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Feb. 16, 2006

DENVER, Colo. – University of Virginia fourth-year third baseman Sara Larquier (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs) has been selected by the Akron Racers in the second round of the 2006 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft, which was held Feb. 15 in Denver. Larquier was the sixth pick in the second round and the 15th selection overall. She becomes the second Virginia softball player to be selected in the Senior Draft, as Heather Field was a fourth round pick by the Sacramento Sunbirds in the 2004 draft.

The Akron Racers won the 2005 NPF Championship, and Larquier will join current UVa assistant coach Iyhia McMichael as a Racer. McMichael is a two-time NPF All-Star for Akron.

“I am honored and very excited to be selected to play for such a great organization,” said Larquier. “The opportunity to play with so many tremendous athletes, including my assistant coach, Iyhia McMichael, is one that I am truly grateful for. I am looking forward to the upcoming pro season with the Racers and the opportunity to compete at the next level. My first priority, however, is to help the Virginia softball program achieve its goals in 2006.”

Larquier, a 2004 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Third Team All-American, was recently selected as one of 50 players to the initial Preseason Watch List for the 2006 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. She was named the 2005 ACC Player of the Year and is a three-time All-ACC selection. The two-time Virginia Sports Information Directors’ Player of the Year hit .348 (73-210) with a school record 34 extra-base hits in 63 games in 2005. She led all ACC players with a school-record tying 19 doubles, seven triples, 54 RBI, and 130 total bases. She was also second in the conference with a .619 slugging percentage and 73 hits. Larquier, who started all 63 games, was second on the team with eight home runs and also led UVa with 21 multiple-hit and 14 multiple-RBI contests. In just three years, Larquier is tied for third among all ACC players with 51 career doubles, is fifth in RBI with 154 and stands seventh in home runs with 27. Her 27 homers are two shy of the Virginia school record. She also needs just four RBI and seven doubles to tie the school marks in those categories.

“We are all so proud of Sara,” said head coach Karen Johns. “She has worked extremely hard at becoming an outstanding softball player. What an honor to be drafted as a professional. Very few female athletes can have that on their resume.”

Due to NCAA regulations, an active college senior-athlete may not sign with her respective franchise until their 2006 college season is finished. For players selected in the Senior Draft, they will be permitted to pursue any available roster spot on their assigned team after completing their college season. Senior draft rights expire August 31, 2006. The league has been in operation since 1997 under the names Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Professional Softball League (WPSL).

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