CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia softball opens the 2020 season against the Charlotte 49ers on Friday, Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. as part of the Charlotte Invitational. The Cavaliers will face the 49ers twice over the weekend while also playing a pair of games against Appalachian State.
Friday, Feb. 7 – at Charlotte | 4 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8 – vs. App State | Noon
Saturday, Feb. 8 – at Charlotte | 5 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 9 – vs. App State | 10 a.m.
Friday’s season opener against the 49ers will stream on CUSA.tv. Links to Friday’s stream and live stats for all four games are available on VirginiaSports.com.
• Virginia returns five position players who started 28 games or more in 2019.
• Junior center fielder Kate Covington (McLean, Va.) ranks as the Cavaliers’ most experience player with 102 starts under her belt.
• Sophomore catcher Donna Friedman (Orange, Calif.) leads all returners with 19 RBI. Fellow sophomores Tori Gilbert (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Abigail Barber (Providence Forge, Va.) each posted 16 RBI in their inaugural campaigns.
• In the circle, sophomore Aly Rayle (Herndon, Va.) returns after posting a 10-win season as a rookie. The right-hander is poised to be Virginia’s ace in 2020.
• Sophomore pitcher Clare Zureich (Cary, N.C.) is also set to return during the 2020 season after missing the latter half of 2019 with an injury.
• A handful of newcomers figure to have prominent roles for the Cavaliers in 2020.
• Freshmen Katie Goldberg (Atlanta, Ga.) and Mikaila Fox (Ocean Springs, Miss.) will man the left side of the infield for UVA. Goldberg, a shortstop was ranked 89th nationally as a prospect and captured the 2018 PGF National Championship, while Fox is a two-time USA Elite Select 30 All-American.
• In the circle, three freshmen join the fold as Virginia natives Molly Grube (Chesterfield, Va.), Morgan Murphy (Chesapeake, Va.) and Mackenzie Wooten (Windsor, Va.) look to add depth to the pitching staff.
• Grube is a two-time All-State selection and finished 2019 at 21-2 with a 0.71 ERA. Wooten is a three-time VISAA All-State selection while Murphy ranks among the top 100 recruits in the class of 2019.
• Virginia also added graduate transfer Riley Wilkinson (Fairfax Station, Va.) to the pitching staff. Wilkinson played three seasons at Princeton where she holds the all-time saves record.
• Virginia is 21-3 all-time against Charlotte, including a 6-0 win in 2019. Friedman and Covington each homered for the Cavaliers while Allyson Frei and Zureich combined to one-hit the 49ers in a 14-strikeout performance.
• Charlotte finished the 2019 campaign at 15-35. The 49ers return a trio of pitchers from a season ago and catcher Bailey Vannoy who hit .331 in 2019.
• All three of Charlotte’s returning pitchers threw against the Cavaliers last season.
• The Cavaliers are a perfect 4-0 against App State with the most recent meetings coming in 2018. Virginia claimed 4-3 and 2-1 wins as part of the UNCG Invitational.
• Virginia and App State have met before at the Charlotte Invitational, facing one another in the tournament in 2001, an 8-2 victory for the Hoos.
• App State is coming off a 31-25 season, it’s best since 2013.
• The Mountaineers return a trio of senior pitchers, led by Kenzie Longanecker and Sydney Holland. The Cavaliers faced Longanecker in 2018, earning a 2-1 win.
2020 TICKET INFORMATION
Virginia softball season tickets are on sale now. All seating is general admission in 2020 with season tickets just $45. UVA faculty and staff may purchase season tickets for $35. Single-game tickets will go on sale Friday, Feb. 7. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the box office on game day.
Fans may purchase tickets online at UVATix.com or through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. for in-person or telephone purchases. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).
CLEAR BAG POLICY
Virginia athletics’ clear bag policy and entry procedures will be in place for all home softball games at Palmer Park this season. More information on the clear bag policy and other Palmer Park policies can be found here.
Following opening weekend, the Cavaliers will travel to Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C., for a three-day tournament on Feb. 14-16.