UNCG (17-18, 6-3 SoCon) at Chattanooga (26-9, 8-0 SoCon), April 9-10, Frost Stadium, Chattanooga, Tenn.
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via GoMocs.com)
Video: MocsVision (subscription-based)
• UNCG returns to Southern Conference play when it visits league-leading Chattanooga for a three-game set this weekend.
• The Lady Mocs bring a perfect 8-0 league mark into this weekend's action, while UNCG is 6-3 in the SoCon and sits third in the standings. Both teams have won each of their first three league series this season.
• The Spartans swept a doubleheader from Liberty on Wednesday, picking up a 9-1 win in 5 innings in game one and a 7-6 win in game two. Josie Felix and Cory Mattson combined to three-hit the Lady Flames in game one, while Alex Emeterio was 3-for-4 to pace the Spartans at the plate. In game two, freshman Katelyn Bedwell had three RBI on two hits, one of which was her first career home run. Mattson picked up two saves on the day.
• Chattanooga and UNCG two of the top-hitting teams in the conference. The Lady Mocs own a league-best .329 team batting average, while the Spartans are third with a .300 mark.
• With a .609 batting average over her last nine games, junior Jordan Jewett has surged into the team batting lead. She is now hitting .375 on the season, raising her average 94 points since March 26. She shares the league lead with nine doubles so far. Kaitlin Merkt is second on the squad with a .359 mark and leads the team with eight homers and 27 RBI. Emeterio is batting .355 on the year. Bedwell (.328) and Aisha Figueroa (.316) are also hitting over .300, while Eileen Horsmon is just a hair under at .299. Figueroa is second in the SoCon with 17 stolen bases.
• In the circle, Mattson is 8-9 with a 4.08 ERA and a career-best three saves and has won four of her last five decisions. She leads the SoCon in innings pitched at 121 2/3 and complete games with 12. Felix is 5-7 with a 4.77 ERA, while sophomore Raeanne Hanks is 4-2 with a 6.33 ERA. Emeterio has made six appearances but has yet to register a decision. She has a 9.33 ERA but is allowing opposing batters to hit just .263, the best mark on the staff.
• Mattson moved into the top 10 in school history in career innings pitched (335) and moved into third place in career saves (four) Wednesday. Merkt picked up her 100th career RBI Wednesday, becoming just the sixth player in school history to reach that milestone.
• Chattanooga leads the series with UNCG 39-10, but the Spartans have won the last two meetings, marking UNCG's first consecutive wins against the Lady Mocs since a three-game sweep in 2003. UNCG took a 3-0 win against UTC on the Spartans' Senior Day last season, then grabbed a 4-1 win over the top-seeded Lady Mocs in the first round of the SoCon Championship 11 days later. Amber Harrell came one out from no-hitting UTC in the tournament before surrendering a solo homer, while Horsmon hit a massive grand slam in the third inning to stake Harrell to the lead.
• The Lady Mocs have rolled through SoCon play so far this season, outscoring Samford 26-7 in a three-game sweep, outscoring Appalachian State 22-2 in two games (one was rained out) and outscoring defending SoCon tournament champion and preseason pick Elon 23-8 in a three-game sweep.
• Chattanooga played then-No. 1 Georgia to a 4-3 contest on March 6 as the Bulldogs plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh for the walk-off win.
• Michelle Fuzzard is second in the league with a .398 batting average and leads the SoCon with 40 RBI, while Lyndsey Stiles and Tiffany Baker are both hitting .384 to sit third and fourth in the league in batting average. Stiles leads the SoCon with 36 runs scored and 21 stolen bases, while Baker is second with 10 homers and leads the SoCon with a .483 on-base percentage and a .747 slugging percentage. Seven everyday players are hitting over .300 for the Lady Mocs, while Jessica Traxler is hitting .299.
• A two-way threat, Fuzzard also leads the league in wins with a 12-5 record in the circle. Kandice Irwin is 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA and leads the league with six saves. Nikki Waters is 6-2 with a 2.90 ERA.
• The Lady Mocs are the second-best fielding team in the SoCon with a .962 fielding percentage.
Saturday, April 9
UNCG at Chattanooga, 1 p.m.
UNCG at Chattanooga, 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 10
UNCG at Chattanooga, 2 p.m.
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