JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (11-5) heads up I-77 into the Mountain State for a nonconference battle with Concord (1-3) Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m.
After winning six of the first seven games in the series with Concord, the Mountain Lions have taken three in-a-row over the Eagles. Carson-Newman hasn't swept the Mountain Lions since 2014.
The Eagles are 1-1 in the state of West Virginia against Concord.
Katie Pritchett (Ringgold, Ga.) went ballistic the last time the Eagles went to Concord. Pritchett was 6-for-7 at the plate two years ago with six runs batted in, a double and a home run against the Mountain Lions.
The Eagles' trek to Athens, W. Va. to face Concord will be Carson-Newman's third trip to the Mountain State since beating Bluefield State in the last decade. Aside from the Eagles' 2016 split at Concord. The Eagles beat Bluefield State 8-0 and 9-0 in a pair of run-rule wins in Bluefield, W. Va. in 2013. That represents Carson-Newman's only trip to West Virginia this decade.
This is Concord's home opener. The Mountain Lions didn't open at home last year until March 19 against Charleston, they were swept that doubleheader 3-2 and 3-1.
This will be the first home game that Concord has played in the month of February in the last decade.
Concord is off to a 1-3 start after a quartet of games at the Snowbird Freeze Out Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Mountain Lions finished out the tournament with an 8-2 win over Merrimack, but were shutout by Molloy and Southern New Hampshire en route to an 0-3 open.
"They are always well-coached and a scrappy team," head softball coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield said. "It is tough to prepare for them because they haven't played many games. I do know it's always a challenge to go over there and play them.
The Eagles will likely see two pitchers that they faced off against last year. Darby Fitzpatrick and Rachel Pritchard have been solid for the Mountain Lions in the circle. Opponents are hitting .229 off Fitzpatrick and Pritchard has the lone win of the season for Concord.
They combined to pitch a 3-1 win in game one of a doubleheader last year with C-N. Fitzpatrick hurled the first three innings allowing one run off of two hits before Pritchard finished out the game with four innings of three-hit. Shutout softball.
For the Eagles, Kazee-Hollifield's bunch needs to continue to gaze inward.
"Were concerned about the end result, but we also need to be concerned about our process," Kazee-Hollifield said. "It starts in practice. The way that we practice will carry over to the field. We need to approach practices like games and make sure we've locked down all our fundamentals correctly."
First pitch between the Eagles and Mountain Lions is set for 1 p.m. Concord will provide a live video stream of the twinbill. Follow @cnathletics for live updates of the game.