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April 23, 1999

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia softball team is preparing for its weekend doubleheader with ACC rival Maryland. In the last Atlantic Coast Conference games of the regular season for both schools, Virginia (29-21, 3-3 ACC) will look to stop Maryland (40-18, 5-1 ACC) in the teams first meting this season as both squads jockey for the top spot in the ACC standings.

The Cavaliers have been rolling along the victory trail they have blazed over the past 20 games. UVa has won 17 of its last 20 contests, which included a season-high 11 game win streak from April 4-18. The 11-game win streak was the second longest stretch in the history of the softball program at Virginia, which tied the streak of contests won by last year’s 1998 squad. As hot as the Cavaliers have been, Maryland has matched Virginia step-for-step in the win column over their last 20 games, as the Terrapins have won 17 of their last 20 contests as well. In fact, the Terps have won 21 of their last 24 games, and are currently ranked #25 in the country according to the latest USA Today – NFCA Top 25 poll. Maryland enters the weekend showdown with Virginia having won a school-record eight consecutive games, and stands in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a mark of 5-1. The Terrapins 40 victories this season is an ongoing school record.

Aside from both teams playing some of the best softball in the conference, the Cavaliers and the Terrapins also feature two of the hottest players in the ACC. Virginia’s Lori Reese and Maryland’s Kelly Shipman are coming off the ACC Player and Pitchers of the Week honors, respectively. Reese is batting .348 with 158 appearances at the plate this season for the Cavaliers. She has recorded team-highs in runs scored (34), stolen bases (17-18) and assists (122). Reese is second on the team with 55 hits, 23 RBI, 10 doubles, two triples and one homerun. She has started all 50 of UVa’s games at shortstop where she has tallied 91 putouts.

Shipman has demonstrated this year why she is one of the top players in the ACC with her all-around performance. As a pitcher, she has a record of 23-10 (5-1 ACC) with an ERA of 0.99. Shipman has started 32 times in the pitchers circle and has thrown 31 complete games, including 10 shutouts. Through 227 innings of work, she is holding opposing batters to a .191 batting average. At the plate, Shipman is batting .269 with 54 hits, 26 runs and 23 RBI. She is second on the team with 12 doubles and has hit a team-high seven homeruns for the Terps.

After Virginia’s meeting with Maryland, the Cavaliers will return to home action on Tuesday, April 27 when UVa faces the Virginia Tech Hokies in doubleheader. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. and will be played at The Park.

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