No. 25 Carson-Newman rolls to Spartanburg for Mid-South Classic

VIDEO: Vickee Kazee-Hollifield Interview

C-N Game Notes 

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Winners of four straight, 25th-ranked Carson-Newman (9-3) makes the trek to Spartanburg, S.C. for a quartet of games beginning Friday.

The Eagles take on Augusta (3-7) for the third time in five days Friday at 4 p.m. before turning around to meet with Tiffin (0-0) for the first time in school history at 6 p.m. 

Saturday matches the Eagles' up with UNC Pembroke (8-6) and Mount Olive (5-7) in back-to-back games starting at noon. 

"We're really looking forward to it just because we face such a wide variety of good teams," head coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield said. "You look at each team and there are really strong pitching staffs, and really strong bats that we'll be facing.  It'll be a nice test."

The Eagles are five days removed from a doubleheader sweep of Augusta. Carson-Newman took a pair of pitcher's duels from the Jags 2-1 and 3-1. Carson-Newman is going for a fourth straight win over the Jags, something the Eagles have never done in the 14-game history of the series with Augusta.

C-N will then match wits with Tiffin.  The Dragons were picked ninth in the GLIAC preseason poll following a 21-28 season a year ago. 

This is Carson-Newman's first meeting with a GLIAC team since a 2007 meeting with Saginaw Valley that C-N won 9-1, and the Eagles' fifth all-time game with a school from that conference.  Carson-Newman is 3-1 all-time against the conference with a 1995 win over Wayne State and a 1994 twinbill split with Grand Valley State.

"They're in-region games for us against good teams that normally we wouldn't play because of how far away some of these teams are," Kazee-Hollifield said. "We decided to take a chance on it after it had been rained out the past couple years because it's usually a well-organized, well-run event."  

Saturday sees the Eagles take on two teams that Carson-Newman has played before, but not in some time. 

The Eagles start the day with UNC Pembroke.  The Eagles haven't played the Braves since taking them on in the Mid-South Classic in 2014.

Carson-Newman made five errors the last time the teams got together, a 5-4 UNCP win in 2014.

The Braves are 4-4 against the SAC this year. They were swept by Queens and split doubleheaders with Catawba and Newberry before taking two from Wingate. 

The Eagles wrap up the tournament with Mount Olive.  Carson-Newman and Mount Olive are crossing paths for the first time since 1997, a game the Eagles won 4-1. 

The Trojans are 1-3 against SAC competition this year. They split with Wingate and were swept by Coker.  The Trojans were picked fifth in the Conference Carolinas preseason poll.

This will be the sixth school from Conference Carolinas that C-N has played this year.  The Eagles are 7-3 against the league thus far. 

Carson-Newman will be looking to improve its performance at the plate.  The Eagles are hitting .281 as a group heading into their 13th game of the year.  This time last year, the Eagles were batting .324 as a team. 

"We were looking at last year's stats at this point last year," Kazee-Hollifield said. "We have three or four young ladies that aren't doing what they did a year ago.  I know it's bothering them.  I think those bats will come around because of how hard they're working on it.  We think it'll pick up sooner rather than later."

Follow @cnathletics on Twitter for live updates of all four games throughout the weekend.

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