WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW softball team heads to the Palmetto State this weekend as it takes part in the Gamecock Invitational, hosted by South Carolina.

The Seahawks begin the three-day tournament Friday with a 12:30 contest against Michigan State before continuing play Saturday with a 10 a.m. matchup versus Georgetown. Sunday features a pair of contests that includes a 3 p.m. tilt versus Gardner-Webb and a 5 p.m. contest with the host Gamecocks.  

Live stats are available for all games this weekend and a video stream will be offered for the Seahawks matchup with South Carolina. Both can be accessed by clicking on the respective links at the top of the page.

UNCW (4-3) carries a three-game winning streak into the Gamecock Invitational after wrapping up last weekend’s Seahawk Invitational with wins over Norfolk State (12-0), Liberty (3-1) and UMBC (4-3). Freshman Merritt Wilkinson, the CAA Rookie-of-the-Week, paced the Seahawk lineup with a .625 batting average and four extra-base hits, including the game-winning homerun against the Retrievers in the tournament finale. In the circle, the UNCW pitching staff teamed up to limit the opposition to just 18 hits as the quartet combined for a 2.15 ERA during the event.

Gardner-Webb (1-7) heads into the weekend looking to halt a losing skid that reached six games with a doubleheader sweep at the hands of USC Upstate on Wednesday. Samantha Meenaghan has been a bright spot in the Runnin’ Bulldogs lineup through eight games as the she is hitting .500 with two triples and four RBI. Jessica Childers has anchored Head Coach Tom Cole’s pitching staff with a 2.42 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 26.0 innings in the circle thus far.

Georgetown (2-3) returns to the diamond this weekend for the first time in two weeks after its appearance in the Longwood Tournament was cancelled due to weather last weekend. Taylor Henry leads the Hoyas lineup with a .400 batting average while Hannah Slovacek has accounted for five of the team’s nine RBI this season. Lauren O’Leary and Megan Hyson have seen most of the action in the circle for Head Coach Pat Conlan’s squad in the early going as the duo has pitched 30.2 of a possible 32.0 innings in the field.  

Michigan State (2-5) enters the weekend looking to halt a four-game losing skid after dropping all four of its contests in the Littlewood Classic last weekend at Arizona State. Kassidy Kujawa has led the Spartan attack in the early going with a .333 batting average and seven RBI. Valerie Kaff and Kelly Smith have split the majority of the innings in the circle for Head Coach Jacquie Joseph as the duo has combined to throw 39.1 of the team’s 43.2 innings in the circle this season with a 4.09 ERA in the time frame.

Host South Carolina (7-2) returns home following a five-game road swing the culminated with a 12-0 victory over Charlotte on Wednesday. Kaylea Snaer paces a potent Gamecocks lineup that is hitting .302 through nine games with a .519 batting average, seven extra-base hits and 12 RBI. In the circle, Julie Sarratt and Nickie Blue have teamed up to post a 1.68 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 54.0 innings in the circle.

UNCW returns to action next weekend as it closes out the tournament portion of its 2014 schedule with the UNCW Bash Beach. The Seahawks will entertain Bucknell, Brown and UNCG during the three-day event at Boseman Field.