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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (3-1) returns to the state of North Carolina this weekend for competition in East Carolina’s Pirate Classic. The Cavaliers will face two NCAA opponents in Hofstra (twice) and host ECU – in addition to Saint John’s and Kent State. Live statistics to all games will be linked on and UVa’s contest with East Carolina will also be video streamed.

Virginia is 3-1 on the season after opening on the road last weekend at Campbell’s Hampton Inn Tournament. Junior outfielder Giannina Cipolloni and sophomore Mitchell Melanie Mitchell were both named to the all-tournament team.

The Cavaliers will open the Pirate Classic at 10 a.m. Friday against Kent State. Later in the day, Virginia will take on ECU at 2 p.m. On Saturday, UVa will play in back-to-back games with Saint John’s (9 a.m.) and Hofstra (11 a.m.) before concluding the tournament with another game against the Pride at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Kent State opened its season last weekend at the Phoenix Leadoff Classic in Elon, N.C., going 2-2 in the tournament. The Golden Flashes split with both Youngstown State (won 9-1, lost 6-5) and Elon (won 11-3, lost 4-3).

The UVa-Kent State series is tied 2-2. The Golden Flashes claimed the last meeting, 8-0, during the 2005 season.

East Carolina is coming off its first Conference USA regular season and tournament title and like the Cavaliers, advanced to NCAA regional play a year ago. The Pirates played in the Red and Black Showcase last weekend in Athens, Ga., and compiled a 2-3 record. ECU defeated Lipscomb (1-0) and Iowa (1-0) but fell to Illinois State (8-0), Georgia (1-0) and Maryland (3-1).

UVa holds a 34-23 edge in the all-time series with East Carolina. The two teams last met in Greenville in 2009, splitting a pair of games. ECU won the first game 9-1 before the Cavaliers won game two a day later, 12-1.

Saint John’s played in the Seminole Kickoff Classic at Florida State to open the 2011 campaign last weekend. The Red Storm finished the tournament 2-3 with wins over Florida State (11-5) and UNC Greensboro (13-7). Saint John’s dropped games to Hofstra twice (4-1, 9-0) and a game with UNCG (13-3).

Virginia and Saint John’s have never met in softball.

Hofstra is also coming off a conference championship, winning the CAA a year ago, in addition to a NCAA Tournament berth. The Pride joined Saint John’s at the Seminole Kickoff Classic and no-hit UNCG in a 16-0 victory. Hofstra also split with Florida State (won 2-0, lost 5-1) in addition to its two wins over Saint John’s.

The Cavaliers are 5-2 all-time against Hofstra. The two teams last met in 1999, a 4-3 Virginia victory.

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