Softball Heads to Carolina Classic

Morgan Rinehart and the Colonials will spend the weeekend at the Carolina Classic.
Morgan Rinehart and the Colonials will spend the weeekend at the Carolina Classic.
March 1, 2018

GW softball is set for a challenging weekend at the Carolina Classic, hosted by South Carolina. The Colonials are scheduled for four games over three days in Columbia, S.C., with matchups against Marshall, Liberty and the homestanding Gamecocks, who are ranked No. 20 nationally in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll.

GW (9-3) has won seven of its last eight, entering Friday’s opener against Marshall at Carolina Stadium at Beckham Field.

LAST TIME OUT: GW blitzed Howard on Wednesday in a doubleheader sweep to open its home schedule. The Colonials won the opener, 8-0, in six innings before taking the nightcap, 16-0, in five innings.

GW got it done in all facets against the Bison. The offensive highlight was a 12-run, 12-hit second inning in the second game in which eight different Colonials scored. The pitchers tossed a pair of combined shutouts, including a no-hitter for Kaitlin Buff and Ashley Pilcher in the finale. It was the fourth in program history and first since 2013.

HAVE A SEAT: Pitcher Sierra Lange leads the Atlantic 10 in the early going with 32 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. The freshman from Texas had 13 of them in a win over New Mexico last Friday. She’s also tied with teammate Sarah Costlow for the conference lead in wins (four) after tossing four shutout innings in Wednesday’s opener against Howard.

TABLE SETTER: In her first season at GW, Marta Fuentes has provided a consistent spark at the top of the order. The junior shortstop has hit .370 with a .447 on-base percentage through 12 games. She leads the A-10 in both runs (14) and stolen bases (12), too. Her top performance came last Friday against New Mexico when she hit for the cycle and tied the program record for total bases in a game (10).

SCOUTING MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd is 7-8 on the season with wins in three of its past four games. Its staff has compiled a 2.78 ERA, led by Ali Burdette, who is 2-3 with a 1.77 ERA over 12 appearances.

Marshall won the only previous meeting between these squads, 4-2, on Feb. 11, 2012 in Conway, S.C.

SCOUTING LIBERTY: The Flames have compiled a 10-4 record so far with two of those losses coming to ranked opponents. Last season, they won 46 games on the way to the inaugural National Invitational Softball Championship.

Liberty leads the all-time series, 2-0, after a doubleheader sweep on April 18, 2010.

SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks are off to a hot start at 15-1, including a 5-0 mark at home, to climb into the national rankings. They are hitting .291 as a team, paced by shortstop Kenzi Maguire (.450 with 19 runs in 16 games).

GW dropped its only previous meeting with the Gamecocks, 4-2, on Feb. 26, 2012.

ON DECK: GW hosts its Colonial Classic next Friday-Sunday at GW Softball Field on the Mount Vernon Campus. The Colonials are scheduled to face Princeton and Fairleigh Dickinson three times apiece over the three days.

WATCH THIS: Hear from head coach James DeFeo ahead of the Carolina Classic.



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