UNCG (8-16, 2-1 SoCon) vs. Elon (14-4, 3-0 SoCon), March 17-18, UNCG Softball Stadium
Video: Spartan All Access (Saturday only)
• UNCG's softball team gets back into Southern Conference play when it hosts rival Elon for a three-game set this weekend at the UNCG Softball Stadium. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday and a single game Sunday with 1 p.m. starts both days. Saturday will serve as Military Appreciation Day.
• UNCG will honor all veterans and active-duty military personnel in attendance prior to Saturday's first contest. In addition, retired Chief Petty Officer Jose Figueroa will throw out the first pitch prior to the 1 p.m. game and retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Frederick Ruffin Sr. will throw out the first pitch for game two.
• The Spartans dropped a doubleheader to Virginia Tech last time out, falling 3-0 and 8-4 on Wednesday at home. The Hokies' three-run fifth inning was the difference in game one, while Virginia Tech rallied from two early deficits to claim the win in the nightcap. Senior Alex Emeterio had three hits in the doubleheader, while junior Eileen Horsmon had a triple and a three-run home run. The homer was the 15th of Horsmon's career, moving her into a tie for eighth in school history with Adirane Audley (2004-07).
• UNCG opened Southern Conference play with a series win at Appalachian State last weekend, taking two of three after dropping the opener on March 10. ASU won the first game of that Saturday's doubleheader 8-0 in six innings, but UNCG rebounded with a 9-4 win in game two. The Spartans took a 7-2 win the following day in the rubber game.
• Overall on the season, Emeterio leads the Spartans with a .368 average and a .455 on-base percentage and has struck out just three times in 66 plate appearances. Horsmon is hitting .303 with a career-high 21 RBI and shares the team lead with six home runs, matching the career high she set as a freshman in 2010. She also leads the team with six doubles and a .671 slugging percentage. Sophomore Katelyn Bedwell also has six homers and a career-high and team-best 22 RBI.
• Emeterio is in the top 10 in school history in career batting average, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, slugging percentage and walks. Her three hits against Virginia Tech moved her career total to an even 200, making her just the seventh player in school history to reach that milestone. The school record of 227, shared by Karyn Thompson (1993-96) and Jennifer Bonilla (2004-07), is well within Emeterio's reach if she maintains her current pace.
• With 335 career strikeouts to her credit, Mattson moved into eighth place in school history last weekend, passing Amber Watson, who has 332 from 2000-03.
• The series with Elon is tied at 29-29-2 but the Phoenix has had the run of it lately with wins in eight of the last nine meetings, including six straight. Elon swept last season's three-game series, turning in three straight shutouts. The Phoenix swept a bizarre doubleheader on May 7 of last season, scoring 12 runs in the first inning of a 15-0 win in game one before needing extra innings for a 1-0 win in game two. Elon completed the series sweep the following day, scoring in each of the first four innings in a 7-0 win.
• The Phoenix is 14-4 overall on the season after Wednesday's 6-0 loss to North Carolina. Elon recorded just two hits in the contest.
• Elon, which beat No. 25 Georgia Tech at the Buzz Classic earlier in the season, opened SoCon play with a three-game sweep of Furman last weekend. The Phoenix took Saturday's doubleheader 9-1 and 13-8 and completed the sweep with a 3-0 win on Sunday.
• Erin O'Shea was named the SoCon Player of the Week after the sweep of the Paladins. O'Shea hit .714 on the weekend with a homer and three stolen bases. She also picked up a pair of wins in the circle against Furman.
• Five everyday players are hitting over .300 for the Phoenix, while the team has a cumulative .294 average. Tomeka Watson is hitting a team-best .389 and hasn't struck out this year, while O'Shea is right behind her with a .385 average and a team-best 16 RBI. Camille Hill, who is hitting .379 on the year, was the SoCon's Player of the Week on Feb. 13.
• In the circle, O'Shea is a team-best 8-2 with a 2.62 ERA. Kari Pervell is 2-0 with a 2.10 mark, while Caitlin O'Shea is 2-2 with a 3.29 ERA. Erin O'Shea has started six more games and thrown at least 44 more innings than anyone else on the pitching staff. As a whole, the staff is second in the SoCon with a 2.35 ERA.
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