Virginia Softball Wins First Two Games In Capital Classic
March 15, 2002
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Virginia softball team opened the Capital Classic Softball Tournament with an 8-0 win over Middle Tennessee State, then posted a 9-0 victory over UNLV in pool play Thursday (March 14) at the Sacramento Softball Complex. Fourth-year All-American Kristen Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) fired a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts and also drilled a three-run homer in UVa’s 9-0 win over UNLV, while third-year third baseman Ruby Rojas (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) hit a three-run homer against Middle Tennessee State. With the two victories, Virginia improves to 20-8 on the season.
The Cavaliers opened the Capital Classic with an 8-0 win over Middle Tennessee State (10-10), a team that beat UVa 4-1 earlier this season. Fourth-year pitcher Erin Allinder (Norco, Calif./Norco) tossed a three-hit shutout in improving to 2-2 on the season. Allinder struck out two batters and walked one in the contest.
Virginia scored the only run it would need in the top of the first inning when Dennis hit a double that scored fifth-year center fielder Kelly McCabe (Maple Glen, Pa./Upper Dublin) from first base. The Cavaliers broke the game open with four runs in fifth with Rojas accounting for three of the runs with a three-run home run. Leading 5-0, second-year shortstop Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) added a leadoff home run in the top of the sixth to make the score 6-0. Third-year left fielder Johanna Kaiser (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro), who was two for three in the contest, had an RBI double and first-year right fielder Valerie Sevilla (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) drove in a run with a single in the sixth, to close out the scoring in the game.
In UVa’s 9-0 win over UNLV (12-16), Dennis struck out a career-high 15 batters and retired 21 of the 23 batters she faced. One Rebel runner reached on a Cavalier error, and Kacey Ellis had a bloop single between two UVa infielders to lead off the bottom fifth inning to spoil Dennis’ bid for her third no-hitter of the season. Dennis improved to 10-3 on the season and lowered her ERA to 0.62.
Virginia opened the scoring in the top of the second inning. Field led off with a double to center field and advanced to third on second-year first baseman Hannah Owings’ (Issaquah, Wash./Liberty) sacrifice bunt. Field then stole home. Second-year designated player Stephanie Calhoun (Spring Valley, Calif./Mount Miguel) increased UVa’s lead to 3-0 with a two-run single in the fourth inning. Dennis put the game out of reach with a three-run homer to center field in the fifth. Virginia scored three more runs in the top of the seventh to make the final score 9-0.
Calhoun was two for three in the game with three RBI, while Field was two for three with three runs scored.
UVa closes pool play in the Capital Classic Friday (March 15) with a pair of games. The Cavaliers play host Sacramento State at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time and IUPUI at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Bracket play will begin on Saturday (March 16). The tournament concludes March 17.