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March 9, 2002

Box Score

PLEASANTON, Calif. – The Virginia softball team began play in the National Invitational Softball Tournament with a 5-0 victory over Santa Clara Friday (March 8), but lost its next two games to finish pool play with a 1-2 record. The Cavaliers fell to Miami University 1-0 and also lost to sixth-ranked California 7-1 on Friday. Despite the two losses, UVa advanced to the Championship Bracket where they will face top-ranked UCLA Saturday.

Virginia won its eighth consecutive game of the season with a 5-0 win over Santa Clara. Fourth-year All-American Kristen Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) went three for three at the plate, including a two-run triple. First-year MK White (Vienna, Va./James Madison) was also three for three in the contest. First-year Valerie Sevilla (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) improved to 4-1 on the season with a complete-game effort in the circle. Sevilla notched her second shutout of the season as she allowed five hits while striking out five and walking two.

The Cavaliers scored all the runs they would need in the top of the fourth inning. Third-year third baseman Ruby Rojas (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) led off the inning with a walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Dennis, who reached base on a single, crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by second-year first baseman Hannah Owings (Issaquah, Wash./Liberty). In the fifth inning, fifth-year center fielder Kelly McCabe (Maple Glen, Pa./Upper Dublin) singled to drive in White with the first run of the inning, and McCabe and Sevilla scored on Dennis’ triple.

The Cavaliers had their eight-game winning streak snapped with a 1-0 loss to Miami University. UVa fourth-year Erin Allinder (Norco, Calif./Norco) was the tough-luck loser as she allowed just two hits in the game. She struck out five and walked one batter in falling to 1-2 on the season. Miami scored the only run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. The Red Hawks used a two-out walk, a stolen base and a single to score the only run of the game.

UVa fell to 1-2 in the tournament and 14-5 on the season, with a 7-1 loss to sixth-ranked California. The Cavaliers played national power Cal even for four innings. The Golden Bears scored two runs in the top of the fifth, one in the sixth and four with two outs in the seventh. UVa spoiled Cal’s shutout bid in the bottom of the seventh inning. Second-year shortstop Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) walked with two outs and scored on Owings’ triple.

Dennis (6-2) took the loss as she gave up 10 hits and seven runs (six earned) while striking out 11 and walking four. Jocelyn Forest was dominating for the Golden Bears as she struck out 16 batters while allowing only three UVa hits.

UVa continues play in the NIST on Saturday when it faces top-ranked UCLA in the Championship Bracket.

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