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Feb. 22, 2007

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team continues its western swing by competing in the Palm Springs Classic Feb. 22-24 at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex in Cathedral City, Calif. The Cavaliers are scheduled to play six games in three days in the 26-team tournament. The entire tournament runs Feb. 22-25.

Virginia opens the tournament on Thursday (Feb. 22) at 8:30 p.m. (ET) against UNLV. The Cavaliers wrap up the first day of the tourney against BYU at 11 p.m. (ET). On Saturday (Feb. 23), UVa squares off against Cal State Fullerton at 8:30 p.m. (ET) and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at 11:30 p.m. (ET). Virginia concludes the Palm Springs Classic against a pair of teams ranked in this week’s NFCA/USAToday Top 25 Poll on Saturday (Feb. 24). The Cavaliers take on 22nd-ranked Fresno State at 8:30 p.m. (ET) and sixth-rated Oregon State at 11 p.m. (ET).

The Cavaliers stand at 5-5 overall on the season after going 2-3 and finishing fourth in the Worth Wildcat Invitational Feb. 16-18. UVa registered an 11-10 win over Middle Tennessee State (Feb. 16) and an 8-7 victory over Temple (Feb. 17).

“This weekend we will face the toughest competition we’ve seen this season,” said head coach Karen Johns. We need to see improvement in our pitching and keep building the offensive momentum we established last weekend. Consistency on defense is also critical to our success.”

UVa’s first opponent, UNLV, stands at 9-3 on the season. Virginia is tied at 1-1 in the all-time series against UNLV. BYU is off to an 8-2 start this season and is receiving votes in the latest NFCA/USAToday Top 25 Poll. The Cavaliers won the only previous meeting between the two schools. Cal State Fullerton is 5-6 in 2007 and is also receiving votes in the NFCA poll. Fullerton leads the all-time series against UVa 3-0. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is 6-3 this year and is 1-1 all-time against Virginia. Fresno State is ranked 22nd in the NFCA/USAToday Top 25 Poll is 6-3 this year. The Cavaliers are 1-2 all-time against Fresno. Oregon State, 6-2, is the sixth ranked team in the NFCA poll and is 1-0 all-time against UVa.

First-year first baseman Kelly Haller (Leesburg, Va.) leads UVa in hitting with an impressive .517 (15-29) batting average. Haller went 12-16 (.750 batting average) with a 1.188 slugging percentage and 11 RBI in five games during the Worth Wildcat Invitational. Fourth-year Meghan O’Leary (Baton Rouge, La.) is hitting .406 (13-32) with five RBI and eight runs scored.

All of Virginia’s games in the Palm Springs Classic can be followed via gametracker at

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