Feb. 14, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army softball team heads to its second straight weekend tournament with a trip to North Carolina as part of the four-team field at the Charlotte Classic hosted by UNC Charlotte. Inclement weather expected in that area forced changes to the tournament schedule.
Army (2-3) begins play Saturday (Feb. 16) against Youngstown State at 11 a.m. and the host 49ers at 1 p.m. with Sunday's games at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. against Drexel and Youngstown State, respectively. Live stats for each game will be available via GameTracker by logging onto Army's official website at www.goARMysports.com. For detailed in-game updates, follow Army softball on twitter @Army_WSoftball.
The Black Knights opened their 2013 schedule last weekend at the Plainsman Invitational in the state of Alabama where they defeated Austin Peay (10-1) and Tennessee State (10-1) with losses to Furman (4-2), Kent State (5-2) and host Auburn (8-0).
In spite of coming away under .500, Army outhit its competition 24-21 batting .279. Junior outfielder Marina Northup, a starter in all five games, led the way batting .417 (5-for-12) with five RBI and two runs scored.
Senior Alex Reynolds, junior Amanda Nguyen, sophomore Ali Cleinmark and freshmen Christian McKone and Kasey McCravey each collected four hits. McKone batted .400 (4-for-10) and scored a team-high six runs with McCravey next with four runs. Freshman Bernadette Cardon drove in four runs as a pinch hitter in two plate appearances.
Sophomore pitcher Morgan Lashley and freshman hurler Braetana Roy each posted a win with Lashley drawing the bulk of duty pitching 20.1 of 31 innings.
THE FIELD: The Charlotte Classic is the season debut for Drexel and Youngstown State, while Army and Charlotte (2-2) opened play last weekend. Drexel will be playing under first-year head coach Marina Erin when the Dragons open play with a doubleheader against the host Niners in the lone games on Friday.
UNC CHARLOTTE: The host 49ers are 2-2 after splitting their games last weekend at the First Pitch Classic. Both wins were recorded against Presbyterian with Charlotte forced to go to an extra eighth inning to pull out 8-6 and 11-8 decisions.
The 49ers batted .311 in the tournament with Chelsea Starmey's performance earning her Atlantic 10 Player of the Week after batting .571 going 4-for-7 with five RBI and four runs scored. Jessica Plemmons hit .444 (4-for-9) with Natalie Capone and Samantha Slade the leaders in hits with six and five, respectively.
Pitcher Katie Watkins struck out 10 batters as a starter in three of the four games drawing the bulk of duty with 14.2 innings in the circle. Watkins and Kalie Lang each recorded a win.
Army and UNC Charlotte will be meeting for the first time.
DREXEL: The Dragons posted a 22-26 mark last year finishing one game out of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. The Dragons return six of their nine starters to include last year's top hitter in senior first baseman Jenn Reading who batted .326. Her eight home runs tied teammate Paige Collings for the second-best total in Drexel history. Reading also set a school record in walks after drawing 27.
Amanda Bachmann batted .321 with a pair of home runs and Hanna Parrish set a school mark with eight triples hitting .283. Junior outfielder Comfort Ahonkhai batted .310 as Drexel's leadoff batter last year, and sophomore infielder Sylvia Llamas drove in 10 runs in rounding out the Dragons' top returning offensive players.
In the circle, Shelby Taylor led the team with 12 wins and a 3.36 earned run average last season. Drexel also has young untested talent with nine freshmen who will be seeing their first collegiate action this weekend.
Army and Drexel will be meeting for the 14th time in a series that began in 1992 with the Dragons holding a 4-9 lead.
YOUNGSTOWN STATE: The Penguins, members of the Horizon League, posted a 29-21-1 mark last year for their most wins since 2004. Head coach Brian Campbell was named Coach of the Year. As a team, Youngtown State batted .313 with a 3.43 earned run average.
Picked fourth in their conference's preseason poll, Youngstown State returns senior Vicky Rumph, a second-team all-league selection last year. Rumph batted .344 with 13 doubles, four home runs and 35 runs batted in.
Sophomore Kayla Haslett was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team after posting an 8-8 record in the circle and 3.77 ERA.
Army leads the series 5-3 following a 5-4 edging last year at the Rebel Spring Games.
Following this weekend's competition at UNC Charlotte, Army will be idle until the first weekend in March when it travels to Norfolk, Va., to participate in the Spartan Classic (March 2-3) hosted by Norfolk State. The Black Knights will face Delaware, Marist and the host Spartans.