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Junior pitcher Stephanie Coates and the Virginia softball team hits the road for the first time in a month with a three-game series at North Carolina this weekend. The Cavaliers and Tar Heels will play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday before concluding the series at 1 p.m. Sunday. Coates, a native of Gloucester, Va., recently sat down with to chat about the season, her favorite pitch and some of her favorite classes at UVa.

Question: How would you describe where the team is at this point in the season?
We had a pretty good start in the preseason and then leading up to the ACC season, we’ve hit a little bit of a slump. We are just trying to push past that and really take things and put them in a positive perspective. We are trying to work through the hard times and stay positive.

Question: Was it nice playing at home for as long as you did?
Definitely. It was nice to sleep in our own beds and not have to travel so much, and it was nice to go to class – always a good thing. It felt good to get back into a little bit of a rhythm. And having a home crowd is always nice.

Question: How would you describe the team this season?
I would say we are a young team. We had that last year, but we had the big bats from our upperclassmen. This season we are more about hitting gaps and what-not. We really need everybody to step up and be able to hit people in. And our defense is always solid.

Question: Individually, how would you say you have improved since your first year?
Aside from physically just being able to work in the weight room, my mentality has changed a lot, and I’m even still working on that some.

Question: What is your favorite pitch to throw?
Knuckle curve. It’s a good go-to pitch.

Question: What is your major?
I am an archeology major and am looking to do something in the field that involves a lot of research. I am still trying to figure out what area of expertise I want to focus on – I’m looking into a lot of Virginia stuff around Jamestown and Williamsburg because that is close to home for me.

Question: What is your interest in that field?
I took a class my first year on classical archeology – it was an art history class. Just being able to dig up artifacts and translate that and put into prospective the history part – that was just really fascinating to me.

Question: Would you say that has been your favorite class at UVa?
That has definitely been one of them. I also really liked my archeology and slavery class. The head guy at Monticello actually taught that class. We really went in depth on a lot of different topics.

Coates’ Favorites
Place on Grounds:
The Garden behind Fayerweather Hall
“The Green Mile”
“Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer
Subject to Study:
Place to Travel:
Cedar Point in Ohio
Music Artist:
Jason Aldean
“She’s Country” by Jason Aldean
TV Show:
Sour Patch Kids

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