SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After a 5-0 week that included a three-game sweep of Southern Conference foe Samford, UNCG swept the league's weekly softball awards, with Alex Emeterio being named the SoCon Player of the Week and Raeanne Hanks earning SoCon Pitcher of the Week honors.
In addition to sweeping their first three-game series in nearly three years over the weekend, the Spartans (24-27, 10-11 SoCon) took both games of a doubleheader from crosstown rival North Carolina A&T on Wednesday. With the sweep of Samford, UNCG locked up its first winning home record since 2003.
Emeterio hit .588 and slugged 1.059 on the week to take the award for the second time in her career and first time this season. The first baseman from Murrieta, Calif., hit safely in four of UNCG's five games on the week with multi-hit games in three of them. Emeterio was 3-for-4 with a double and a triple to fall a homer short of the cycle against the Aggies to open the week, knocking in two runs and scoring two more. She also walked and scored in the second game against N.C. A&T as UNCG completed the doubleheader sweep.
Emeterio hit an even .700 against Samford, which entered the series with an identical SoCon record to the Spartans. The junior was a combined 6-for-7 in Saturday's doubleheader sweep, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored in the opener before going 4-for-4 with two RBI in game two. The four-hit game was the second of her career. She capped her stellar week in dramatic fashion, hitting a game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning Sunday to snap a tie and lift UNCG to a 3-2 win to complete the sweep.
For the week, Emeterio had an on-base percentage of .632 and did not strike out in 19 plate appearances.
Hanks had the best week of her young career, as the sophomore had a hand in four of UNCG's five wins on the week by going 3-0 with a save and a perfect 0.00 ERA. Hanks earned her first win of the week with 4 2/3 innings of three-hit relief in the second game at North Carolina A&T, striking out four batters and walking just one.
Hanks factored into all three wins of UNCG's sweep over Samford this weekend, picking up her first career save in Saturday's first contest. The Rainier, Ore., native entered with a 6-4 lead and pitched two innings of no-hit ball, striking out four. Hanks returned in game two to grab the relief win, entering with UNCG down 1-0 and allowing just one hit over three innings of work, again striking out four batters. Finally, she grabbed the win in game three, as well, working the final 1 2/3 innings and not allowing a hit as UNCG completed the sweep.
For the week, Hanks allowed just four hits – all singles – in four appearances, striking out 14 and walking just five in 11 1/3 innings. Opponents hit just .108 against her. The award is the first of Hanks' career.
The last time UNCG swept the league awards was just over a year ago, when Emeterio and former Spartan Amber Harrell were player and pitcher of the week, respectively, on April 26, 2010.
UNCG will wrap up the regular season at rival Elon this weekend. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday and a single game Sunday, with 1 p.m. starts both days. The squads met in the SoCon Championship title game last season, with the Phoenix rallying in the seventh to take its first-ever league title.
- UNCG -