UNCG (16-22, 6-6 SoCon) vs. Georgia Southern (22-12, 8-1 SoCon), April 6-7, UNCG Softball Stadium
Live stats: UNCGSpartans.com
Video: Spartan All Access (all three games, free all season)
Admission: Free all season
• UNCG returns home to host Southern Conference leader Georgia Southern for a three-game set starting Friday. The teams will play a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. Friday and wrap up the series with a single contest Saturday at 1 p.m. Admission to the games is free. Friday's contests will be UNCG's Fight Like a Spartan games to raise awareness for breast cancer.
• The Spartans picked up their first doubleheader sweep of the season Wednesday in Lynchburg, Va., taking two games from Liberty. UNCG rallied for five unanswered runs in the last two innings in game one for the 6-5 victory then cruised to the 9-1 win in five innings in game two. Katelyn Bedwell had five RBI on the afternoon, driving in four in the first game. Her solo home run with two outs in the top of the seventh inning proved to be the difference. Heather Robb had four RBI in game two, with two of them coming on a home run in the third inning. Eileen Horsmon also homered in game two for the Spartans, while freshman pitcher Erica Navarette picked up the wins in both contests.
• The Spartans took two of three from Samford over the weekend to even their Southern Conference record at 6-6. UNCG won Saturday's first game 5-3 before dropping game two of the doubleheader 2-1, with Toni MacReynolds and Dominique Madruga hitting their first career home runs on the day. UNCG won Sunday's rubber game 13-8, highlighted by Horsmon's grand slam and six RBI, one shy of the school record.
• Senior Alex Emeterio leads the Spartans with a .347 average and a .465 on-base percentage and has struck out just six times in 115 plate appearances. Sophomore Katelyn Bedwell is hitting a career-high .330 while Aisha Figueroa is hitting .310 and Horsmon is hitting .304. Bedwell and Horsmon are tied with nine home runs and 36 RBI each, good for third-most and fourth-most in each category, respectively, in the SoCon. Horsmon, who also leads UNCG with six doubles and two triples, has a team-best .634 slugging percentage. Figueroa leads the team with 11 stolen bases in 12 tries.
• UNCG has hit 28 home runs in just 38 games this season, surpassing last season's total and good for seventh-most in school history with at least 18 games left on the schedule. Bedwell and Horsmon have combined for 18 of them, while Heather Robb has five, Emeterio has two and Tatiana Alcala, Madruga and MacReynolds have one each. The Spartans' home run totals have soared under coach Jennifer Herzig, as seven of the top 10 home run totals in school history have come during Herzig's tenure (2006-present).
• Senior Cory Mattson leads UNCG with a 3.59 ERA and is 10-11 on the season for her third straight season with at least 10 wins. Navarette owns a 4.29 ERA and is 5-8 with three saves and sophomore Josie Felix is 1-3 with an 8.65 ERA.
• Emeterio is in the top 10 in school history in career batting average, hits, doubles, triples, runs, RBI, slugging percentage and walks. With 214 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. Emeterio could also challenge the school record of 11 triples held by Susan Carter (1986-88), as she has eight to her credit.
• Bedwell currently has a career .327 average, good for seventh in school history, and her .541 slugging percentage puts her third. Robb's homer Wednesday moved her into a tie for 10th in school history with former teammate Brittany Ausley, who hit 14 from 2007-10.
• Mattson is seventh in school history with 358 career strikeouts, leaving her 10 back of sixth-place Erin Chandler, who had 368 from 1993-96.
• UNCG is among the league leaders in several offensive categories. In addition to leading the SoCon in triples (eight), sacrifice flies (12) and walks (103), the Spartans are second in runs (180), hits (253), RBI (157), home runs (28) and stolen bases (40).
• Georgia Southern has been nothing short of dominant in the SoCon this season. The Eagles bring a 22-12 overall record and an 8-1 league mark into this weekend's contests. With a roster sporting the league's preseason player of the year in Marie Fogle and preseason pitcher of the year in Allie Miles, GSU has not disappointed. Last weekend, the Eagles took two of three from SoCon power Chattanooga to won their first series against the Lady Mocs since 2008.
• The Eagles swept the SoCon's monthly awards for March, with Fogle being named the player of the month and Sarah Purvis taking pitcher of the month honors. In addition, Purvis and Mackenzie Williams are the reigning SoCon pitcher and player of the week, respectively.
• Fogle is hitting a SoCon-best .464 on the year with 11 doubles and three triples – also league highs – and five homers. Williams is second on the squad with a .344 average, but those are the only two Eagles hitting above .300. Williams has seven homers and 27 RBI, both team highs.
• GSU's true strength lies in its pitching staff which leads the SoCon with a remarkable 1.97 ERA. Miles, the preseason pitcher of the year, is having a down season at 1-5 with a 4.24 ERA, but the rest of the staff has more than made up for that. Brooke Red is 8-0 with a 1.42 ERA, while Purvis is 12-6 with a 1.70 mark. Marla Thompson is 1-1 with a 1.24 ERA. As a staff, GSU's pitchers have struck out 223 batters and walked just 52. The 223 strikeouts are 43 more than second-place College of Charleston.
• Purvis leads the SoCon with 11.00 strikeouts per game (141 total), while opponents are hitting just .174 against her, also a league best.
• As a team, Georgia Southern leads the SoCon in fielding percentage with an impressive .970 mark. The Eagles have committed just 29 errors in 34 games.
This weekend's schedule
Georgia Southern at UNCG (DH), 5 p.m.
Georgia Southern at UNCG, 1 p.m.
- UNCG -