After winning their first Gulf South Conference series of the year, the West Georgia Wolves baseball team now welcomes GSC foe West Florida to Cole Field for a three-game series this weekend.
The Wolves and Argonauts played each other five times in the 2016 season, with UWG winning three of the games. West Florida took two out of three games from the Wolves in a regular season Gulf South series last season.
West Georgia had the advantage in postseason play as they took down the Argonauts in the GSC Tournament and the NCAA South Regional.
The UWG bats have come alive over the past five games, as the Wolves have hit .324 as a team in that span, bringing their season average to .292. They have scored 36 runs on 56 hits, including six doubles and three home runs. They are also 8-8 in stolen bases the past five games.
The hottest hitter for UWG since March 8 has been freshman Logan Arnett. He has .500 batting average with six RBIs and four runs scored in his last 20 at-bats.
Ryan Rapper has also impressed, hitting .421 with a double, a home run, and eight RBIs.
The Argonauts enter this weekend with a 13-10 record overall and a 6-6 record in the Gulf South Conference. Most recently they defeated non-conference opponent Embry Riddle in both games of a midweek doubleheader.
West Florida enters the series hitting .291 as a team. They have 31 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, and 143 runs scored. Brandon Harmon is hitting .364 with 13 RBIs and 17 runs scored for UWF. Justin Ambrosino is hitting .340. He leads the Argonauts with six home runs and 30 RBIs.
The West Florida pitching staff has a team earned-run average of 3.86. Jackson Smith is 4-1 with a 3.14 ERA in six starts for UWF. Trace Penton is 1-0 with a 1.02 ERA.
UWG softball: The West Georgia softball team has its work cut out for it this weekend at University Field, as one of the hottest teams in the Gulf South Conference comes to town for a three-game series.
The Wolves and Lady Argonauts are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m., followed by a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
West Georgia comes into the series with a 14-11 record on the year and a 6-6 spot in Gulf South Conference action.
The Wolves took two of three from Delta State on the road last weekend, then split in Milledgeville on Wednesday with Georgia College.
The Wolves are coached by Al Thomas, who has a career record of 274-98 and is in his first season at UWG.
West Florida is 17-8 overall this season with a 5-7 record in conference play.
The Lady Argos are on a seven-game winning streak, including a three-game sweep of Alabama Huntsville this past weekend.
UWF is coached by Melissa Paul, who is in her fourth year at the helm of the program and has a career record of 96-78.
The Wolves have been solid offensively this season, especially at the top of the lineup.
Five regulars are hitting at least .300 on the year, led by freshman third baseman Raven Smith, who comes into the weekend leading the team with a .451 batting average.
Smith has been named GSC Freshman of the Week twice this season and Player of the Week once, and she is currently fifth in the league in batting average. Sophomore shortstop Marley Stowers started the season hot and is still hitting .414.
She has six doubles, three triples and eight home runs, putting her at third in the conference.
As a team, the Wolves are hitting .298 and have stolen 37 bases this season.
West Florida comes into the weekend with a 2.83 team earned-run average on the season, led by Sarah Maloney, who comes into the weekend with a 2.39 ERA. The Argo pitching staff as a whole has a solid strikeout-to-walk ratio, with 133 team strikeouts to just 77 walks on the year.
Becca Taylor leads in strikeouts with 50, but she also has double the amount of innings of any other pitcher on the staff. Maloney has 49 strikeouts and has eight starts with eight appearances on the year. Taylor has the top record, coming into the weekend with a 9-5 record.
Thomas has five regular pitchers whom he rotates as both starters and relievers.
In the past four games, freshmen Lindsye Jefferson, Adriana Durden, and Zoie LeVergne have each pitched well along with junior Danielle Easterly.
Jefferson and Durden picked up wins last weekend, allowing a combined six runs in the first two games. Durden allowed just one earned run in her start in game two, working a complete game in nine innings. As a team, the Wolves have a 3.83 ERA.