UNCG (11-14, 2-1 SoCon) vs. Furman (10-14, 4-2 SoCon), March 26-27, UNCG Softball Stadium
Video: Spartan All Access (Saturday only)
• UNCG returns to Southern Conference play this weekend when it hosts Furman for a three-game set at the UNCG Softball Stadium. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday followed by a single game Sunday. Saturday's doubleheader has been moved to an 11 a.m. start due to the threat of inclement weather.
• The first 50 fans at Saturday's doubleheader will receive a free UNCG T-shirt, while the first 50 UNCG students can take part in a free hotdog tailgate.
• Last time out, the Spartans committed seven errors that led to 13 unearned runs in a doubleheader sweep at the hands of NC State on Wednesday. UNCG held a 5-3 lead in game one before the Wolfpack rallied for an 8-5 win, and NCSU took a 9-0 win in 5 innings in game two. Heather Robb hit a two-run home run in game one, her second homer of the season.
• UNCG took two of three from College of Charleston last weekend to open SoCon play, dropping the first game 7-0 before rebounding with wins of 5-4 and 4-0. Redshirt senior Kaitlin Merkt hit .500 for the series with a pair of two-run home runs. Junior Alex Emeterio also hit .500 in the three games. Junior pitcher Cory Mattson went 1-1 with a save, appearing in all three games.
• For the season, Merkt is leading the team with a .382 average, five home runs and 20 RBI. Emeterio is second with a .361 average and 11 RBI, while freshman catcher Katelyn Bedwell is hitting .333. Emeterio has reached base in 21 straight contests and Merkt and Emeterio have each hit safely in all but seven of UNCG's games this year.
• In the circle, freshman Josie Felix is 4-4 with a 3.70 ERA, while Mattson is 5-9 with a 4.56 mark. Sophomore Raeanne Hanks is 2-1 with a 7.50 ERA. Emeterio has made five appearances but has yet to register a decision. She has an 8.75 ERA but has allowed just one hit and no runs in her last two outings, totaling 4 innings.
• UNCG holds a slim lead in the all-time series with Furman, 27-24. The Spartans took two of three last season and have won eight of the last 11 meetings.
• In last season's series, the teams played what amounted to a tripleheader on April 25 after the doubleheader the day prior was suspended by rain in the fourth inning of game one. UNCG held a 5-0 lead when the game was called, and won by that score the following day. A 3-0 UNCG win followed in game two before the Paladins avoided the sweep with a 4-3 win in game three.
• Furman has won six of its last eight contests, starting with a three-game sweep of Western Carolina to open SoCon play on March 12 and 13. The Paladins swept a doubleheader against Providence on March 16 before dropping two of three to Samford last weekend.
• Last weekend, Samford took a 3-0 win in game one against Furman, but Morgan Hughey hit a solo home run in the seventh to lift the Paladins to a 2-1 win in game two for the split. The Bulldogs claimed the rubber match the next day, getting a walk-off two-run double as they rallied for a 7-6 win.
• Furman is 9-0 at home but just 1-10 in true road games and 1-14 overall away from Greenville, S.C.
• The Paladins have four regulars hitting over .300 on the year. Hughey paces the squad with a .375 mark, while Jessie Homesley is second at .353. Lauren Collier is hitting .338 with five home runs and 15 RBI, both team bests, while Stephanie Field is also batting .338.
• In the circle, Kayla Suskauer is 5-4 with a 2.77 ERA. Collier is 5-10 with a 4.15 ERA. As a staff, Furman has a 3.61 ERA and has posted three shutouts.
Saturday, March 26
UNCG vs. Furman, 11 a.m. (Spartan All Access)
UNCG vs. Furman, 1 p.m. (Spartan All Access)
Sunday, March 27
UNCG vs. Furman, 1 p.m.
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