GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro faces No. 15/21 South Carolina (31-12, 7-10 SEC) in a road two-game series Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. The games will be streamed on SEC Network+.
Five Facts to Know
- UNCG is in the midst of four-straight games against opponents with top-40 RPI’s. Falling 6-2 at home to No. 10/11 Louisiana (19th RPI) in their last game, the Spartans have a home game against North Carolina (38) next Wednesday. South Carolina is slotted at 21. The Spartans are ranked 74th as the only SoCon team in the top-100.
- Marisa Sholtes (37) ranks fourth in career home runs in program history after hitting a two-run homer in the sixth inning against Louisiana to move ahead of Penny Thompson (2003-06). Sholtes also tied Danielle Vega (2013-16) for the sixth-most career RBI’s at 118, passing Jennifer Bonilla (2004-07) at 117. Sholtes leads the Southern Conference this year in slugging percentage (.755) and is tied for first in doubles (nine), tied for second in homers (11), tied for third in total bases (77), fourth in RBI’s (31), fifth in batting average (.343) and eighth in on-base percentage (.432).
- UNCG has been one of the best power-hitting teams in the SoCon, leading the conference in home runs (43), slugging percentage (.453), doubles (58) and total bases (494). In the nation the Spartans are 35th in home runs per game (1.05), 61st in slugging percentage and 75th in doubles per game (1.41).
- Stephanie Bryden ranks third all-time in career strikeouts in school history at 490, passing Hannah Angel (2005-09) at 184 with six strikeouts last weekend. She is also sixth in most career victories at 47 and tied for ninth in career ERA (2.69) with Vanessa Oakes (2004-07).
- Bryden has already recorded the third-most strikeouts in a single season with 183 and is on pace to break the record of 262 by Christine Hornak (1997).
The Spartans This Season
UNCG enters the game with a 25-16. The Spartans are tied for second place in the SoCon standings with Mercer (6-3) and are a game and a half behind Samford (9-3). The Bulldogs and Bears square off this week in Birmingham, Ala.
Bryden, Kylie Bouplon and Hannah Stiltner have been UNCG’s main three pitchers as all three have made at least five starts and 10 appearances. In the SoCon, Bouplon ranks fourth in ERA (2.53), fourth in strikeouts (69) and fifth in lowest opposing batting average (.260). Bryden leads the league in wins (18), strikeouts (183), opposing batting average (.205) and is second in ERA (2.44) and strikeouts looking (36). In the nation, Bryden ranks 14th in strikeouts, 15th in wins, 22nd in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.55), 38th in strikeouts per seven innings (8.4), 85th in hits allowed per seven innings (5.39) and 73rd in walks allowed per seven innings (1.52).
Freshmen Delaney Cumbie has made a big impact for the Spartans. She leads the SoCon in on-base percentage (.484) and walks (21) and is tied for first in doubles (nine) with Sholtes, third in batting average (.354), fifth in fielding percentage (.992) and sixth in slugging percentage (.594). Makenna Matthijs is third on the team in batting average (.317) and slugging percentage (.528), tied for fifth in the conference in doubles with eight and ranked as the 31st-toughest player in the nation to strike out with five in 124 at-bats.
South Carolina has won 10 of the 11 meetings, including an 11-3 (five innings) victory on Feb. 15 in its home tournament, the Gamecock Invitational. Last year the Gamecocks defeated the Spartans 3-0 at home in the NCAA Regionals.
UNCG faces North Carolina at home next Wednesday at 6 p.m.
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