WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW softball team continues its early season tournament schedule this weekend as it travels to Low Country for the Charleston Southern Buccaneer Invitational at the CSU Softball Field.

Tournament Schedule

The Seahawks are slated to play four games during the CSU Buccaneer Invitational. UNCW will open play Friday with games against Valparaiso (11 a.m.) and No. 7 Tennessee (1 p.m.) before wrapping up the weekend with a second contest against the Lady Vols (9 a.m.) and a matchup versus the host Buccaneers (1 p.m.) on Saturday.

Staying Connected

Live stats will be available for all four of UNCW's games in the CSU Buccaneer Invitational and can be accessed by clicking here ... Saturday's contest against Charleston Southern will be streamed online and can be watched by clicking here ... Fans can also keep up with the UNCW softball program by checking out the program's Facebook (UNCW Softball) and Twitter (@UNCWsoftball) accounts or the department's Facebook (UNCWsports) and Twitter (@UNCWAthletics) pages.

Seahawk Notes

  • UNCW (6-7) posted a 2-1 result in the rain-shortened Seahawk Clash last weekend at Boseman Field, sweeping UMBC (3-1 & 14-4) while suffering a 4-2 setback to Gardner-Webb.
  • UNCW recorded a season-high 14 runs in its 14-4 victory over UMBC on Feb. 24. The 14 runs are the most for the Seahawks since plating 14 in a 14-4 triumph over NC Central on Feb. 10, 2012.
  • Junior Morgan McCann paced the UNCW lineup for the weekend, finishing with six hits in 11 plate appearances to go along with three RBI and a run scored. McCann enters the CSU Buccaneer Invitational second on the team with a .429 batting average (12-of-28).
  • Senior Lauryn Buckworth recorded two base knocks and a walk during the Seahawk Clash to extend her streak of reaching base safely to 13 games. Buckworth continues to lead the squad with a .471 batting average and nine RBI this season.
  • Sophomore Casey Rowland hit her first career home run during the Seahawk Clash, a grand slam versus UMBC to cap the Seahawks' 14-4 rout of the Retrievers. Rowland became the first UNCW player since the 2011 season to hit a bases-clearing blast.
  • Rowland also played a key role in the Seahawk other victory of the weekend, allowing one run and two hits over seven innings in UNCW's 3-1 win over UMBC on Saturday. Rowland has made a team-high nine appearances in the circle for the Seahawks this season and leads the squad with 34 strikeouts and six complete games.
  • The Seahawks have thrived in one-run games this season, posting a perfect 3-0 mark in one-run contests thus far. The Seahawks were just 4-9 last season in one-run affairs.
  • UNCW is 6-1 this season when it records as many or more hits and its opponent. The only loss under such circumstances came in a 6-2 loss to Nebraska-Omaha that saw both teams finished with seven base knocks in the contest.
  • UNCW will face its second ranked opponent of the season as it takes No. 7 Tennessee twice during the CSU Buccaneer Invitational. The Seahawks fell twice to then No. 5 Florida during the Florida Lipton Invitational two weeks ago in Gainesville.
  • The Seahawks have faced a nationally-ranked opponent in each of the past five seasons. UNCW is looking for its first victory against a ranked opponent in that span, suffering three losses to UNC Chapel Hill (2009, 2010 & 2012), a doubleheader setback to SEC foe Georgia in 2011 and sweep by Florida in the Florida Lipton Invitational two weekends ago.
  • UNCW Assistant Coach Meredith Felts is no stranger to the Charleston Southern program. Felts spent two seasons in Charleston as an assistant coach to the Buccaneers' program, helping the squad advance to the Big South Conference Championship for the first time in 24 years last season.

Scouting Charleston Southern

  • Charleston Southern (3-7) enters the weekend coming off of a 1-1 appearance in  the College of Charleston Cougar Classic. The Bucs defeated Wagner in the CofC Classic opener, 9-1, while falling to South Carolina, 17-3, on the final day.
  •  Junior Stephanie Sbardella continues to pace the team at the plate with a .500 batting average that includes four doubles and two home runs on the season. Sbardella also leads the team with 10 runs scored and 10 RBI.
  • Junior Marci Christian brings a nine-game hitting streak into Buccaneer Invitational with 12 hits in her past 27 at-bats. Christian is hitting .400 for the season with nine RBI.
  • Sophomore Jennifer Giles has been the team leader in the circle in the 2013 season, recording a team-high eight appearances with seven starts and five complete games overall. Giles has recorded a 3.28 earned run average in 47 innings pitched and has recorded 36 strikeouts to just 24 walks in that span.

Series Notes Versus Charleston Southern

  • UNCW holds a 21-13 overall record against Charleston Southern, but the Buccaneers have won three of the last four meetings.
  • The two programs have met in seven of the last eight seasons, with the only exception in that span being the 2012 season.
  • UNCW took the first meeting between the two programs this season, recording a 6-5 victory at the Florida Lipton Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., on Feb. 16.

Scouting Tennessee

  • No. 7 Tennessee (14-2) is already in Low Country as it will square off against the College of Charleston on Thursday before taking part in the CSU Buccaneer Invitational this weekend.
  • The Lady Vols are paced offensively by senior Raven Chavanne and her .471 batting average. Chavanne has also been a force to reckon with the base paths as she is a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts.
  • Sophomore Cheyanne Tarango has recorded 16 RBI to lead a Tennessee squad that already has five players with double-digit RBI this season. Tarango has recorded a team-high seven extra-base hits this season, including three home runs.
  • Sisters Ivy and Ellen Renfroe has served as the anchors of the Lady Vols rotation, teaming up to start 11 of the team's 16 games this season in the circle. Both pitchers have turned in sub-1.00 ERA's in the early going, with the elder Ivy leading the way with a 0.58 ERA in 36.0 innings pitched.

Series Notes Versus Tennessee

  • The games at the CSU Buccaneer Invitational will serve as the first contests between UNCW and Tennessee.

Scouting Valparaiso

  • Valparaiso (3-5) come into this weekend off the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic in which the Crusaders posted a 1-4 record during the event.
  • Sophomore Brittany Duncan and senior Joylyn Ichiyama lead the Valpo attack with 10 hits apiece. Duncan also leads the team with six walks as she has struck out just once in 23 plate appearances this season.
  • Freshman Janelle Bouchard is second on the team with nine hits, including four for extra bases. Bouchard has been the Crusaders' top run-producer in the early going with a team-best nine RBI.
  • Head Coach Jordan Stevens has relied upon a trio of pitchers in the early going as Senior Amanda Bolton and freshmen Sierra Pico and Taylor Weissenhofer have combined to pitch all but 5.0 of the teams 55.0 innings in the field this season. Together, the trio has combined to allow 24 runs (21 earned) on 45 hits and 29 walks while striking out 38.

Series Notes Versus Valparaiso

  • Friday's game at the CSU Buccaneer Invitational will serve as the first meeting between UNCW and Valparaiso.

Rowland Named CAA Pitcher-of-the-Week

UNCW sophomore hurler Casey Rowland was named CAA Pitcher-of-the-Week on Feb. 11.

  • A native of Albany, N.Y., Rowland went 2-0 in three appearances in the season-opening UNCW Beach Blast Feb. 8-10. She struck out 12 in 13.1 innings while limiting opponents to a .114 batting average as she helped the Seahawks post a 3-2 record in the event.
  • Rowland opened the tournament with a one-hit shutout of Detroit and followed that performance with a complete-game effort against Iona that saw her scatter three hits and two walks in a 2-1 victory.
  • She closed the weekend with a relief appearance against Detroit that saw her strike out three in 1.1 innings of work.

Rowland Enters Career Strikeout Chart

Sophomore hurler Casey Rowland recently moved into the program's top 10 list for strikeouts in a career.

  • With her 12 strikeouts during the Seahawk Clash, Rowland moved into 10th place on the program's career strikeouts chart as she surpassed Heather Petroff (162).
  • Rowland begins the weekend with 173 career strikeouts and is just 52 k's away from matching Amanda Wilson (2002-05) for ninth place on the all-time list (215).

The Norton Era Begins With A Win

The Seahawks gave first-year head coach Kristy Norton a victory in her UNCW debut, an 8-0 triumph over Detroit on Feb. 8 in the Seahawk Clash.

  • Norton became the first UNCW head coach to win her inaugural game since Melissa Jarrell posted a 6-5 victory over Drexel to begin the 2002 season.

The Run Game

  • The Seahawks are 56-16-1 since the start of the 2008 season when they score five or more runs in a game.
  • UNCW is 3-1 this season when plating five or more runs in a game. The only loss under such circumstances came in a 13-10 setback to Savannah State during the Florida Lipton Invitational on Feb. 16.
  • The Seahawks are 11-150 since the start of the 2008 season when they are held to two or fewer runs in a game.
  • UNCW is 1-5 in 2013 when plating two runs or less in a game. The Seahawks lone win when scoring two run or less came in a 2-1 victory over Iona in the UNCW Beach Blast on Feb. 8.

Up Next

UNCW plays its first midweek games of the season as it travels to Greensboro on March 6 for a doubleheader with North Carolina A&T. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.