WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University softball squad will open the 2018 season this weekend at the FGCU Kickoff Classic, which will be held in Fort Myers, Florida, and hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University. The Hoyas will play a five-game slate over the three-day tournament, beginning on Friday when they take the field against Memphis at 10 a.m.
Following the game versus Memphis, Georgetown will then face North Carolina State at 2:30 p.m. on Friday. The Hoyas will continue their opening weekend on Saturday with matchups against tournament host FGCU at 4:45 p.m. and Ball State University at 7:00 p.m. The last day of tournament action is on Sunday when the Blue & Gray will conclude its opening weekend against LIU Brooklyn at 11:15 a.m.
Live stats for all of this weekend's games can be found on www.GUHoyas.com.
Georgetown is looking to improve off of the 2017 season that saw it finish with an 11-37 overall record and a 4-16 mark in BIG EAST play. This is the 14th season on the Hilltop for the Hoyas under Coach Pat Conlan. 2018's roster includes four key returners and seven newcomers to the team with only one key player lost. Memphis finished last season with a 29-27 overall record. The squad is led by Kyler Trosclair Klatt, who was a First-Team All-American Athletic Conference pick in 2017 and finished the season with a .394 batting average. The Hoyas met Memphis twice last year at the Felsburg Invitational, where GU fell short in both games, 2-1 and 9-7.
NC State finished off its 2017 season going 18-38 overall. Jade Caraway is a key returner for the Wolfpack, hitting .389 last season and earning All-ACC Second-Team and All-Freshman Team picks. NC State's roster consists of six freshman and two transfers, along with 10 experienced returners. The last time the two teams met was during the 2012-13 campaign, when the Hoyas lost, 5-1. The all-time series is tied, 2-2.
FGCU capped off the 2017 campaign with a 30-30 overall record. Returning to the Eagles are preseason all-conference selections Riley Randolph and Kelsey Huff. Randolph earned a team-high 18 wins in the circle last season, while Huff earned a first-team all-conference pick with a .363 batting average. The Hoyas have yet to defeat the Eagles, including the last time the teams met in 2014, where GU lost 2-0.
The Ball State Cardinals are coming off of a 30-28 overall record in 2017. Maddy Labrador led the squad, hitting .305 at the plate, hitting seven home runs and producing 24 RBIs last season, along with being a First-Team All-MAC selection. 14 out of 17 letterwinners from the Cardinals will be returning this season. This is the second meeting between Georgetown and Ball State, with the Cardinals winning, 8-0, during the 2010-11 season.
LIU finished its 2017 season with a mark of 20-32. The Blackbirds are led by Victoria Zamora and Gina Bond, who both earned conference honors and awards last season. Zamora led the team last season in batting, holding a .380 average, scoring 52 runs and 60 hits. Bond started all 52 games last season and finished in the team's top five in 13 different categories.
Following this weekend, Georgetown will continue its tournament play in Columbia, S.C. GU will play in the Gamecock Invitational on February 16-18, hosted by the University of South Carolina. The Hoyas will play in four games within a three-day stretch.