The Virginia softball team has been hard at work all winter, and looks to begin spring play this Saturday at the Elon Tournament in Elon, NC. The round-robin event features two games with the UNC Wilmington Seahawks and two games with host Elon Phoenix. The Cavaliers will battle the Seahawks at 11 a.m. Saturday in their first game, and the Phoenix at 1:15 p.m. Saturday in the second of the double-header.
"I'm excited. We look really strong," sophomore shortstop Clara Kendall said. "Our first years are looking good and they are even pushing the upperclassmen to work even harder. It's been competitive so that bodes well for a successful season. And the camaraderie of the team is a lot better. We seem to be improving each week."
The team will be looking for leadership under captains Alison Pittman and Sarah Tacke.
Pittman, a junior catcher, is a two-year starter with experience in the outfield in addition to her duties behind the plate. A lefty slapper, she hit .217 as a sophomore. She tied for the team lead a year ago with 17 stolen bases and was third on the team in runs scored (28).
Tacke, a fifth-year senior outfielder, returns for her final season as the leading offensive contributor from the 2009 season. She led the Cavaliers with a .358 batting average, a .758 slugging percentage, 43 hits and 40 RBI. She was also second on the squad with 11 home runs, 32 runs and five triples.
Sarah Tacke's grandmother knits hats for the entire team.
The Tournament continues on Sunday as the Cavs take on UNC Wilmington again at 11:00 a.m., and Elon at 3:30 p.m.