Softball Hosts Spartan Classic this Weekend
Spartan Classic Schedule
GREENSBORO, N.C. – After winning the Hornet Invitational last weekend, the UNCG softball team opens its home slate by welcoming Drexel, Marshall and Quinnipiac to take part in the Spartan Classic from Saturday, Feb. 23 through Monday, Feb. 25. The Spartans will face Quinnipiac to open the tournament Saturday, Feb. 23 at 3:30 at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
UNCG (7-1) will play five games in total with two contests Sunday, Feb. 24 against Quinnipiac and Marshall at 12:30 and 1:30, respectively. The Spartans will conclude the tournament Monday with a rematch against Marshall at 1:30 and will face Drexel at 3:30 at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
The Blue and Gold opened the Hornet Invitational with a tough 1-0 loss in eight innings to Belmont, giving UNCG their first loss of the season. The Spartans would respond by winning the next four games against Alabama State (W, 4-0), Eastern Illinois twice (W, 2-0, W, 5-1) and won a rematch game against Belmont, 1-0.
UNCG's pitching staff was sensational in the tournament throwing a combined 35.1 innings, allowing just one earned run with 43 strikeouts and holding opponents to just a .129 batting average. Redshirt junior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior) went 3-1 with a 0.26 ERA and had 35 strikeouts in five appearances. Hanks also earned a save and threw two shutouts. Freshman Kelly Lupton (Galloway, N.J./Absegami) picked up her first collegiate win against Eastern Illinois and classmate Nicole Thomas (Irvine, Ca./Northwood) threw three scoreless innings of relief.
Freshman Danielle Vega (Rialto, Calif./Aquinas) earned SoCon softball Player of the Week honors after leading the team with a .588 batting average (10-for-17), four doubles, three runs and an RBI. Vega also was 3-for-5 with two outs and hit .714 with runners on base (5-for-7).
Drexel enters the tournament with a 0-2 record after dropping a double-header against Charlotte last weekend. The Dragons are led by Jenn Reading, who is hitting .429 on three hits in seven at bats. In the circle, Shelby Taylor is 0-1 with a 9.19 ERA in 5.1 innings pitched. The Spartans hold a 3-1 lead in the all-time series between the two teams.
Quinnipiac opens its 2013 season in Greensboro after not playing any games last weekend due to weather. The Bobcats were picked to finish sixth in the NEC but have had three-straight seasons of 25 wins or more. It will also mark the first meeting between the two teams this weekend.
Marshall, coached by former Spartan player Shonda Stanton (Spagnola), has gotten off to a tough 3-7 start. The Thundering Herd went 1-4 at the Georgia Tech Classic last weekend with their only win in the final game against Miami Ohio, 11-6. Ashley Gue leads the team with a .355 average on 11 hits, three runs and eight stolen bases. In the circle, Andi Williamson is 3-6 with a 2.36 ERA, including five complete games and 66 strikeouts.
Be sure to follow all updates about the 2013 UNCG softball team on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.
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