UNCG (12-21, 4-5 SoCon) at Samford (8-25, 2-7 SoCon), March 31-April 1, Birmingham, Ala.
Live stats: Not available
Audio: Samford.edu/WVSU (Saturday's games only)
• After a week off, UNCG's softball teams is back in action this weekend at Samford for a three-game Southern Conference series in Birmingham, Ala.
• The Spartans dropped two of three last weekend at Furman, falling 3-0 and 6-5 in Saturday's doubleheader before taking a 2-1 win on Sunday to avoid the sweep.
• Senior Alex Emeterio leads the Spartans with a .333 average and a .418 on-base percentage and has struck out just four times in 98 plate appearances. Sophomore Katelyn Bedwell is hitting .317 and leads the team with eight home runs, which is fourth-most in the SoCon. Junior Eileen Horsmon is third on the team with a .310 average and has hit seven homers (fifth in the SoCon), and she and Bedwell share the team lead with 29 RBI (fifth in the SoCon). Horsmon, who also leads UNCG with six doubles and two tripls, has a team-best .620 slugging percentage. Sophomore Aisha Figueroa leads the team with eight stolen bases in as many tries.
• As a team, UNCG is second in the SoCon in several offensive categories: runs (146), RBI (128), walks (89), sacrifice flies (10), stolen bases (36) and batters hit by pitches (19). The Spartans lead the league with eight triples and are third in homers (22).
• UNCG has hit 22 home runs in just 33 games this season and needs just one more to match last year's season total. Bedwell and Horsmon have combined for 15 of them, while Heather Robb has four, Emeterio has two and Tatiana Alcala has one. The 22 homers are ninth-most in school history. The Spartans' home run totals have soared under coach Jennifer Herzig, as seven of the top 10 home run totals in school history have come during Herzig's tenure (2006-present).
• Senior Cory Mattson leads UNCG with a 3.38 ERA and is 9-11 on the season and needs just one more win for her third straight season with at least 10 wins. Freshman Erica Navarette owns a 4.73 ERA and is 2-7 with two saves and sophomore Josie Felix is 1-3 with an 8.65 ERA.
• Emeterio is in the top 10 in school history in career batting average, hits, doubles, triples, runs, RBI, slugging percentage and walks. With 207 hits to her credit, the school record of 227, shared by Karyn Thompson (1993-96) and Jennifer Bonilla (2004-07), is well within Emeterio's reach if she maintains her current pace. Emeterio could also challenge the school record of 11 triples held by Susan Carter (1986-88), as she has eight to her credit.
• Last weekend, Bedwell reached the minimum standards for inclusion on UNCG's career lists for batting average and slugging percentage and moved into the top 10 in each category. Bedwell currently has a career .321 average, good for eighth in school history, and her .531 slugging percentage puts her fourth.
• With a two-run home run at Gardner-Webb on March 22, Robb moved into a tie for 11th place in school history with her 13th career blast. She is now deadlocked with Leslie Furness (2006-09) and one back of former teammate Brittany Ausley (2007-10).
• With five strikeouts last weekend at Furman, Mattson moved into seventh place in UNCG history with 355 career strikeouts. She is now 13 back of sixth-place Erin Chandler, who had 368 from 1993-96.
• UNCG is 7-3 all-time against Samford in a series that started in 2009, the Bulldogs' first season in the SoCon. The Spartans took two of three in 2009 followed by Samford doing the same in 2010. UNCG has won four straight in the series, however, sweeping the regular-season series in 2011 and beating Samford for a fourth time on the year at the SoCon tournament.
• Emeterio hit .615 with a homer and four RBI in four games against the Bulldogs last season, while Bedwell hit .444 with a double and two triples. Mattson was 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA in three appearances, while Raeanne Hanks was 2-0 with two saves and a 0.00 ERA against the Bulldogs, appearing in all four games.
• Samford is in the midst of a seven-game homestand, its longest of the season. The Bulldogs kicked off the stretch with a doubleheader against Western Kentucky on Tuesday.
• Western Kentucky swept the doubleheader by scores of 11-1 and 5-1. Samford managed just two hits in the six-inning loss in game one, but one of them was Madison Dickey's solo homer in the bottom of the sixth. The Lady Toppers scored seven runs in the top half of that inning to put the game into mercy rule territory. Arica Dykes had two of Samford's four hits in game two, while Alex Adams hit a solo home run.
• Samford entered last weekend winless in league play but took two of three from Elon to move to 2-7 in the SoCon. The teams split Saturday's doubleheader, with Elon winning game one 4-1 and Samford rebounding for the 4-3 win in game two. The Bulldogs earned a 6-2 win in nine innings Sunday to capture the series. Elon's only other league loss on the season came at the hands of UNCG.
• Julianne Surane leads the Bulldogs with a .347 average on the year, while Dickey is second at .321 and has four homers and 17 RBI, both team highs. Abby Adams and Misha Aldridge have three homers each. Dickey is eighth in the SoCon with eight doubles.
• As a whole, the Bulldogs get plunked more than any other team in the league. Samford batters have been hit by pitches a league-high 27 times.
• In the circle, Aldridge is a team-best 5-12 with a 3.10 ERA. Robyn Harmon is 2-6 with a 5.25 mark.
This weekend's schedule
UNCG at Samford (DH), 2 p.m. Eastern
UNCG at Samford, 2 p.m. Eastern
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