Lafayette Softball Competes in Tar Heel Invitational Starting Friday
March 6, 2008
EASTON, Pa. - Leopards' softball travels to Chapel Hill, N.C. to participate in the three-day Tar Heel Invitational with competition starting on Thursday. Lafayette opened the season last weekend, splitting a doubleheader with Penn. The Leopards will play James Madison, Princeton, South Carolina Upstate and North Carolina with the invitational finals scheduled for Sunday.
James Madison (7-7) returns eight position players and three pitchers from the 2007 squad, including CAA Co-Player of the Year senior first base Jennifer Chavez. The Dukes were picked to finish second in the preseason CAA poll. Chavez finished last season with a .395 batting average, nine homeruns and a team-high 44 RBI. She is currently hitting .125 through 14 games this season.
The Dukes participated in three classics to kick off the 2008 season before dropping Wednesday's doubleheader at No. 23/25 Maryland. James Madison lost the first game 3-0 and fell 7-4 in the second. Junior shortstop Amber Kirk helped the Dukes to an early 3-0 lead with her first homerun of the season in the second game. Maryland made a comeback, scoring six runs in the bottom of the first inning on the way to the 7-4 win. Kirk finished 2-for-3 against the Terrapins with a run scored and three RBI. She is batting .389 this season with a team-high eight RBI. She was named CAA Player of the Week on March 5 following a 7-of-15 effort at the plate in five games.
Junior Jenny Clohan posted a 14-8 record from the circle with 210 strikeouts and a 1.86 ERA to earn first-team All-CAA honors. Clohan has a 2-2 mark this season with a 2.14 ERA and 30 strikeouts. Meredith Felts has the best ERA (1.12) in 37.2 innings pitched and already earned CAA Pitcher of the Week (March 4). The Dukes pitching staff also includes sophomore Braedon Moss and junior Shannon Outman who have made a combined seven appearances with four starts.
The Leopards have played JMU in softball just once losing the first game of a scheduled doubleheader 6-5 in 2002. The second game was canceled due to darkness. Lafayette will play the James Madison on Thursday at 10 a.m.
The Leopards are 1-7 in the all-time series against Princeton, but the teams have not played each other since 1988. All-Ivy League honorees senior pitcher Kristen Schaus, juniors Kathryn Welch (infield) and Brianna Moreno (outfield) return to the Tigers 2008 squad. Princeton is now under the direction Trincia Salcdio, who was an assistant for three seasons prior to taking the head coaching position in June 2007.
Welch has a .231 batting average and just one double in the first four games of the season. Moreno has one RBI and is hitting .200. Schaus has a 4.43 ERA and 1-2 record in four appearances and three starts for the Tigers. Princeton has two .500 above hitters in sophomore Kelsey Quist (.538) and senior Beth Dalmut (.538).
Princeton competed in the George Mason Tournament from Feb. 29-March 2 and left Fairfax, Va. with a 1-3 overall mark. The lone victory for the Tigers came in an extra inning season-opening game against Niagara University. Princeton and Lafayette compete at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.
South Carolina Upstate will face the Leopards for the first time in each program's history on Saturday at 10 a.m. The Spartans posted a 47-15 record and a 16-4 mark in the Peach Belt Conference. They are 9-3 overall this season after opening the season home with wins over Tusculum, West Virginia, Wesleyan and splitting a doubleheader with Winthrop. The new Atlantic Sun conference member, USC Upstate dropped two games to Kent State in the First Pitch Classic, but registered wins against Stony Brook, Charlotte and Charleston Southern.
Junior Heidi Gibbs (.462 BA) and senior Shay Slater (.305 BA) lead the Spartans in hitting. Courtney Feldon and Slater are tied at the top of the squad with eight RBI apiece. Freshman Kim Brasil with a .375 batting average has four doubles this season.
Freshman Morgan Childers in 51.2 innings pitched has the lowest ERA (1.49) on the South Carolina-Upstate team. She has a 7-1 record and 60 strikeouts.
Lafayette's final scheduled opponent on Saturday is against host North Carolina (17-6). The Tarheels return their entire pitching staff and seven position players with starting experience. Junior Lisa Norris has a 6-3 record in 10 appearances with a team-high 76 strikeouts. Sophomore Danielle Spaulding has the lowest ERA (0.94) in 37.1 innings pitched.
North Carolina has competed in three tournaments, including hosting their season-opening Carolina Classic in early February. The Tar Heels entered into the University of Florida Cox Communications Classic with a 5-0 record after recording to 20 or greater run games over George Washington and North Carolina Central in February.
North Carolina swept UNC Greensboro in a midweek doubleheader on Wednesday. Norris took a no-hitter into the fifth inning en route to the 4-0 victory in the first game over the Spartans. Rookie Faith Sutton got the win in the second game finishing with 4.1 innings pitched, five strikeouts and only one walk.
Junior Breanna Brown led the Tar Heels offensive efforts with a .343 batting average and is currently hitting .333 with 10 RBI. Brown leads North Carolina in runs scored (20). Classmate Emily Troup leads the regular starters with a .386 average at the plate and a team-high 18 RBI.
The Tar Heel Invitational wraps up action on Sunday with the consolation game of the fifth and fourth seed at 10 a.m., while the third and second seed will face each other at the same time. The winner of the Invitational will be determined when the winner between the No. 2 and No. 3 seed take on the No. 1 seed at 12:30 pm.
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