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Feb. 10, 2005

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia softball team opens its 2005 season by competing in the 14-team, three-day Triangle Classic at the UNC Softball Complex in Chapel Hill, N.C. The tourney will also be held at the Walnut Creek Sports Complex in Raleigh, but all of UVa’s contests will take place at UNC.

The Cavaliers’ first game of the season is against UNC-Wilmington at 10:30 a.m. Friday. Virginia will also play East Tennessee State at 1:00 p.m. Friday. On Saturday (February 12), UVa plays Radford at 10:30 a.m. and Temple at 1:00 p.m. The Cavaliers close out the tourney by playing host North Carolina on Sunday (February 13) at 1:00 p.m.

The Cavaliers, under the direction of eighth-year head coach Cheryl Sprangel, concluded the 2004 season with a 38-26 overall record and a 6-4 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. UVa tied for second with North Carolina during the ACC regular season, marking its best finish since 1997. In the 2005 ACC Preseason Coaches Poll, Virginia has been picked fourth.

Virginia returns 13 letterwinners, including eight starters, from last year’s team. The Cavaliers return two fourth-years, co-captains Lauren Dennis (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) and Jenn Wynn (Herndon, Va./Herndon) at left field and catcher, respectively. Other key returnees include third-year All-American Sara Larquier (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs) at third base; second-year second baseman Elea Crockett (Tucson, Ariz./University); third-year center fielder Jessica Taylor (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Academy); and third-year pitcher Erin Horn (Tallahassee, Fla./Leon).

Larquier led the Cavaliers with a .365 batting average and 49 RBI in 2004. She had a team-high 31 extra-base hits and 123 total bases. Wynn tied the school record with 19 doubles and batted .299. Crockett was second on the team with a .363 batting average and stole 17 bases, while Taylor hit a career-best .313 home runs and also led Virginia with seven triples. Horn registered a 17-11 record with a 2.66 ERA in the circle.

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