Spartans head across town to face North Carolina A&T
UNCG (19-27) at North Carolina A&T (7-27), April 27, 2 p.m., Aggie Softball Complex, Greensboro, N.C.
• UNCG will make the short trip down Market Street for its final nonconference games of the season, a doubleheader at crosstown rival North Carolina A&T on Wednesday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
• Since pulling within a game of .500 with a doubleheader sweep of Liberty on April 6, the Spartans have lost nine of 11 to fall to 19-27 overall. One of the two wins in that span was over North Carolina on April 13, while the other came against Appalachian State on April 17.
• The Aggies have been struggling, as well, with just two wins in their last 16 games. One of those came in their last action, however, as A&T split a doubleheader with Savannah State at home on Saturday.
• UNCG was swept in a three-game series at Georgia Southern over the weekend. The Eagles took a 3-1 win to open the series then grabbed an 8-0 win in six innings in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. GSU completed the sweep with a 7-2 win Sunday.
• Junior Alex Emeterio leads UNCG with a .326 batting average, while freshman catcher Katelyn Bedwell's average has risen to .321, the second-best mark on the team. Redshirt senior Kaitlin Merkt is hitting .318 with nine home runs and 31 RBI, both team highs. Jordan Jewett is hitting .309. Freshman Aisha Figueroa leads the team with 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts.
• In the circle, Cory Mattson is 10-12 with a 3.95 ERA and a career-best three saves and needs just one more win to supplant the career high she set last season. Freshman Josie Felix is 5-12 with a 4.70 ERA, while sophomore Raeanne Hanks is 4-3 with a 6.32 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.
• UNCG leads the all-time series with North Carolina A&T, 32-2. The Spartans won the first eight games in the series, which began in 1987, then ripped off 21 straight wins from 1990 to 2008. UNCG has won three straight since dropping the first game of a doubleheader in 2009, including at doubleheader sweep at home last season. The Spartans took a 6-5 win in game one before a 9-1 win in six innings in game two. Both games ended with UNCG scoring on wild pitches for the walk-off wins.
• The Aggies found their offense last time out, downing Savannah State 11-2 in five innings for their first mercy-rule win of the season before dropping a 16-14 slugfest in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. North Carolina A&T's 5-8 hitters went a combined 9-for-11 with six RBI and six runs scored in game one, while Sabrina Edmonds was 4-for-5 with a homer and three runs scored in the second contest. Tiffany Macklin was 3-for-5 with a homer of her own.
• Hope Fletcher is hitting a team-best .388 for the Aggies, while Ryanne Hill, the 2009 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Year, has rebounded nicely from a down junior year to hit .360 with a team-best five home runs and 18 RBI. Lauren Clement is hitting .338, Detavia Kenan is at .322 and Morgan Chappell is hitting an even .300.
• Fletcher is also the Aggies' top pitcher, as she owns a 6-11 record with a 6.79 ERA. Clement is 0-3 with a 4.20 mark, while Tranea Jones is 1-13 with an 8.54 ERA.
• North Carolina A&T is a remarkably young team. The Aggies' roster of 13 boasts 10 freshmen, two sophomores and just one senior in Hill.
• Of N.C. A&T's seven wins on the season, five of them have come at home, where the Aggies are 5-8.
• UNCG will be the second Southern Conference opponent the Aggies have faced this season. N.C. A&T downed Western Carolina in the first game of its own N.C. A&T Invitational on Feb. 25, then was swept in a doubleheader by the Catamounts on the road on April 5. The Aggies were scheduled to play Elon on March 30, but that doubleheader was rained out.
Wednesday, April 27
UNCG at North Carolina A&T, 2 p.m.
UNCG at North Carolina A&T, 4 p.m.
- UNCG -