JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (20-7, 7-7 South Atlantic Conference) will try to put a bow on its non-conference section of the schedule when it takes on North Greenville (21-18, 12-4 Conference Carolinas) Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Vickee Kazee-Hollifield Softball Complex.
The Eagles are trying to complete an unbeaten run through non-conference play for just the second time in program history.
"We have to stay focused," Carson-Newman outfielder Abby Fiessinger said. "We have to play our game. Not one person's going to be a superstar every game, so we have to find ways to pick people up and find ways to help the team."
The Eagles are 13-0 outside of SAC action this year and winners of 12 consecutive home non-conference games. Young Harris (April 2018) was the last non-conference foe to down C-N (8-0), while King (February 2018) was the last to beat Carson-Newman at home (9-3).
Carson-Newman has finished with an unblemished non-conference record just once in school history. The 1993 team went 15-0 outside of SAC play.
That loss to King also marks the last time Carson-Newman lost to a Conference Carolinas school. The Eagles are 55-13 over the last six years against members of Conference Carolinas. Carson-Newman has won 11 straight against schools from the league back to Feb. 15, 2018 loss to the Tornado.
After hitting .198 in March, Carson-Newman's bats have been brought back to life. Carson-Newman is hitting .398 through four April games and sweeps of both Tusculum and Lenoir-Rhyne.
The Eagles have tallied double-digit hits in three straight games and are looking for their first four-game stretch with 10 or more hits since 2017. The Eagles had 14 hits apiece in a run-rule sweep of Catawba on March 25 before drilling 10 and 16 in two more run-rule wins over Brevard on March 27.
"We have to keep our offense up for sure," senior pitcher Allison Rager said. "We know we have the lineup, we have bats one-through-nine, plus several off the bench that you know can hit. We just have to keep the offense rolling."
Carson-Newman hasn't produced five straight games with 10 or more hits since 2014. That year's team strung together six such games and eight out of nine from Feb. 16 - Feb. 22.
Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) is in the process of rewriting Carson-Newman's record books. With a league-leading .820 slugging percentage, Fiessinger is line to become the fourth player in school history to slug better than .800 for a single season. She is tied for ninth in a career with 38 doubles, and needs three more to match Caitlyn Lance for eighth all-time. She has 22 career bombs, tied for eighth all-time, and needs two more to match Mandy Stevens.
North Greenville has been on its own hot streak. The Crusaders have won eight of their last 10, and had taken eight consecutive before falling 2-1 in game two a doubleheader to Limestone.
Claire Gilmore leads the Crusaders offense with a .365 average. She has five doubles and four home runs. Taylor Koon is the top run producer. She's driven in a team-best 35 runs with a .352 average. Koon has 11 extra-base hits.
Jaelin Griffin is the top arm in the circle with a 2.11 ERA and 133 strikeouts against 52 walks in 123 innings pitched.
First pitch between the Eagles and Crusaders is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday. Coverage will be available on the Eagle Sports Network at cneagles.com/live.