GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro plays its first home games of the 2019 season at UNCG Softball Stadium Tuesday against Oakland and Wednesday versus Charlotte. Both games are slated for a 4 p.m. first pitch, and live stats and live streams on the SoCon Digital Network are available for both games.
Five Facts to Know
- Freshman Gabi Howard has been the Spartans’ top hitter two weeks into the season, leading the team in on-base percentage (.433), slugging percentage (.433), batting average (.370) and home runs (two).
- Marisa Sholtes (27) and Jordan Gontram (23) both rank in the top-10 in career home runs in program history. Each have had one homer this season, both last weekend in the Gamecock Invitational. Sholtes currently ranks seventh and needs four more to tie Nicole Thomas (2013-16). With one more home run, Gontram would tie Kelly Allen (2004-06) for ninth place.
- Stephanie Bryden has recorded all four wins in the circle for UNCG and is the only Spartans to throw a complete game with two. Two wins have come in relief (UNCW and Ohio).
- Kylie Bouplon has the team’s top ERA at 2.80. On five appearances and two starts, Bouplon has pitched 15 innings with 16 strikeouts to six walks and no wild pitches.
- The Spartans have won four-straight home-openers.
The Spartans This Season
UNCG enters the weekday matchups with a 4-5 record. The Spartans went 2-3 in the JoAnn Graf Classic hosted by then-No. 1/3 Florida State to begin the year and then split four games last weekend in the Gamecock Invitational hosted by No. 14/15 South Carolina. UNCG dropped the first two games in the first day of the tournament in Columbia just like it did in the previous tournament, but it bounced back to defeat Ohio 4-3 in eight innings and get revenge on St. John’s 8-4.
Howard and Makenna Matthijs (.344) are the only two other Spartans with batting averages above .300 to start the year. Howard ranks in the Southern Conference tied for second in homers, fourth in slugging percentage, seventh in batting average and 10th in on-base percentage. Matthijs is tied for fourth in RBIs (eight), tied for fifth in hits (11) and 10th in batting average (.344).
Bouplon, Bryden and Hannah Stiltner have been UNCG’s main three pitchers as all three have made at least two starts and five appearances. In the SoCon, Bouplon ranks fifth in ERA, tied for fifth in strikeouts and 10th in lowest opposing batting average (.302). Bryden is third in strikeouts (23) and sixth in opposing batting average (.274).
A Look at the Opponents
- Oakland started its season last weekend at Gardner-Webb’s Runnin’ Bulldog Softball Tournament and went 1-3. The Golden Grizzlies defeated Hartford 7-4 and lost to Loyola-Chicago 10-0 (five innings), Sacred Heart 11-8 and the host school 5-1. Oakland was picked third in the 2019 Horizon League Preseason Poll after finishing second (13-8) in the conference along with a 23-27 overall record.
- Charlotte enters the weekday matchup with a 3-5 record. Last week the 49ers defeated Elon 7-2 on Wednesday and then split a pair of games on Sunday in the same tournament as UNCG, beating Campbell 10-4 and losing to Ohio 8-6. Charlotte returns every starter from a squad that finished last season with an 18-32 overall record and 9-15 record in Conference USA.
Oakland: The Spartans have won all three games against the Golden Grizzlies, all in the 2005-06 seasons.
Charlotte: The 49ers lead the all-time series 42-33. UNCG won last year’s meeting on March 28 8-0 in Charlotte, and under head coach Janelle Breneman the Spartans have won six of the 10 games against the 49ers.
UNCG continues its seven-game homestand with the UNCG Invitational Friday-Sunday. Oakland, Longwood and Iona are participants, and the tournament will conclude with seeding games Saturday based on the results from the initial games of the tournament and a championship and consolation game Sunday.
-- UNCG –