Weekend Previews: April 22-24

“The Skinny” on weekend action for baseball, softball and women’s lacrosse

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Junior Matt Thaiss leads Virginia into a crucial three-game series against top-ranked Miami.

Paul Burke | Cavalier Daily

Baseball

What: Virginia (24-16, 9-9 ACC) vs. Miami (29-6, 13-3 ACC)

Where: Coral Gables, Fla.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday 7 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.

The Skinny: No. 22 Virginia heads to Florida this weekend to take on No. 1 Miami in a three-game series. Miami will be the Cavaliers’ first stop on an eight-game road trip.

Virginia split its midweek games, beating Radford Tuesday before falling to VCU Wednesday evening. The Cavaliers look for redemption in Florida — no easy feat when facing Miami.

The Hurricanes lead both the NCAA and ACC so far this season and are home to hard-hitting junior catcher Zack Collins. Collins boasts an impressive .410 batting average with 43 hits and 30 runs this season. With only three conference losses in the books, Miami is a force to be reckoned with.

Virginia will look to junior catcher Matt Thaiss — a consistent powerhouse in the Cavalier lineup. He leads the Virginia team in batting average, followed by sophomore infielder Ernie Clement. Pitching was make-or-break for the Virginia team this past week, an obstacle they will need to overcome to take on Miami.

With both teams coming off of tough losses, tensions are running high between conference competitors. Following the Hurricanes, the Cavaliers will head back to the Commonwealth to take on ODU in Norfolk Tuesday.

—compiled by Emily Caron

Softball

What: Virginia (16-29, 5-9 ACC) vs. Georgia Tech (18-27, 4-10 ACC)

Where: Shirley Clements Mewborn Field, Atlanta, Ga.

When: Saturday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.

The Skinny: The Virginia softball team will head back on the road this weekend to take on ACC opponent Georgia Tech for a three-game series.

The Cavaliers are in the midst of their best stretch of the season, having gone 8-7 in their last fifteen games. It will be a tough series, as they take on a Yellow Jackets team that is determined to break out of their current slump, having lost six of their last eight games.

Virginia freshman Erika Osherow, who has been pitching very well as of late, will be looking to help the Cavaliers end the season on a high note.

After struggling in the beginning of the season, Virginia has played much-improved ball over the last several weeks. On the other hand, the Yellow Jackets were in the midst of their best stretch of the season before their recent struggles.

It looks to be an exciting matchup, as Virginia looks to continue building momentum, while Georgia Tech is eager to break out of a slump.

—compiled by Rahul Shah

Women’s Lacrosse

What: Virginia (8-7, 2-4 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech (5-11, 0-6 ACC)

Where: Blacksburg, Va.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

The Skinny: The No. 11 Virginia women’s lacrosse team will wrap up their regular season this Friday when they travel to face Virginia Tech.

A win over the Hokies would make the Cavaliers NCAA Tournament eligible, as a record above .500 is required for a team to be selected into the tournament. However, a loss would make Virginia’s first-round ACC playoff game a must-win in order for them to potentially qualify.

Under head coach Julie Myers, the Cavaliers have made the NCAA Tournament field in each of the past 20 seasons.

The Cavaliers enter this high stakes game with confidence. Virginia lost its most recent match this past Wednesday on the road to No. 1 Maryland, 17-6, but had won its previous three games over then-No. 10 Boston College, Navy and then-No. 5 Louisville.

The battle-tested Cavaliers are led on offense by sophomore midfielder Kasey Behr, who leads the team with 34 goals scored, and on defense by sophomore goalie Rachel Vander Kolk, who was named the previous week’s ACC Defensive Player of the Week.

After starting the season 5-2, Virginia Tech has since been on a nine game slide. They most recently played last Saturday on the road against then No. 15 Boston College, losing 15-10.

The Hokies are led by senior defender Meghan Macera and junior attacker Kristine Loscalzo, who are both tied for the team high in goals scored with 27 each.

In their meeting last season, Virginia defeated Virginia Tech, 17-10.

—compiled by Jack Gallagher

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