UNCG Spartan Classic, Feb. 24-26, Greensboro, N.C., UNCG Softball Stadium
(Tournament field: UNCG, Drexel, Rider, Utah)
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (every game)
Video: Spartan All Access (UNCG's two Friday games and first Saturday game; free)
For the Spartan Classic tournament page, click here.
• UNCG's softball team will play its first home games of the season this weekend when it hosts its annual Spartan Classic at the UNCG Softball Stadium. Drexel, Rider and Utah will join the Spartans in the tournament field.
• The Spartans went 1-4 at the tournament last season, dropping their first four before winning the consolation game 3-2 over Morehead State. Kansas topped Minnesota 1-0 in the title game.
• UNCG turned in a solid showing at East Carolina's Pirate Clash last weekend, topping defending Atlantic 10 champion Fordham in its first game and dropping one-run games to two-time defending Conference USA tournament champion ECU and No. 21 Louisville. The Spartans held late leads over ECU and Louisville before both rallied for the wins.
• Alex Emeterio hit .571 in her two games last weekend and made her first two career starts in right field. Eileen Horsmon hit .455 in three games, including a pair of home runs in the win over Fordham for her first career multi-homer game.
• Hormson moved into a tie for 10th in school history in career home runs over the weekend, as she now has 13 in her two-plus seasons.
• Sophomore shortstop Aisha Figueroa leads UNCG with a .333 average on the season and is a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts. Horsmon is hitting .320 with four homers, one more than she hit all of last season, and is slugging .880.
• Emeterio, a senior, is third in school history in career batting average (.353) and is also in the top 10 in career hits, doubles, triples, RBI, slugging percentage and walks.
• UNCG is 2-1 all-time against Drexel with all three contests coming on neutral ground. The last time the teams met was on Feb. 13, 2010, when the Dragons took a 3-0 win in Jacksonville, Fla.
• The Dragons enter play this weekend 0-4 after opening at ECU's Pirate Classic from Feb. 10-12. Drexel dropped a pair of games to Virginia and contests to Canisius and East Carolina.
• Maggy Fermo hit .600 at the Pirate Classic. Jenn Reading hit .364 with Drexel's lone home run on the season.
• In the circle, Hillary Allen and Shelby Taylor are each 0-2 on the season. Allen has an 8.38 ERA and Taylor has an 8.68 mark.
• UNCG is 1-0 against Rider all-time with the lone meeting coming in the 2009 Spartan Classic, which was rained out after Friday's first three games. The game between the Spartans and Broncs was a wild one, with Amber Harrell missing a no-hitter on a double that landed just inches inside the foul line and Lyndsay Mouse hitting a grand slam that was ruled a single when she passed a runner rounding first. UNCG won 8-0 in five innings.
• Rider is opening its season this weekend at the Spartan Classic. The Broncs, who went 9-37 overall and 2-14 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference last season, were picked eighth (out of nine teams) in the MAAC preseason poll.
• Senior pitcher Rachael Matreale was a second-team all-conference selection last season, when she went 5-21 with a 3.14 ERA. Alyssa Paul led the Broncs with a .327 average as a sophomore last season.
• UNCG and Utah have never met in softball.
• The Utes are 6-3 on the season so far. Utah went 2-2 at the season-opening Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., then went 5-1 at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas last weekend.
• Whitney Holm leads the Utes with a .538 average, six homers and 19 RBI after nine games. She is slugging 1.269 and went 7-for-7 with eight RBI in Utah's wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge on Feb. 19. As a team, Utah is hitting .302 and has five regulars hitting over .300.
• In the circle, Generra Nielson leads Utah with a 5-2 record and a 1.79 ERA. The senior has struck out 59 batters in 43 innings.
Spartan Classic schedule
Drexel vs. Rider, 11 a.m.
Drexel vs. Utah, 1 p.m.
Rider at UNCG, 3:30 p.m.
Utah at UNCG, 5:30 p.m.
Rider vs. Utah, 11 a.m.
Drexel at UNCG, 1 p.m.
#4 seed vs. #1 seed, 3:30 p.m.
#3 seed vs. #2 seed, 5:30 p.m.
Consolation game, 11 a.m.
Championship game, 1 p.m.
- UNCG -