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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (25-21, 2-15 ACC) will compete this weekend in the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, which begins Friday in Raleigh, N.C. The Cavaliers will play top-seed and 15th-ranked Georgia Tech (40-13, 17-3 ACC) at 5 p.m. Friday. The single-eliminate tournament, in which Virginia is the No. 8 seed, is being played at NC State’s Dail Stadium. All of Friday’s quarterfinal games will be broadcast for free live on ACC Select.

The Cavaliers are coming off a bye week for final examinations and will look for a solid performance against the Yellow Jackets after being swept by Florida State on the road to close the regular season.

Redshirt junior Sarah Tacke continues to lead Virginia with a .364 batting average this season, which ranks sixth in the ACC, along with a team-best 41 RBI. Nicole Koren is hitting .343, which ranks 10th in the conference in all games. Freshman Giannina Cipolloni has a league-best six triples and is a perfect 16-16 on the basepaths.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech is coming off a two-game series sweep at Maryland last weekend, defeating the Terps 9-2 and 8-0 in five innings, which secured its No. 1 seed. The Yellow Jackets also swept North Carolina in three games the previous weekend to put them in a solid position for the regular season title.

GT’s Whitney Haller has set conference career records this season 224 RBI and 60 home runs. Haller is currently fourth in the conference with a .390 batting average while teammate Jen Yee ranks just above her in the third position with a .409 average and Kelsi Weseman, a freshman, is second with a team-best .411 average.

In the circle, Kristen Adkins and Tiffany Johnson have an ERA of 1.60 and 1.76, respectively. Adkins finished the regular season with a 21-7 mark while Johnson went 14-3.

In the all-time series, Virginia leads Georgia Tech, 33-26. The two teams last met in Charlottesville April 18-19 with the Yellow Jackets earning the sweep 14-1, 13-4 and 5-3. The series is tied 7-7 in conference tournament play.

Virginia claimed its only ACC championship in 1994, led by current UVa head coach Eileen Schmidt, now in her second season at the helm. The Cavaliers have been the runner-up in the tournament six times, the last coming in 2003. Virginia was one of four teams to play in the inaugural league tournament in 1992, along with Florida State, Georgia Tech and North Carolina.

The winner of the UVa-Georgia Tech game will play the winner of the No. 4 Maryland-No. 5 Virginia Tech game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The championship game is set for 1 p.m. Sunday and will be broadcast on RSN.

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