GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG softball opens home play at UNCG Softball Stadium this weekend with the UNCG Invitational. The Spartans will host Seton Hall, Virginia and Appalachian State with games from Friday-Sunday.
The invitational opens up at 12 p.m. on Friday with Seton Hall and Appalachian State facing off. UNCG’s home lid-lifter will be Seton Hall afterwards at 2:30 p.m. The Spartans will face the Pirates again on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., Cavaliers on Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and Mountaineers on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Live stats will be available at UNCGSpartans.com for each game.
UNCG improved its record to 7-2 by winning four of five games at the Eastern Michigan Madeira Beach Spring Invitational last weekend. The Spartans split a pair of games in the opening day, defeating Massachusetts 5-2 by scoring five unanswered runs in the fourth inning and then falling to Ohio 5-2. The next day UNCG won a pair of 3-2 games over UMKC and Virginia. Both victories required a late run by the Spartans to break a 2-2 tie. On the last day of the tournament, UNCG scored each run in the 6-2 victory over Lipscomb in the top of the seventh inning.
Makenna Matthijs (Greenville, N.C./D.H. Conley) played a huge role in the Spartans’ late-inning heroics with two of the game-winning hits and was named Southern Conference Player of the Week. Tied 2-2 in the seventh inning against Lipscomb, she hit a grand slam, her first collegiate home run, for the game-winning run. Against UMKC she hit a walk-off double to lead the Spartans to the victory. Matthijs has three game-winning hits just two weeks into the season. She also leads the SoCon in RBIs (nine) and ranks second in hits (11), doubles (three) and total bases (17).
Matthijs led UNCG in almost every offensive statistical category in the tournament, including six hits, five RBIs and a .429 batting average. She opened the weekend by going 2-3 against Massachusetts and had two walks and two sac bunts versus Ohio in the following game. Also she went 2-4 with a run against Virginia.
Virginia went 2-3 last weekend in Eastern Michigan’s tournament and now have a 4-6 record. The Cavaliers dropped a pair of games on the first day to Ohio (4-0) and Lipscomb (4-3). Virginia’s wins came against George Mason (2-1) and the host school (6-0). Virginia was tabbed eighth in the ACC preseason poll.
The Cavaliers own a 19-5 series advantage over the Spartans, but the Spartans have won both meetings under coach Janelle Breneman.
Appalachian State enters the invitational with a 3-6 record. The Mountaineers went 2-3 in the Black and Gold Tournament hosted by Alabama State last weekend. Appalachian State defeated Holy Cross 5-4 and Alabama State 6-1 and fell to Nicholls State 4-1, Alabama State 10-4 and UT Martin 7-2. The Mountaineers were picked to finish last in the Sun Belt Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
UNCG has a slight edge over Appalachian State in the all-time series at 25-23. The two teams split a double header last year on March 22, with the Spartans winning 11-9 and the Mountaineers taking the other game 2-1.
Seton Hall heads south to Greensboro with a 4-4 record. Playing in the Sam Houston State Tournament last week, the Pirates won one of four games. Seton Hall lost to No. 4 Washington 10-0 (five innings), Wichita State 4-3 and Northern Colorado 5-0. The Pirates beat the host school 5-0. Seton Hall was picked to finish sixth of eight in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
This will be the first-ever meeting between UNCG and Seton Hall.
The UNCG Invitational Page, which includes the full schedule and other relevant information can be found at this link.
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