Feb. 8, 2017
|Virginia (0-0) at Kajikawa Classic
|February 9-11, 2017
|Tempe, Ariz. | Tempe Sports Complex & Farrington Stadium
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team opens the 2017 season on Thursday, kicking off play at the Kajikawa Classic against No. 9 Oregon and host Arizona State. It’s the first day of a three-day tournament in which the Cavaliers will play five games.
Virginia will face Oregon at the Tempe Sports Complex at 5 p.m. ET before closing the first day of action against Arizona State at Farrington Stadium at 9:15 p.m. ET.
Fans can follow the game action through GameTracker for all games linked at VirginiaSports.com or by following the team’s official Twitter account by following UVASoftball. Thursday night’s game against Arizona State will have a live video stream also linked at VirginiaSports.com.
The Cavaliers will play two more games on Friday, facing Western Michigan at 2:15 p.m. ET and UTEP at 7:45 p.m. ET, before closing out the weekend tournament against San Jose State on Saturday morning at 11:15 a.m. ET.
The Cavaliers enter the season returning six starters in the field and both starting pitchers from last season’s squad. Among the returning players are six seniors, including All-ACC second team selection Allison Davis (Oak Hill, Va.) who hit .293 a year ago with nine doubles and four home runs.
Virginia also returns senior catcher Katie Park (Scottsdale, Ariz.) who led the team with a .314 batting average a year ago and tied for the team lead in home runs with seven. She was one of three players to hit seven home runs on the season along with senior Madison Labshere (El Cajon, Calif.), who started at second base, and junior Danni Ingraham who started at first base. Senior outfielder Iyana Hughes (Manteca, Calif.) also returns after leading the squad in steals and runs scored, going 15-of-16 on steal attempts and scoring 30 runs.
In the circle, the Cavaliers return both starting pitchers in Erika Osherow (Darien, Conn.) and Lacy Smith (Lancaster, Pa.). The pair of sophomores combined for 295.2 innings of work last season. Osherow posted a team-leading 3.07 ERA with 22 complete games and two shutouts while striking out 122 batters in 2016. Smith made 19 starts as a freshman, turning in four complete games and two saves to go along with 45 strikeouts.
The Cavaliers welcome a trio of new players to the squad in infielder Ashlee Davis (Gilbert, Ariz.), infielder/outfielder Bailey Vaughn (Lewisville, Texas) and pitcher/infielder Janelle Zellars (Forest, Va.)