rate. Reese recorded a team-high 136 assists to go along with 109 putouts and tallied 11 sacrifice hits and tallied a .901 fielding percentage.
She was named a First-Team selection to the 1999 All-American Farm Team, which recognizes outstanding collegiate athletes that come from a farming or ranching background. Reese has started every game at shortstop during her career at Virginia. She finished third in the conference with a stolen base per game average of 0.38, fifth in triples per game with an average of 0.05 and seventh in the ACC with a batting average of .333. Reese was also selected to both the ACC All-Conference and All-Tournament teams in 1998. She was drafted 46th overall by the Carolina Diamonds in the Women’s Professional Fastpitch League (WPFL) Senior Draft.
“This was the second consecutive year Lori has been named to the All-Conference Team,” said Pinkerton. “It is great for her to end her career at UVa on such a high note. Lori will be very hard to replace next season because she was such a steady player for us all season long.”
Breshears, Dennis and Reese helped Virginia post a 35-26 record overall, 4-4 in the ACC. The Cavaliers finished runner-up for the second consecutive season in the ACC Tournament by posting a 3-2 record in the tournament.
Maryland’s Kelly Shipman was named the ACC Player of the Year and Maryland’s Gina LaMandre was tabbed the ACC Coach of the Year.
1999 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Team Name School Year PositionNatalie Anter North Carolina Fr. CatcherKaren Breshears Virginia Jr. Third BaseDanielle Cox Florida State Sr. OutfieldKristen Dennis Virginia Fr. Designated HitterCrystal Henderson North Carolina Jr. OutfieldAnne Knobbe Georgia Tech Jr. CatcherKiesha Pickeral Maryland Fr. First BaseJennifer Potzman Maryland So. ShortstopLori Reese Virginia Sr. ShortstopKelly Shipman Maryland Sr. PitcherMichelle Semmes North Carolina So. ShortstopStacy Venable Florida State Sr. Pitcher
ACC Player of the Year Kelly Shipman MarylandACC Rookie of the Year Kristen Dennis VirginiaACC Coach of the Year Gina LaMandre Maryland