Virginia Heads to Baton Rouge for LSU Tiger Classic
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (1-1) continues play this weekend at LSU’s Tiger Classic, set to begin Friday in Baton Rouge, La. The Cavaliers will face No. 4 Michigan at 12 p.m. (CT) Friday before playing the host Tigers, ranked 19th, at 5 p.m.
On Saturday, the Cavaliers open up with an 11 a.m. contest against Oklahoma State. After round robin play, the teams will be seeded, with the No. 1 vs. No. 4 seed playing at 4 p.m. and the No. 2 and No. 3 seed playing at 6:30 p.m. Championship play is set for Sunday with the consolation game at 10 a.m. and the championship game at 12:30 p.m.
“We want to continue to progress forward,” Virginia head coach Eileen Schmidt said. “We are talking about different caliber of teams this weekend. They are three really good teams and we will have limited chances and opportunities and we need to take advantage. LSU has a great facility, the weather would be good, the crowds will be phenomenal. It will be a good atmosphere to play.”
Virginia opened up the 2010 season last weekend at the Elon Tournament, where the Cavaliers defeated UNC Wilmington 9-0 and fell to the host Phoenix, 10-8. Senior Nicole Koren led the Cavaliers at the plate going 4-for-6 in two games with two home runs, a double and four RBIs. Freshman pitcher Melanie Mitchell threw 8.2 innings and allowed no runs while striking out 19.
“I thought we had a good opening weekend,” Schmidt said. “We didn’t come out with two wins but the focus was there. We got out on some dirt and I thought our offense did really well. Defensively, we know our roles.”
Michigan is 2-1 on the season with wins over Chattanooga (12-1) and No. 8 UCLA (4-2). Its lone setback was a 7-4 decision to No. 7 Georgia. Through three games, Amanda Chidester leads the Wolverines with a .455 average including three doubles and five RBI. Teammate Maggie Viethaus is also hitting .417 while pitcher Jordan Taylor is 2-0 in the circle with a 0.39 ERA in 18 innings of work.
LSU is 3-3 on the year and has victories over No. 21 DePaul (4-1), No. 19 North Carolina (6-3) and most recently, UL-Monroe (6-1). The Tigers have also been defeated by the Tar Heels, 1-0, in the season opener, as well as two 2-1 setbacks to Texas. Kirsten Shortridge has a team-best .435 batting average and has scored four runs on the young season. Teammate Ashley Langoni is hitting .333 with two home runs and five RBI. Pitcher Brittany Mack has made three appearances with a 0.70 ERA in 10 innings of work.
Oklahoma State is an undefeated 5-0 with wins over UT Arlington (12-0), Northern Illinois (5-4), New Mexico (2-1) and two victories over Texas State (10-0 and 6-2). Mariah Gearheart is hitting .588 with a team-best 10 hits and eight runs while Julie Ward has a .412 batting average to go along with three home runs and 12 RBI. Pitcher Anna Whiddon is 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA in 14 innings while Kat Espinosa is 2-0 with a 0.41 ERA in 17 innings of work.