WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW softball team closes out the home portion of its 2013 schedule this weekend as it hosts Drexel in a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series at Boseman Field.

The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday with action on both days set to begin at Noon. Sunday’s contest will also serve as the program’s senior day, with the team honoring senior student-athletes Lauryn Buckworth and Olivia Poplin prior to the start of the contest.

Staying Connected

Live stats will be available for all three games of the series and can be accessed by clicking here ... All three contests will also feature a free audio stream that can be accessed by clicking here … Fans can also keep up with the UNCW softball team by checking out the program's Facebook (UNCW Softball) and Twitter (@UNCWsoftball) accounts or the department's Facebook (UNCWsports) and Twitter (@UNCWAthletics) pages.

Seahawk Storylines

  • UNCW (15-32; 2-12 CAA) takes to the diamond at Boseman Field for the final time in 2013 this weekend after hosting a pair of midweek doubleheaders versus non-conference foes Campbell and North Carolina Central.
  • The Seahawks split the two twinbills, falling in both games to the Camels, 9-3 and 5-3, on Tuesday before rallying to sweep the Eagles, 9-0 and 5-1, on Thursday.
  • Senior Lauryn Buckworth recorded five hits in 12 plate appearances during the four-game set to move her batting average to a team-leading .328. Buckworth, who also leads the team with 43 hits, has reached base safely in 40 of 47 games played this season.
  • Junior KC Shue remains the Seahawks’ top run producer, driving in 31 runs thus far in her first season with the program. Shue has driven in 18 runs over the last 19 contests, highlighted by a four-RBI effort in the Seahawks’ 4-2 victory at Georgia State on April 6.
  • Junior Morgan McCann ranks second on the team with a .297 batting average and is third with 20 RBI. McCann, who leads the team with 30 runs scored, has come around to score in three of the past four contests.
  • Senior Olivia Poplin drew four walks during the Seahawks midweek contests to give her a team-leading 30 base on balls this season. Poplin, who has drawn a walk in seven of the past eight games, is in second on the program’s single-season walks chart and is nine walks away from matching Melody Cope’s single-season record (39).
  • Sophomore Casey Rowland leads the UNCW pitching staff in nearly every statistical category, including appearances (26), games started (21), innings pitched (134.0), wins (9), strikeouts (107) and complete games (11).
  • UNCW has struggled in one-run contests of late as it has have lost each of its last nine contests decided by a single run. The Seahawks moved to 3-9 in one-run games this season with a pair of one-run setbacks to Coastal Carolina on April 17.
  • The Seahawks have done a majority of their damage at the plate in the fifth inning as they have plated 41 of their 182 runs scored this season in that frame. The Seahawks hold a 41-28 advantage over its opponents in runs scored in that inning.

Scouting Drexel

  • Drexel (13-32, 0-15 CAA) opens a season-ending road trip this weekend that will see the Dragons play their final eight games away from home.
  • First-year head coach Miranda Ervin’s squad closed out the home portion of their schedule with a 3-2 victory over visiting Delaware State on Tuesday, a win that halted a four-game losing skid.
  • Senior Jenn Reading leads the Dragons attack with a .283 batting average and 16 RBI. Reading is second on the team with 28 hits while fellow senior Hanna Parrish is first with 37 base knocks.
  • Junior Shelby Taylor and freshman Tara Konopka have combined to pitch 263.0 of the Dragons’ 292.2 innings in the field this season. Konopka has made a team-high 25 appearances with 15 complete games while Taylor has made 23 appearances and has 10 complete games to her credit.

Series Notes Versus Drexel

  • Drexel holds an 18-12 lead in the all-time series between the two programs. All but four of the previous 30 matchups have come since the Seahawks joined the Colonial Athletic Association for softball in 2004.
  • The Dragons have controlled play in the series of late, winning seven of the last eight meetings. Drexel took two of three from UNCW in their three-game series last April in Philadelphia.
  • UNCW is 6-8 versus Drexel at home. The Dragons have won four straight against the Seahawks at Boseman Field, including a sweep of their last visit to the Port City in 2011, a three-game series that saw Drexel record three one-run victories.

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.

Matkins Nabs CAA Rookie Honor

Freshman outfielder Taylor Matkins was named CAA Co-Rookie-of-the-Week, league officials announced on March 12.

  • Matkins fashioned a .500 (6-of-12) batting average with four RBI and four runs scored in helping UNCW to a 4-1 record during the week of March 4-10.
  • The Greenville, N.C., product opened the week with a 3-for-6 effort that included three RBI and three runs scored in a doubleheader sweep of North Carolina A&T. Matkins followed that performance with three hits in three trips to the plate in the Seahawks' 7-3 victory over Presbyterian in the opening game of the NCCU Eagle Challenge on March 9.

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 in late February, Rowland moved into 10th place on the program's career strikeouts chart as she surpassed Heather Petroff (162).
  • Rowland begins the week with 241 career strikeouts and needs 18 more strikeouts to match Amanda Aditays (2008-11) for sixth place on the all-time list (269).

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 63-19-1 since the start of the 2008 season when they score five or more runs in a game. UNCW is 10-4 this season when plating five or more runs in a contest.
  • The Seahawks are 11-164 since the start of the 2008 season when they are held to two or fewer runs in a game.
  • UNCW is 1-19 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.

Let’s Keep Playing

UNCW recently played the longest game in program history with a 12-inning contest at George Mason on March 30.

  • The contest broke the previous program record for the longest game of 11 innings, set on five prior occasions, including a 5-4 victory versus the Patriots last March at Boseman Field.
  • UNCW unfortunately found itself on the losing end of things this time around as it suffered a 6-5 setback to the Patriots.

Up Next

UNCW closes out the regular season May 3-4 with a three-game series at Delaware. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Friday at and a single game on Saturday. Action on both days will begin at Noon.