Virginia Softball Wins Tar Heel Invitational
April 7, 2002
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Virginia softball team avenged two Atlantic Coast Conference losses to Georgia Tech last weekend with a pair of victories over the Yellow Jackets Sunday (April 7) to win the Tar Heel Invitational at the UNC Softball Complex. UVa posted 1-0 and 10-5 wins over Georgia Tech to win the tournament title with a perfect 4-0 record. The Cavaliers now stand at 37-14 on the season, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 37-11.
Fourth-year All-American Kristen Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tar Heel Invitational after picking up both victories in the circle against Georgia Tech. Dennis was also the winning pitcher in UVa’s triumphs over Maryland and North Carolina Saturday. With the four wins, Dennis improves to 20-6 on the mound this season and is Virginia’s first 20-game winner since Michelle Collins won 25 games in the 1994 season.
In its final game of round-robin play in the tourney, UVa defeated Georgia Tech 1-0. In addition to earning the win in the circle, Dennis drove in the lone run of the game with a double to right in the first inning. Second-year shortstop Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) led off the game with a walk and then stole second. She moved to third when the Georgia Tech catcher’s throw went into center field. With two outs, Dennis delivered Field with the first of her two doubles in the game. On the mound, Dennis allowed just five hits in earning her eighth shutout of the season. She struck out three batters and walked one. Jessica Sallinger (17-5) took the loss for the Yellow Jackets as she gave up four hits and struck out seven, but walked six.
After concluding round-robin play with a perfect 3-0 record, UVa advanced to the championship game of the Tar Heel Invitational and met Georgia Tech for the title. The Cavaliers won their second consecutive game over the Yellow Jackets, posting a 10-5 victory. Virginia let a 5-0 lead slip away as Georgia Tech scored a run in the fifth and four in the sixth to tie the contest at 5-5. The Cavaliers answered with five runs in the bottom of the sixth for the 10-5 victory.
Dennis earned the win with 1.2 innings of relief work in place of fourth-year Erin Allinder (Norco, Calif./Norco). Dennis allowed only one hit and struck out three in improving to 20-6 on the season. Allinder pitched 5.1 innings and allowed five runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits. She struck out one batter and walked one.
UVa jumped out to a 3-0 lead on second-year catcher Stephanie Calhoun’s (Spring Valley, Calif./Mount Miguel) three-run homer in the bottom of the first. Fifth-year center fielder Kelly McCabe (Maple Glen, Pa./Upper Dublin) singled and Dennis drew an intentional walk before Calhoun hit her second home run of the season. McCabe led off the third inning with a triple and scored on third-year third baseman Ruby Rojas’ (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) RBI single to increase the UVa advantage to 4-0. In the fourth inning, the Cavaliers used a pair of singles, a walk and a Yellow Jacket throwing error to score another run. Georgia Tech got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning on Tasha Waugh’s solo home run. In the top of the sixth, Georgia Tech used one hit and three UVa errors to score four unearned runs to knot the game at 5-5. Virginia answered Tech’s five runs with five of their own in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, McCabe hit a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then scored on Rojas’ double. Dennis was intentionally walked for the second time and Calhoun followed with a RBI single that scored Rojas. Second-year first baseman Hannah Owings (Issaquah, Wash./Liberty) then doubled to drive in a run and first-year right fielder M.K. White (Vienna, Va./James Madison) closed out the scoring with a RBI single.
Tiffany Goodman (7-2) took the loss for Georgia Tech as she allowed five runs on six hits in 3.2 innings of relief work in place of starter Erin Voeltz. Voeltz pitched the first two innings and gave up four runs on four hits. Calhoun had two hits and drove in four runs in the championship game for UVa. McCabe was three for three with three runs scored, while Owings and White both had two hits.
The Cavaliers return to action on Saturday, April 13 when they host Villanova in a doubleheader beginning at 12 noon at The Park in Charlottesville.