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First year members of the Virginia softball team will be revealing 25 random facts about themselves to each week as the Cavaliers gear up for the 2012 season. Up first is pitcher Rachel Gillen, who hails from Wilmington, Del. Virginia opens the year Feb. 10-12 at East Carolina’s Pirate Classic in Greenville, N.C.

1. I sleep walk, sleep talk, and sleep text.

2. My sweat looks exactly like the drops on the people in Gatorade commercials and the team calls them my “bubbles.”

3. According to some of the girls on the team, I have an accent and talk funny. But I don’t.

4. When I eat, my food can’t touch.

5. Heidi Velk and I have been nicknamed “Villen,” a combination of our last names. Courtesy of Giannina Cipolloni.

6. I walk on my toes and I’ve done it since I was little. I can thank eight years of figure skating and dance for that.

7. In high school I was quoted in the newspaper saying “ew,” referring to a pitch I threw. Except I didn’t actually say it; the reporter heard me wrong. The jokes never end about that one.

8. I’m deathly afraid of needles.

9. I got my nose pierced on a dare (dare being the key word, see No. 8) last summer during senior week at the beach but it only lasted 24 hours until I got home and my mom saw it.

10. I can’t whistle or snap my fingers.

11. My favorite movies are Remember the Titans and Napoleon Dynamite.

12. My dad is a former college football coach and wanted me to join my school’s team in sixth grade. I ran routes and plays for him in the backyard when I was younger.

13. I always have to wear a headband and on game day I have to wear a ribbon that coordinates with the uniform we’re wearing. My ponytail is always messy and lopsided; it’s incapable of staying in the middle of my head.

14. I’m one of the most loyal Phillies fans you’ll ever meet.

15. Black Nike mid-calf socks are where it’s at.

16. I love shopping for shoes and cute clothes but you’ll usually find me in sweats.

17. In seventh grade, I broke my thumb when I tripped over a rubber chicken in gym class – yes, a rubber chicken.

18. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body but I can make awesome bubble letters.

19. I rode my bike into a parked car when I was a kid.

20. In preschool, I only hung out with the boys instead of playing with the girls. I also punched one of the boys in the face.

21. When I was little, I was scared to go upstairs in my house alone because I thought there were monsters so I would stomp my feet going up the stairs so that they would get scared of me instead – and it became such a habit that I still do it when I’m home.

22. My hitting coach from the USA Olympic team, Dionna Harris, gave me her 1996 Olympic warm-up jacket.

23. I was voted “most athletic” of my senior class in high school.

24. The jump rope and I get into fights almost every time I warm up for lifts.

25. I’ve played softball for almost 15 years and I’ve only used four different gloves.

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