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March 31, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia softball team hosts Atlantic Coast Conference rival North Carolina for the three-game series this weekend at The Park. The series starts Saturday (Apr. 1) with a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. The Cavaliers wrap up the three-game conference set with a 1:00 p.m. game Sunday (Apr. 2). Admission is free of charge.

The Cavaliers enter the weekend with an 18-12 overall record and a 2-4 mark in the ACC. UVa opened its home season on Wednesday (Mar. 29) by splitting a pair of games with Radford. Virginia won the first game 3-1 in eight innings on fourth-year shortstop Sara Larquier’s (Burbank, Calif.) two-run walk-off homer. The home run was the 30th for Larquier, which set a new school record. In second game, the Cavaliers had the tying run on third base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t push the tying run across the plate and fell 2-1.

North Carolina is 30-10 overall and 4-2 in the conference this season. The Tar Heels are ranked 23rd in the USAToday/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll and also appear in the “Others receiving votes” portion of the Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll. In its last outing, the Tar Heels swept a doubleheader from the College of Charleston Wednesday (Mar. 29) 2-1 and 4-3 with both games going eight innings.

“It is nice to play our first ACC series at home,” said Johns. “UNC will be the best team we have played all year and we are just glad to have them at home. It will be a huge challenge for our program, but I know are players will be ready to play.”

North Carolina leads the all-time series with Virginia 54-27-1. UVa split four games with the Tar Heels last season, but won two of three regular season ACC matchups in Chapel Hill. The two teams met in the Triangle Classic on Feb. 13 with UNC winning 3-2. The Tar Heels won the first game of the three-game ACC set 4-1 on Apr. 16 in Chapel Hill, but UVa took the nightcap 2-0 and won 3-2 on Apr. 17.

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