There’s a unique mix of weekend relaxation and edge-of-your-seat excitement when you spend a Saturday at UNCG Softball Stadium.
You’re sitting with sunflower seeds in hand, wearing your favorite blue and gold T-shirt and cap, listening to the almost mesmerizing chants from the dugout.
And then suddenly there’s a ping of the bat, a race around the bases, a slide into home and another win for the Southern Conference pre-season favorites, who have their sights set on a SoCon Tournament Title and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
There are big expectations this year. So far, the team is living up to them – and it couldn’t be more thrilling for Spartan fans.
UNCG Softball is off to a 21-7 start on the season and is No. 53 in the nation according to the latest RPI rankings. Head Coach Janelle Breneman’s team swept the season-series against ACC foe Virginia and beat out another power-five school, Iowa State, in the fourth game of the season.
“The team is dedicated,” Breneman said, “They have high determination for a championship and a regional appearance.”
Breneman describes this year’s squad as a group of highly talented individuals with diverse personalities. Yet their success stems from their cohesion as a team.
“When it comes to softball,” she said, “and how we treat each other, we’re going to be great teammates, respect each other and make sure everyone’s doing their part.”
SoCon play starts this weekend with a homestand against Furman. Games are at 1 and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Just across Walker Avenue, UNCG Baseball is also gearing up for its SoCon opener against Virginia Military Institute this weekend. The team is coming off a historic season in which it claimed its first SoCon Tournament Title and earned a berth in the NCAA Clemson Regional.
Admission is free and open to the public for all UNCG softball and baseball games. For more information and to view a complete schedule, visit uncgspartans.com.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography by Tim Cowie, UNCG Athletics