Softball announces fall slate, looks forward to 2012 campaign
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG's softball team will take part in a pair of tournaments and a doubleheader with Atlantic Coast Conference school Virginia Tech this fall as it prepares for the 2012 season, Spartan coach Jennifer Herzig announced Monday.
The Spartans will host the UNCG Fall Round Robin on Sept. 17, bringing in Charlotte and East Carolina to the UNCG Softball Stadium.
On Oct. 1-2, UNCG will participate in the NC State Fall Tournament in Raleigh, N.C., where it will play the host Wolfpack and North Carolina on Oct. 1, followed by games against UNC Pembroke and North Carolina Central on Oct. 2.
The Spartans will wrap up their fall slate with a twinbill against the Hokies at the UNCG Softball Stadium on Oct. 5.
UNCG returns 10 letterwinners and seven starters from last season's 26-32 squad, which was 10-14 in Southern Conference play and fell one win short of making its second straight SoCon tournament title game.
The Spartans will be led in 2012 by seniors Alex Emeterio and Cory Mattson. Emeterio, a two-time All-SoCon selection at first base and an all-region pick in 2010, boasts a career .350 batting average, the fourth-best mark in school history. The Murrieta, Calif., native has led UNCG in batting in each of her three seasons on the team. Mattson, a pitcher from Everett, Wash., is ninth in school history in career wins and tossed her first career no-hitter last season, blanking No. 23 Florida State, 1-0 in nine innings.
UNCG also returns two-time All-SoCon second-team designated player Eileen Horsmon, a career .299 hitter who is in the top 15 in school history in career slugging percentage (.445). 2011 SoCon All-Freshman Team selections catcher Katelyn Bedwell (.324) and third baseman Aisha Figueroa (.275, 21-for-23 in stolen bases) also return. Heather Robb, a two-year starter at second base, rounds out UNCG's five returning position players.
Part-time starters catcher Toni MacReynolds and outfielder Ashley Reetz will also push for more playing time this year, while Josie Felix and Raeanne Hanks also return on the pitching staff. Felix was UNCG's second starter as a freshman last year, while Hanks was the SoCon Pitcher of the Week for May 2 of last season.
Joining the team this season are five freshmen and a junior college transfer. Sophomore outfielder/third baseman Aubrey Baldwin comes to the Spartans after a year at two-time junior college national champion Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz. There, Baldwin helped the Aztecs to a 51-14 record and a No. 9 national ranking in the final National Junior College Athletic Association poll.
Freshman Erica Navarette gives UNCG its deepest pitching staff in Herzig's tenure. The San Marcos, Calif., right-hander was a two-time All-Avocado League selection for Mission Hills High School, helping the Grizzlies to the Avacado League championship as a senior.
Middle infielder Dominique Madruga was a four-time first-team All-Western League selection for Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. The two-time All-Division III shortstop will contend for the spot vacated by Kaitlin Merkt, UNCG's four-year starter at short who graduated in 2011.
Tatiana Alcala, another freshman from California, was a four-time All-Pacific View League for Pacifica High School in Oxnard, Calif. Also an all-league point guard for the Tritons' women's basketball team, Alcala played second base and shortstop in high school and will be used at second and in the outfield for the Spartans.
One of two North Carolina products set to join UNCG this season, Taylor Allen was a four-time All-South Piedmont Conference selection and was Northwest Cabarrus High School's team MVP in each of her final two seasons on the squad. The Kannapolis native hit a two-run home run in the Trojans' 4-0 win in the South Piedmont tournament title game.
Rounding out the newcomers is Wake Forest, N.C., native Kiah Ruffin. The all-district outfielder for Wake Forest-Rolesville didn't lose a league game in her prep career, helping the Cougars extend a state-record 123-game Cap 7 Conference winning streak that dates back to 2001. Ruffin led Wake Forest-Rolesville in stolen bases in each of her four years and graduated as the Cougars' career steals leader.
UNCG fall schedule
Sept. 17 (UNCG Softball Stadium)
UNCG Fall Round Robin
UNCG vs. Charlotte, 1 p.m.
Charlotte vs. East Carolina, 3 p.m.
UNCG vs. East Carolina, 5 p.m.
Sept. 25 (UNCG Softball Stadium)
Alumni Game, 12 p.m.
Oct. 1 (Raleigh, N.C.)
NC State Fall Tournament
UNCG at NC State, 12 p.m.
UNCG vs. North Carolina, 4 p.m.
Oct. 2 (Raleigh, N.C.)
NC State Fall Tournament
UNCG vs. UNC Pembroke, 1 p.m.
UNCG vs. North Carolina Central, 3 p.m.
Oct. 5 (UNCG Softball Stadium)
UNCG vs. Virginia Tech, 6 p.m.
UNCG vs. Virginia Tech, 8 p.m.
- UNCG -