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March 17, 2002

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Virginia softball team was eliminated from the consolation bracket of the Capital Classic after dropping a 5-4, 10-inning decision to Middle Tennessee State in the semifinals Sunday (March 17) at the Sacramento Softball Complex. The Cavaliers, who stand at 23-10 on the season, finish the Capital Classic with a 5-2 record and were 10-7 on their spring break trip to California.

After being deadlocked at 2-2 after seven innings of play, Middle Tennessee State (13-13) scored a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a 4-2 advantage. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth and a runner on second base, UVa fourth-year All-American Kristen Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) knotted the contest at 4-4 with a clutch two-run home run. The Lady Raiders went on to score the winning run in the top of the ninth inning for the 5-4 win. The Cavaliers had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth as they had runners on first and third with two outs, but could not score the tying run.

Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when second-year shortstop Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) scored on second-year designated player Stephanie Calhoun’s (Spring Valley, Calif./Mount Miguel) double. MTSU tied the game at 1-1 with a run in the top of the third, but fifth-year center fielder Kelly McCabe (Maple Glen, Pa./Upper Dublin) answered with her first career home run to put UVa in front 2-1. The Lady Raiders forced extra innings with a run in the top of the seventh that tied the game at 2-2.

Dennis took the loss for the Cavaliers and falls to 11-4 on the season. In nine innings of work, Dennis allowed five runs (two earned) on nine hits and struck out nine while issuing two walks. Dennis and Calhoun both had a pair of hits in the game. UVa had seven hits in the contest with five going for extra bases, including a pair of home runs.

The Cavaliers finish their 10-day spring break trip with a 10-7 record. Three of UVa’s losses were to teams ranked in the top six in the country, including a pair of losses to top-rated UCLA.

Virginia returns to action on Tuesday, March 19 when it hosts in-state rival Virginia Tech in a doubleheader at The Park in Charlottesville. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m.

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