Cavaliers Head to California for Cathedral City Classic
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (6-3) begins play Thursday in the prestigious Cathedral City Classic, set to run through Saturday in Palm Springs, Calif. The Cavaliers will play five games in the event, four of which will be against NCAA Tournament teams.
Virginia begins tournament action at 1 p.m. Pacific (4 p.m. Eastern) Thursday against Brigham Young, a squad that advanced to NCAA Super Regional play a year ago. The Cavaliers follow that contest with a 3:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. Eastern) game against Utah.
On Friday, UVa will play just once, a 10:30 a.m. (1:30 p.m. Eastern) game with Fresno State. The Cavaliers conclude the trip with a two games on Saturday against two Women’s College World Series opponents in Hawaii (3 p.m. Pacific, 6 p.m. Eastern), ranked No. 11, and No. 1 Arizona (8 p.m. Pacific, 11 p.m. Eastern).
Live statistics to all games will be available on VirginiaSports.com.
The Cavaliers are coming off a 3-2 performance at the East Carolina Pirate Classic last weekend in Greenville, N.C. Freshman Stephanie Harris led Virginia at the plate on the weekend, hitting .417 (8-for-17) with two doubles and two RBI. Sophomore Taylor Williams hit .438 (7-for-16) in five games with a triple and four RBI. In the circle, freshman pitcher Erica Cipolloni also made her college debut. Teammate Melanie Mitchell threw a majority of the innings, comprising a 2-1 record with 31 strikeouts.
Brigham Young enters the tournament with a record of 6-4, including a 4-1 record last weekend. The Cavaliers are 2-2 against the Cougars all-time, having last met in the 2009 season, an 8-0 BYU victory in the first game of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas.
Utah is 5-6 on the year and coming off a 2-4 performance last weekend in Las Vegas. The Utes are an undefeated 2-0 against UVa, with the last meeting between the two schools in 2000.
Fresno State is 3-0 on the year, and the Cavaliers will face the Bulldogs for a second straight season. Last year Fresno State escaped with a 1-0 victory against UVa in the Judi Garman Classic held in Fullerton, Calif. The Bulldogs are receiving votes in the latest poll.
No. 11 Hawaii posts a 9-1 mark this season and went 4-1 in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic last weekend in Las Vegas. The Cavaliers are 2-1 all-time against the Rainbow Wahine and dropped a 1-0 decision the last time they met in 2005.
Top-ranked Arizona is 10-1 on the year and went 5-0 in a home tournament last weekend in Tucson, Ariz. Virginia trails in the all-time series 2-1 but claimed a 2-1 win last season at the Judi Garman Classic. The Wildcats were ranked No. 2 at the time.