Inaugural Seahawk Clash Set To Begin
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW softball team will battle in a split-squad series in the inaugural Seahawk Clash this week at Boseman Field.
Serving as the final in-game competition of the fall practice season, the team will play a split-squad series at Boseman Field that begins Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and continues Friday with game two at 5:30 p.m. If necessary, the third game will be played Saturday at 11 a.m. All games are open to the public and fans are encouraged to attend.
"Both teams are very excited for the Seahawk Clash," said senior Lauryn Buckworth, who will serve as captain of Team Teal. "We are a very competitive group so obviously there is a lot of trash talking coming from both teams, especially my team. I know we all are looking forward to having a little fun with these games but we are definitely expecting them to be intense."
Buckworth and fellow senior Olivia Poplin (Team Navy) were in charge of drafting their teams and will be responsible for setting the lineups for each game, tasks that have already proved much more difficult than originally thought.
"It was extremely difficult for me to choose who I wanted on my team because everyone works so well together and the talent within the team is so evenly distributed," said Poplin. "Basically I had to begin by looking at each position and select the most needed positions on the field. Next I went through the remaining players trying to figure out the best formation of a cohesive defensive team, along with a strong balanced offensive side. I believe the teams are very evenly distributed, which will make for a more interesting and exciting series."
Team Navy will feature juniors Ali Ruppe, Tori Sewell and Camry Wagner; sophomores Kristen Jernigan and Morgan McCann and freshmen Erin Brown, Taylor Matkins, Jordin Phillips, Kayla Pine and Ali Ruppe.
Although the Seahawk Clash is intended to serve as both a leadership activity and a way for the team to continue their improvement during in-game situations, bragging rights are sure to come to the team that takes the series.
"Personally, I hope my teammates and I use the Seahawk Clash as a learning experience," said Poplin. "I believe this competition can be used as a tool to make our program better as a whole by learning more about the game in live competition while also helping us heighten and control our drive during competition. At the same time, it would mean so much to win the Seahawk Clash because of the respect and confidence we would earn by doing so."
"To win the Seahawk clash would be really exciting," Buckworth noted. "It would be a huge confidence booster. However, I am really hoping that this is more of a learning experience for everybody. Hopefully the games will help point out the areas we need to work on in order to make us a stronger competitor for the spring."