Softball Hosts Hampton Inn Invitational This Weekend

Olivia Scarborough
Olivia Scarborough

Live Stats For The Tournament


BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell's softball team (1-3) returns home this weekend to host the Hampton Inn Invitational from Feb. 17-18 at the Eakes Athletic Complex. The Camels will start the weekend and take on Robert Morris at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 17.

The others three teams at the Hampton Inn Invitational besides Robert Morris and CU include Ohio, Saint Joseph's and Towson. The tournament begins with Robert Morris and Towson facing off with each other at 10 a.m. Other games on the first day involved Saint Joseph's and Ohio at 12:30 p.m., Saint Joseph's and Towson at 3 p.m. and Campbell vs. Ohio at 8 p.m. The tournament's second day begins with Saint Joseph's and Robert Morris squaring off at 10 a.m. Campbell plays the second game of the day at 12:30 p.m. against Saint Joseph's. Ohio and Robert Morris have the third game at 3 p.m. Campbell will be on the field again for the fourth game of the day against Towson at 5:30 p.m. The tournament wraps up with Ohio and Towson matching up in the evening game at 8 p.m.

The Camels went 1-3 at the Red & Black Showcase in Athens, Ga. last weekend. CU began the tournament with a thrilling 7-6 victory over St. John's (2/10). The Camels trailed by four after the first inning, but fought back to take the game 7-6 on freshman Ericka Nesbitt's RBI single in bottom of the seventh inning. Fellow freshman Stephanie Jones had a debut to remember with four hits, three RBIs and two stolen bases against the Red Storm. Her four hits were the first for a CU player since Lauren Stephan reached the mark last April. She became just the fourth CU freshman to reach the four-hit mark along with Julie-Kay Lang (1990), Amanda Miller (2008) and Katie Hinton (2008). Jones continued her strong opening week with a two-run double against North Carolina State (2/11) and two more hits and a walk against Army (2/11). Jones currently leads the team in batting average (.538), hits (7), RBIs (5), total bases (9), slugging percentage (.692) and stolen bases (3). Junior Sarah Forgacs has also started the season strong and has reached base in all four games this season. Christina Melton has Campbell's win on the season after throwing a complete game against the Red Storm with six strikeouts.

Robert Morris, who is opening their season this weekend, went 26-26 last season and 15-5 in the Northeast Conference (NEC). The Colonials return 13 letterwinners including four NEC All-Conference selections from last season in Allie Patton – First Team, Jaci Timko – First Team, Alexa Bryson – Second Team and Maritza Jimenez – Second Team. Patton is the top returning hitter as she hit .382 with 55 hits and 29 runs last season. Timko batted .327 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. Jimenez is the top returning RBI threat with her 29 runs drive in last season. Bryson won 13 games and struck out 170 in 153 innings worked as a junior. The head coach for Robert Morris, Craig Coleman, earned his medical degree from The Pennsylvania State School of Medicine and was an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School Medicine from 1988 to 2005. Coleman also has served as the Athletic Director at Robert Morris since May of 2005. He has been at Robert Morris doing his head coaching duties since 1991. The Camels lead the series with Robert Morris 3-0, but the schools haven't met since 2004.

Ohio opened its season in Spartanburg, S.C. last weekend at the Upstate Classic. The Bobcats went 3-1 with wins in each of the first three games. Ohio's offense has started strong with 37 runs in the first four games. Jillian Van Wagnen is hitting .500 with six hits and five runs scored. Alexis Joseph also has six runs along with six runs scored. Raven King provides the power with two home runs and four RBIs. Freshman Lauren McClary made an immediate impact and has started all four games in the circle for Ohio. She has won a pair of games and struck out 25 in 16.2 innings worked. The Camels are 4-0 all-time against Ohio with the last meeting occurring in the 2009 Camel Stampede

Saint Joseph's is also opening the season with this tournament. The Hawks were 31-16 last season and 10-4 in the Atlantic-10. Saint Joseph's returns four all-conference players from a season ago in Dana Parks, Monica Aguilar, Bernadette Moran and Erin Gallagher. Parks hit .435 with 67 hits, 39 runs and 20 stolen bases as a sophomore. Aguilar was right behind her with a .391 batting average, 37 runs scored, 52 hits, 11 doubles, seven home runs and 42 RBIs. She also walked 32 times and only struck out 11 times in 133 at-bats. Moran sported a .296 batting average with 42 hits and 22 runs scored. Gallagher is the team's top pitcher. She won 22 games with 13 complete games and seven shutouts. She also fanned 215 batters in 214.2 innings worked and had a 1.60 ERA. Saint Joseph's is opening an on-campus softball facility in the spring and will have the first true home game in 22 years when it is completed. The team only played six games at home in 2011, while winning 27 games on the road and at neutral sites. The program has been using facilities at Temple, Drexel and Villanova to play home games at recently. The Camels have only faced Saint Joseph's once and that was an 8-6 loss for CU in 2009.

Towson is the third team that is opening the season at the Hampton Inn Invitational. The Tigers are predicted to finish third in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) after going 28-26 last season and 11-8 in the CAA last season. Towson is an experienced bunch that returns 16 letterwinners. The top returning hitters for Towson are Andrea Stevenson, who hit .341 with five home runs and 32 RBIs, and Erika Stasch, who hit .319 with five home runs and 26 RBIs. The team also returns both of the top pitchers from a season ago in Dominique Ortega and Katie Lingmai. Ortega won 10 games with 2.09 ERA last season. Lingmai led the team with 17 wins, 190 innings pitched, and 171 strikeouts. She also threw 18 complete games, had seven shutouts and limited opponents to a .192 batting average. The Camels led the series with Towson 13-5, but the Tigers beat the Camels last season 2-0 at the Pirate Clash in Greenville, N.C.

After this weekend's action, the Camels will hit the road and take on North Carolina Central in a doubleheader on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 2 and 4 p.m. The team then heads back down to Georgia to participate in the Phyllis Rafter Memorial from Feb. 24-26 in Woodstock, Ga. with games against St. Louis, Alabama State, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia State and Southeastern Louisiana on the schedule.