Virginia Softball To Open 2003 Season Friday At Triangle Classic
Feb. 12, 2003
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia softball team opens its 2003 season by playing a pair of games Friday (February 14) at the 25-team, three-day Triangle Classic at Walnut Creek Park in Raleigh, N.C. The Cavaliers’ first game is against UNC Wilmington at noon. UVa will also play Campbell at 6:00 p.m. Virginia will square off against Boston University and Virginia Tech on Saturday (February 15) at 10:00 a.m. and noon, respectively. Bracket play will be contested Saturday afternoon and Sunday (February 16).
The Cavaliers, under the direction of sixth-year head coach Cheryl Sprangel, concluded the 2002 season with a 45-22 overall record and a 1-6 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The 45 wins are the second most in school history, only surpassed by the 2001 team’s 52 victories. In the 2003 ACC Preseason Coaches Poll, Virginia has been picked to finish fourth.
Virginia returns 11 letterwinners, including five starters, from last year’s team. The Cavaliers return four fourth-years, including All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer Ruby Rojas (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) at third base. Catcher Brit Gore (Vienna, Va./James Madison), left fielder Johanna Kaiser (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro) and center fielder Katie Weinberg (Reston, Va./South Lakes) are the other fourth-years on the team who will be looked upon to provide leadership. Third-year 2002 All-Southeast Second Team pick Heather Field (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) will help anchor the Cavaliers’ infield from her position at shortstop.
Field was second on the team in hitting last season with a .374 batting average (71-190). She also drove in 32 runs, scored 39 times, drew 33 walks and stole 18 bases. Rojas hit .282 (50-177) with a career-high 11 home runs and 42 RBI in 2002. She also walked 21 times and scored 34 runs. Third-year Joanna Barstad (Canby, Ore./Canby) is UVa’s only returning pitcher from 2002. Barstad posted an 8-3 record with a 1.80 ERA last season.