Feb. 20, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army softball team faces another challenging weekend of competition as the Black Knights head to Greensboro, N.C., to compete at the UNCG Classic. Two of the three teams the Black Knights will face, Hampton and Minnesota, were NCAA participants last year along with Army.
The Black Knights open the Classic Friday, Feb. 21, taking on George Washington at 12 p.m. followed by the host Spartans at 5 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 22, Army will be challenged by No. 20/21 Minnesota at 9:30 a.m. followed by Hampton at 5 p.m. The Black Knights close out their five-game tournament slate with a rematch against George Washington on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 9 a.m.
Live stats for the Black Knights' games will be offered via GameTracker on Army's official athletics website with Twitter updates also provided through Army's handle (@Army_WSoftball).
Army (0-5) is coming off of a tough opening weekend taking on two NCAA participants at the Houston Classic in No. 8 Nebraska and the host Cougars. Despite the demanding field, Army scored in three of its five games with its closest a 9-8 loss to Stephen F. Austin, who had to come from behind to pull out the decision.
Sophomore third baseman Kasey McCravey, a first-team Patriot League selection last year, shined at the Houston Classic collecting a hit in all five games batting .563, to include multiple-hits in the last three games - SFA and in both games against Houston. McCravey went 3-for-4 with a home run in driving in a pair of runs and scoring twice against SFA.
Her two-run homer snapped a tied game in closing out a five-run fourth inning flurry that gave Army a 7-5 lead. Her performance earned her College Sports Madness Patriot League Softball Player of the Week.
Senior Amanda Nguyen collected four hits at the tournament, to include a double and triple, to boost her career mark to 229, which is just two shy of taking over as Army's all-time leader. Nguyen and freshman Alee Rashenskas each batted .235 with junior Alex Gaff hitting .231 and driving in a pair of runs along with Rashenskas.
All four Army pitchers saw action in the circle last week with freshman Kristen West appearing in all five games in a relief role to carry a 3.38 earned run average into the weekend.
Sophomore Braetana Roy drew duty in three games and pitched 10.1 innings with Carolina Smith a starter in two games and Rachael Dehlinger drawing relief duty in one game.
LOOKING AT THE FIELD
GEORGE WASHINGTON: The Colonials (0-10) have had a challenging slate in their first two tournaments that included top 25 teams in No. 12 Kentucky at the Long Beach Tournament and host LSU, ranked No. 21, at the Tiger Invitational last week. Jillian Galich (.391) and Megan Linn (.323) are among three players batting over .300 and between them have driven in 11 runs. Pitchers Courtney Manlin and Meghan Rico have drawn the bulk of duties in the circle.
The Black Knights and the Colonials, members of the Atlantic 10, first met in 2005 with George Washington holding an 8-2 series lead.
HAMPTON: The defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champions were idle last week as weather prevented the Lady Pirates from competing at the Alabama State Hornet Invitational. Hampton is coming off a 1-4 showing at the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic hosted by the University of Hawaii two weeks ago with its lone win a 7-2 defeat of Delaware.
The Lady Pirates competed last year at the Gainesville Regional Tournament after winning their first conference title in 17 years. They are led by Diamond Ponds and Taylor Clarke, who are batting .400 and 364, respectively, with Clark tied for the team lead in RBIs with three. In the circle, Jailynn Jackson, a member of the Puerto Rico National Team and the MEAC Pitcher of the Year, is 1-2 with a 2.80 ERA.
Army and Hampton are meeting for the first time.
MINNESOTA: The Gophers (8-1) are coming off their first loss of the season against top-ranked Florida in closing out competition last weekend at the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.
Minnesota, a member of the Big Ten, heads into the tournament ranked No. 20/21 with four players batting over .400 led by Kaitlyn Richardson with a .462 average to include a team-high 10 runs batted in along with a .731 slugging percentage. Among her 12 hits are four doubles and a home run. Richardson was named to the Top 50 Watch List for the National Collegiate Player of the Year. Tyler Walker is batting .429 with 11 runs scored and six RBI, along with a .679 slugging percentage.
Pitcher Sara Moulton shows a stingy 1.73 ERA over 36.1 innings and has yielded just one extra base hit along with 48 strikeouts in holding opponents to a batting average of .173.
UNC GREENSBORO: The host Spartans head into their own tournament with a 2-5 mark after picking up a win at each of their first two tournaments. Greensbor, a member of the Southern Conference, posted a 38-19 mark last year. Katelyn Bedwell leads the squad batting .500 with a team-high 10 hits and eight runs batted in along with a .750 slugging percentage. Allison Geiner is hitting .391 with nine hits and tied for the team lead in runs (five) on a Spartan team that is batting .282.
Raenne Hanks has handled the majority of pitching compiling a 2-2 mark over 19 innings. Army trails 2-0 in its series with UNCG
Next up for Army is the George Mason Patriot Classic, Feb. 28-March 2, in Fairfax, Va.