BUIES CREEK, N.C. – This week Campbell's softball team (16-15, 1-0 Big South) plays four games including the team's first home games in the Big South Conference since 1994. The Camels begin the week and head to Chapel Hill to take on No. 23 North Carolina (22-8) in a single game on Wednesday, March 28, at 7 p.m. CU then returns home to host Big South preseason favorite Radford (14-8, 1-0 Big South) for three games starting on Friday, March 30, at 4 p.m. at the Eakes Athletic Complex.
The Camels only had one game last week, but made the most of it with a 5-4 conference win over Winthrop on Thursday, March 22. Senior Taylor McGee provided the late-game heroics with her sixth inning game-winning single to score junior Sarah Forgacs from second. The game-winning RBI was her sixth of the season. Sophomore Olivia Scarborough threw 4.1 scoreless innings of relief to earn her second win of the season. Freshman Kailey Farmer had a two-run double in the game. Freshman Stephanie Jones had three hits in the game. Ericka Nesbitt continued her hot hitting with two more hits. She is now 12 for her last 18 (.667 batting average) covering the last two weeks of action. The win was Campbell first in league play since leaving the conference following the 1994 season.
CU enters the eighth week of the year ranking highly in Big South in numerous categories. Junior Sarah Forgacs is tied for the league lead in doubles (9) and triples (2). She is third in the conference in runs scored (19), tied for sixth in total bases (46), eighth in slugging percentage (.489), ninth in stolen bases (7) and 10th in on-base percentage (.404). Freshman Stephanie Jones is tied for the league lead in doubles (9), second in total bases (50), third in RBIs (23), fourth in stolen bases (9), runs (18) and slugging percentage (.521). She is also fifth in hits (32). Senior Taylor McGee is second in RBIs (25), tied for second in home runs (6), third in total bases (49) and slugging percentage (.590), fifth in doubles (6) and 10th in walks (12). Freshman Ericka Nesbitt is second in hits (37), third in stolen bases (10) and on-base percentage (.447), tied for fourth in runs (18). Sophomore Raven Lee is tied for second in home runs (6), tied for third in walks (17), sixth in RBIs (16) and tied for ninth in total bases (44). Freshman Kailey Farmer is tied for fifth in home runs (4). Freshman Kerstine Womack ranks 10th in the league in runs scored (15). Junior Brittany Arnn is tied for fourth in wins (6), shutouts (2) and complete games (9). She is fifth in strikeouts (49), tied for sixth in games started (13) and 10th in appearances. Freshman Julia Callicutt is second in opponent batting average (.201), tied for fourth in shutouts (2), fifth in ERA (2.29), sixth in wins (5) and 10th in strikeouts (35). Senior Christina Melton is eighth in complete games (5), ninth in strikeouts (37) and tied for 10th in wins (4).
Campbell leads the conference in batting average (.281), slugging percentage (.441), on-base percentage (.365) and doubles (46). The team is second in the league in runs scored (136), hits (217), runs batted-in (125), home runs (23) and total bases (340). The Camels also rank 18th in the nation in doubles per game (1.48) and 16th in double plays a contest (0.45).
North Carolina has won five of the team's six games including an 8-0 no-hit victory over South Carolina by Lori Spingola last week. Spingola has won 16 games this year with 167 strikeouts in 128.2 innings thrown. She also has 16 complete games and eight shutouts to her credit and sports a 2.07 ERA. Amy Nece leads the team with her .415 batting average and five stolen bases. Logan Foulks is tied for the team lead with seven doubles and six home runs. She is also hitting .333 with 26 RBIs and is slugging at .631 clip. Kelli Wheeler has also hit six home runs and leads the team with her 23 runs scored, 15 walks and 29 hits. The Tar Heels lead the all-time series with Campbell 35-8, but CU has been able to split the series with UNC in each of the last two years with junior Brittany Arnn picking up each of those victories for the Camels.
Radford has won six games in a row since returning to the mainland from the team's Spring Break trip to Hawai'i. The Highlanders, who are the preseason favorites in the league, defeated Liberty by a 6-3 score last week and will play the Flames twice this week before heading to Buies Creek. Nichole Beall leads the team in batting average (.397), runs (18), hits (25), home runs (5), RBIs (11), total bases (47), slugging percentage (.746), walks (11) and stolen bases (13). Jackie Jenkins is the staff leader with five wins, three complete games, two saves and 58.1 innings thrown. Micalah Sacre is a dual threat player. Sacre has two home runs and 10 RBIs as a hitter and has won four games with 30 strikeouts in 32.1 innings inning thrown as a pitcher. Radford leads the conference in stolen bases with 59 and have a team ERA of 2.89. The Camels lead the all-time series with Radford 18-7 although the two schools have only played each other three times the last five years.
After this weekend's action, the Camels continue play in the Big South Conference and complete the series with a doubleheader against Winthrop on Wednesday, April 4, starting 4 p.m. at the Eakes Athletic Complex.