Three Cavaliers Earn All-ACC Softball Honors
May 10, 2001
GREENSBORO, N.C. – University of Virginia softball players Kristen Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon), Ruby Rojas (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) and Meaghan Young (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) have been named to the 12-member 2001 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Softball team as voted on by the league’s five head coaches. The Cavalier trio has combined for 225 hits, 147 runs, 117 RBI and a .394 batting average thus far this season.
Dennis, a third-year pitcher/first baseman/designated player, earns All-ACC honors for the third consecutive season. She is batting .392 this year with 62 hits in 158 at-bats. She has set single season school records with 11 home runs, 48 RBI and 46 walks. Her 112 total bases are the third highest total in school history. Dennis is also UVa’s career leader in home runs (16) and walks (89). With 99 career RBI, Dennis needs just three more to tie the school record. In the circle, she has posted a 17-6 record with one save and a 1.34 ERA. She has pitched 146.2 innings and struck out 196 batters while walking just 28. Dennis, the 1999 ACC Rookie of the Year, is currently 14th in the nation with 9.4 strikeouts per seven innings. She was a two-time ACC Player and two-time ACC Pitcher of the Week this season.
Rojas, a second-year third baseman, is leading the team in hitting with a .405 batting average (77-190) which is 25th in the nation. Her .405 average is currently the third highest in a single season at UVa. Rojas, the 2000 ACC Rookie of the Year, is second on the team with eight home runs, 12 doubles, 49 runs, 42 RBI, 117 total bases and 17 stolen bases. She has set career highs in all offensive categories and her 117 total bases are the second highest in school history. Rojas was named the ACC Player of the Week on April 9.
Young, a fourth-year right fielder, earns regular season All-ACC honors for the first time in her career. She has been an ACC All-Tournament pick the last three years. Young holds 12 school records, including the career marks for at-bats (873), base hits (283), total bases (403), games played (258), runs (147), doubles (51), triples (24) and stolen bases (50). In 2001, Young is hitting .386 with a school record 86 hits in 223 at-bats. She has also set single season school records for total bases (124) and runs (55) this season. Young, who has a team-high 26 multiple-hit games this season, also leads the team with 22 stolen bases, just two shy of the school mark. Young has played and started all 258 games during her career and UVa has won 151 of those contests, which is the most victories a Cavalier has played in. This season, Young was named the ACC Player of the Week on March 26 and April 23.
Florida State led all teams with five players earning All-ACC honors. The Seminoles, who are the top seed in the conference tournament, also swept the individual awards. Junior pitcher Leslie Malerich earned ACC Player of the Year honors, while freshman pitcher/outfielder Jessica van der Linden was named the ACC Rookie of the Year. FSU head coach Dr. Joanne Graff was tabbed ACC Coach of the Year. Virginia and North Carolina both had three players earn All-Conference honors while Maryland was represented on the All-ACC team by one player.
The Cavaliers (51-15, 4-4 ACC) have set a school record for wins in a season with their 51 victories. Virginia begins play in the 2001 ACC Tournament, which is being held at the Walnut Creek Softball Complex in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday, May 11. The third-seeded Cavaliers open the five-team, double elimination tournament by playing second-seeded North Carolina (34-17-1, 6-2 ACC) at 5:00 p.m. on Friday. The Tar Heels swept both games from UVa during the regular season. North Carolina won the first game 2-1 in nine innings on March 31 and then won 2-0 on April 13.
The entire 2001 ACC team follows.
2001 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Team (alphabetical order)
Natalie Anter Jr. North CarolinaSerita Brooks Sr. Florida StateMichelle Burrell Sr. MarylandKristen Dennis Jr. VirginiaRobyn Gauger Sr. Florida StateLeslie Malerich Jr. Florida StateRadara McHugh Sr. North CarolinaRuby Rojas So. VirginiaMichelle Semmes Sr. North CarolinaBrandi Stuart So. Florida StateJessica van der Linden Fr. Florida StateMeaghan Young Sr. Virginia
ACC Player of the Year Leslie Malerich Jr. Florida StateACC Rookie of the Year Jessica van der Linden Fr. Florida StateACC Coach of the Year Dr. Joanne Graf Florida State