CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia softball team (0-0) kicks off the 2023 season this weekend with six games over four days as the Cavaliers will play five games at the Houston Invitational and in a single game against Sam Houston State as part of the Bearkat Classic.
In the Houston Invitational, Virginia will play two games against Lamar, two games against host Houston and a single game against Nebraska.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
All games involving Virginia this weekend at the Houston Invitational and Bearkat Classic will be streamed. Both games against Houston (Thursday and Saturday) will be on ESPN+. The Friday game against Sam Houston State will also be available on ESPN+. The remainder of the games will be streamed via MaxxSports. Live stats will also be provided. Links to streaming platforms and live stats are available at VirginiaSports.com.
Fans can also get updates by following the program’s official Twitter account (@UVASoftball).
OPENING WEEKEND SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, FEB. 9
Lamar – 4 p.m. ET
at Houston – 7 p.m. ET
FRIDAY, FEB. 10
at Sam Houston State – 1:30 p.m. ET
SATURDAY, FEB. 11
Lamar – 11 a.m. ET
at Houston – 6:30 p.m. ET
SUNDAY, FEB. 12
Nebraska – 10:30 a.m. ET
• Virginia enters the 2023 campaign looking to build of a sixth-place finish in the ACC a year ago and an appearance in the postseason at the National Invitational Softball Championship.
• The Hoos return a trio of All-Region players with Leah Boggs, Tori Gilbert and Katie Goldberg all returning after being three of the top five hitters on the team a year ago.
• Two players appeared on preseason lists with transfer Jenny Bressler ranked as the No. 94 player overall nationally by D1 Softball and No. 98 player overall by Extra Inning Softball.
• Boggs also appeared on a preseason list when she was named the No. 25 catcher nationally by Extra Inning Softball in the lead up to the 2023 campaign.
• Boggs led the ACC a year ago in runners caught stealing (16) and was eighth nationally.
• The Cavaliers return a bulk of the offense last year with players accounting for 84 percent of RBI, 81 percent of runs scored and 98 percent of home runs a year ago returning for 2023.
• The Hoos also return 81 percent of stolen bases as Virginia looks to keep pressure on opponents on the basepath this season.
• Virginia welcomed the number 15 recruiting class to Grounds this season with six freshmen ranked among the top 103 players nationally joining the program for the 2023 campaign.
• Joanna Hardin continues to build the Virginia program as she also signed the number 22 class this past fall with a group that includes five players ranked in the top 100 nationally.
THE SERIES WITH LAMAR
• Virginia and Lamar will face each other for the first time in softball when the teams take the field on Thursday.
THE SERIES WITH HOUSTON
• Virginia and Houston have faced one time with the Cougars holding the 1-0 lead in the all-time series.
• The teams met at Houston with the Cougars taking a 4-1 win in that meeting in the 2004 season.
THE SERIES WITH SAM HOUSTON
• Virginia and Sam Houston State have met once before in a neutral-site contest at the South Florida Classic.
• The Cavaliers lead the series 1-0 after picking up the 7-0 victory in that 1994 meeting.
THE SERIES WITH NEBRASKA
• Virginia and Nebraska will meet for the first time when the teams square off on Sunday morning to close out the trip to Houston for both squads.