UNCG (17-28, 6-9 SoCon) at College of Charleston (28-18, 11-7 SoCon), April 21-22, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Live stats: UNCGSpartans.com (via CofCSports.com)
Video: Charleston Sports Network ($1.99)
• UNCG's softball team returns to Southern Conference play this weekend after a two-week hiatus, heading down to the Lowcountry of South Carolina to take on College of Charleston at the Patriot Point Athletics Complex in Mt. Pleasant. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday and wrap up the series with a single contest Sunday.
• The Spartans split a nonconference doubleheader at Radford on Tuesday, winning game one 4-3 in nine innings before falling 2-0 in game two. Eileen Horsmon knocked in all four of UNCG's runs on the day and collected the Spartans' only two hits in the first game. Cory Mattson threw all nine innings in game one to pick up her 11th win of the season, while Alex Emeterio walked twice to move into sole possession of second place on UNCG's career list with 90.
• In one of the most competitive series in school history, UNCG is 24-23 all-time against the Cougars in a series that dates to 1997. The teams met four times last season, splitting the contests. UNCG won two of the three regular-season games in Greensboro, while CofC ended the Spartans' season with a 2-0 win in the SoCon Championship, one game shy of the title game. Emeterio hit .455 in the four games against the Cougars last year, while Horsmon hit .444.
• Emeterio leads the Spartans with a .331 average and a .412 on-base percentage and has struck out just six times in 138 plate appearances. Sophomore Katelyn Bedwell is hitting .316, while classmate Aisha Figueroa is hitting a career-high .295 and has stolen 11 bases in 12 tries. Bedwell and Horsmon are tied with nine home runs, good for fourth-most in the SoCon. Horsmon has a team-best 40 RBI and Bedwell has 36, the sixth- and seventh-best totals in the league. Horsmon, who also leads UNCG with seven doubles and two triples, has a team-best .588 slugging percentage.
• UNCG has hit 31 home runs in 45 games this season, good for sixth-most in school history with at least 11 games left on the schedule. Bedwell and Horsmon have combined for 18 of them, while Heather Robb has six, Emeterio has four and Tatiana Alcala, Dominique Madruga and Toni MacReynolds have one each. 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).
• Mattson, a senior, leads UNCG with a 3.76 ERA and is 11-14 on the season for her third straight season with at least 10 wins. Freshman Erica Navarette owns a 4.55 ERA and is 5-11 with three saves and sophomore Josie Felix is 1-3 with an 8.13 ERA.
• Emeterio is in the top 10 in school history in career batting average, hits, doubles, triples, runs, RBI, slugging percentage and walks. With 218 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. Emeterio could also challenge the school record of 11 triples held by Susan Carter (1986-88), as she has eight to her credit.
• College of Charleston brings a 28-18 overall record into the weekend, including an 11-7 SoCon mark. The Cougars sit third in the league standings, while UNCG is sixth.
• The Cougars have lost five straight after being swept in a three-game set by SoCon-leader Georgia Southern last weekend and dropping both ends of a doubleheader at Charleston Southern on Wednesday. CofC was outscored 11-4 in the sweep at the hands of their crosstown rival, but Mackenzie Maples, Lizzy Vaughn and Kelsey Hodgson had solo homers for the Cougars.
• CofC is an impressive 22-6 at home this season and has won eight straight at Patriots Point and 14 of its last 15 at home.
• The Cougars are hitting .276 as a team, with Carly Corthell leading the way at .325 and leading the SoCon with 19 stolen bases in 22 tries. Ashton Jarrett is hitting .314, while Hodgson is hitting .305 with nine homers and 30 RBI, both team highs.
• CofC's pitching staff is one of the best in the SoCon, as it boasts a 1.91 ERA, second only to Georgia Southern. Stephanie Saylors shares the SoCon lead in wins at 16-9 with a league-best 1.43 ERA, while Hope Klicker is 11-8 with a 1.92 mark, fourth in the SoCon. Saylors is second in the league with 147 strikeouts and has a SoCon-best 10 shutouts, twice the total of second-place Erin O'Shea of Elon. Klicker is the reigning SoCon Pitcher of the Week after throwing a perfect game against South Carolina State on April 10, striking out 16. Saylors was the league's pitcher of the month for February.
- UNCG -