RALEIGH, N.C. – The Shaw University softball team concludes its 2018 regular season and home slate this weekend when it hosts Fayetteville State (9-21, 8-4 CIAA, 5-1 South) for a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 21 and then Winston-Salem State (7-22, 5-5 CIAA, 2-2 South) on Sunday for a two-game conference set at Worthdale Park. The Lady Bears (10-14, 8-4 CIAA, 4-2 South) are looking to gain ground in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division standings with these four games remaining, currently in third place behind Saint Augustine's at No. 1 and Fayetteville State in second.
The series will kick off with a two-game matchup with the Lady Broncos beginning at 1 p.m. before the season finale on Sunday, Apr. 22 also at 1 p.m. Sunday's two contests will be themed as Senior Day and Shaw will recognize seven seniors in between game one and game two.
This weekend's events will offer live video and statistics on www.shawbears.com. For fast score updates, follow the Shaw Athletics on Twitter @ShawBears.
Shaw continues to hit well this season, something that lacked in the past two three years. Playing with a sense of urgency and most importantly confidence, the Lady Bears are hitting .329 (4th in CIAA). Senior Brittany Kline (Choctaw Beach, FL) has been impressive this year, leading the offense with a batting clip of .404, following junior Kiana Rogers (Fort Atkinson, WI) and junior Christine Ngeve (Greensboro, NC) at .361 and .344, respectively.
On the defensive side, the Lady Bears have been improved tremendously. SU leads the conference in fielding percentage (.946) with a total of 370 putouts collectively. Earlier this week, redshirt-sophomore Taija Bailey (Greensboro, NC) was named CIAA Defensive Player of the Week for her performance against a one of the nation's best hitting team in Saint Augustine's.
FSU enters Saturday's game on a four-game win-streak, the Lady Broncos are coming off a sweep of Johnson C. Smith Wednesday. FSU defeated JCSU 10-3 and 4-3 in Fayetteville, N.C. The offense for the Lady Broncos are powered by Maggie Smith (.400) and Madison Mendoza (.369). As a team, FSU averages .293 and have scored 167 total runs and 19 home runs.
Shaw has not won a game against Fayetteville State since the 2015 season where both teams split. The Lady Bears won game one, 7-5 but ended up falling 7-1 in the nightcap.
WSSU will face Saint Augustine's before their meeting with Shaw. In their recent outing, the Rams split with Johnson C. Smith, taking game one 13-1 but falling 13-9 in the nightcap. WSSU offense has mostly come from Ryane Oakes (.467) while Erica Davis and Nyla Howard follow (.403). As a unit, the Rams are averaging .312 at the plate and have scored 175 total runs and 28 home runs this season.
The Lady Bears have not beaten the Rams since the 2013 season when both teams split. WSSU took game one by the score of 6-2 and then Shaw came back to take game two, 7-6.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw softball and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit www.shawbears.com.