UNCG hosts crosstown rival North Carolina A&T on Tuesday
UNCG (9-18) vs. North Carolina A&T (5-15), March 20, DH, 4 p.m., UNCG Softball Stadium
• UNCG steps out of Southern Conference play when it hosts crosstown rival North Carolina A&T for a doubleheader at the UNCG Softball Stadium on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
• The Spartans dropped a league series to Elon over the weekend, winning the first game of Saturday's doubleheader 5-0 before falling in the second 7-5. The Phoenix won Sunday's rubber match 8-0. Sophomore Toni MacReynolds led UNCG with a .667 average and three walks against Elon, while classmate Katelyn Bedwell hit her team-leading seventh home run of the season in the win. Senior pitcher Cory Mattson took decisions in all three games, allowing just three earned runs on the weekend.
• Overall on the season, senior Alex Emeterio leads the Spartans with a .333 average and a .429 on-base percentage and has struck out just three times in 77 plate appearances. Sophomore Aisha Figueroa is hitting .311 but has missed several games with injury, while junior Eileen Horsmon is hitting .294 with six homers and 23 RBI, both career bests. Horsmon leads the squad with a .624 slugging percentage. Bedwell has a team-best 24 RBI to go with her seven homers.
• Emeterio is in the top 10 in school history in career batting average, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, slugging percentage and walks. With 201 hits to her credit, 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 a walk against Elon on Sunday, Emeterio moved into sole possession of third place in school history with 84.
• With 343 career strikeouts to her credit, Mattson is eight back of seventh-place Amy Poole (2000-03) on UNCG's all-time list.
• UNCG is 34-2 against North Carolina A&T all-time and has won five straight in the series since a 3-2 loss in 2009. The teams have met for doubleheaders every year since 2004 in a series that began in 1987. The Spartans took both games of last season's doubleheader by 11-3 scores at the Lady Aggies Softball Complex.
• Emeterio and Kaitlin Merkt had three hits each in last year's first game, with Emeterio falling a homer short of the cycle. Raeanne Hanks picked up the win in relief in game two with 4 2/3 scoreless innings of three-hit ball.
• The Lady Aggies are 5-15 on the season and have lost three straight since a two-game winning streak. NCAT split a doubleheader against Norfolk State on Wednesday and dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Morgan State on Sunday. While both doubleheaders were against fellow Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference teams, the Lady Aggies technically haven't opened MEAC play, as only games between same-division teams count in the league standings.
• The Lady Aggies dropped both contests Sunday by 10-7 scores. Tranea Jones, Juanita Jernigan and Tiffany Macklin hit home runs in game one, while Jernigan and Raven Smith homered in the second.
• Jernigan and Jones are each hitting an even .300 on the season with Jernigan sharing the team lead with three homers and leading the squad with 11 RBI. Jones has two homers and 10 RBI. Sabrina Edmonds has also hit three homers in seven fewer games than Jernigan.
• In the circle, Ashira Dobison has all of NCAT's wins, as she is 5-9 with a 4.65 ERA and one-hit Hampton on March 9. Alexandria McAfee is 0-6 with a 7.72 mark.
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