DURHAM, N.C. – After a successful weekend in the Sunshine State, the Duke Blue Devils (9-5) remain on the road for the program’s first midweek contest in history, as they head to Columbia, S.C., to face the 20th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (15-1) Wednesday night.
First pitch from the Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field is set for 6 p.m. ET, with the broadcast coming on SEC Network +. Fans can access the stream through WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app.
Duke is led by a standout pitching staff that ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 1.57 ERA. Katherine Huey tops the team with five wins, while Peyton St. George leads the squad with a 1.35 average in the circle and 27 strikeouts. On the offensive side, Huey and Jameson Kavel are the team’s stars at the plate. Huey’s .480 clip, .840 slugging percentage and .519 OBP are tops on the team, while Kavel leads the way in hits (17), runs scored (12), RBI (9), doubles (4) and triples (3).
The Blue Devils will return home to the friendly confines of the Duke Softball Stadium after their midweek showdown against the Gamecocks for the Duke Inaugural Tournament (March 2-4). Duke will host North Dakota State, Yale, Lehigh and Kent State over the weekend, with all four contests being live streamed on ACC Network Extra.
Duke Blue Devils (9-5, 0-0 ACC)
Roster | Coaches | Statistics | Schedule & Results | Game Notes
No. 20 South Carolina Gamecocks (15-1, 0-0 SEC)
Roster | Coaches | Statistics | Schedule & Results
Wednesday night’s contest will be live streamed on SEC Network +. Fans can access the broadcast by going to WatchESPN.com, using the ESPN app or clicking the link below.
Duke at No. 20 South Carolina SEC Network + Broadcast
South Carolina will provide live stats for Wednesday night’s contest in Columbia. To access those, go to www.GamecocksOnline.com or click the link below.
Duke at No. 20 South Carolina Live Stats
Fans attending Wednesday night’s game at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field can purchase tickets at www.GamecocksOnline.com or by clicking the link below. Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for those ages 17 and younger.
Duke at No. 20 South Carolina Ticket Information
Wednesday, Feb. 28 – High 64, Low 59; Showers (50%)
Last Time Out…
The Blue Devils went back on the road for the third weekend of the season, heading to the Sunshine State for the second time this season to participate in the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla. Duke picked up wins against MEAC foes Morgan State and Savannah State, as well as the Ivy League’s Harvard Crimson. Duke also faced its first top 25 competition in school history, falling in close battles to No. 23 Kentucky and No. 22 Minnesota.
Friday, Feb. 23
Duke def. Morgan State State, 5-0 (Recap, Stats)
No. 23 Kentucky def. Duke, 5-1 (Recap, Stats)
Saturday, Feb. 24
Duke def. Savannah State, 5-1 (Recap, Stats)
Duke def. Harvard, 5-0 (Recap, Stats)
Sunday, Feb. 25
No. 22 Minnesota def. Duke, 5-1 (Recap, Stats)
Need To Know…
- The Blue Devils come into the weekend having won seven of their last nine contests, including a 4-0 showing in their first weekend at home and a 3-2 performance at the Citrus Classic last weekend in Orlando, Fla.
- Wednesday night’s contest at No. 20 South Carolina will be the first midweek in school history and the highest and the third overall ranked opponent faced in program history.
- Three Blue Devils sport a .300-plus average at the plate so far this year, led by Katherine Huey’s .480/.840/.519 clips and Jameson Kavel’s 17 hits, 12 runs, nine RBI, four doubles and three triples.
- Pitching has been Duke’s strong point through three weekends, as its 1.57 ERA is second in the ACC and 30th nationally. Peyton St. George leads the Blue Devils with a 1.35 average, fifth best in the conference, and 27 strikeouts while Huey stands atop the team with five wins. St. George, Amelia Wiercioch (1.40) and Brianna Butler (1.47) all stand top 10 in the ACC in ERA.
- Huey was named the espnW National Player of the Week after a stellar showing during the Big Ten/ACC Challenge two weekends ago, becoming the first player in program history to earn a weekly honor of any kind.
- St. George struck out 12 batters and threw her first complete game shutout last weekend against Morgan State (Feb. 23), marking the most single-game strikeouts in program history.
- Duke defeated Florida Atlantic in its inaugural contest on Feb. 8, 4-3, with Wiercioch driving in the winning runs with a two-RBI double in the first inning.
A Year Of Firsts...
The Blue Devils’ inaugural campaign will be filled with a number of statistical firsts as the year goes on. With one weekend in the books, here is a look at the firsts accomplished by Team One so far.
Game: Feb. 8, 2018 vs. FAU (Game 1)
Win (Team): Feb. 8, 2018 vs. FAU (Game 1)
Win (Individual): Katherine Huey vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
At-Bat: Jameson Kavel vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Pitch: Amelia Wiercioch vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Baserunner: Jameson Kavel (Walked, 1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Hit: Amelia Wiercioch (Double, 1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Single: Rachel Abboud (3rd Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Double: Amelia Wiercioch (1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Walk: Jameson Kavel (1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Hit By Pitch: Ashleigh Rodriguez (7th Inning) vs. FAU (Game 2), Feb. 8, 2018
Run Batted In: Amelia Wiercioch (1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Sacrifice Hit: Jazmine Moreno (SAC Bunt, 1st Inning) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Sacrifice Fly: Rachel Abboud (5th Inning) vs. FAU (Game 2), Feb. 8, 2018
Strikeout: Amelia Wiercioch (Strikeout Looking) vs. FAU (Game 1), Feb. 8, 2018
Stolen Base: Dominique Salinas (2nd Inning) vs. FAU (Game 2), Feb. 8, 2018
Complete Game: Katherine Huey vs. Michigan State, Feb. 9, 2018
Shutout: Katherine Huey vs. Michigan State, Feb. 9, 2018
Complete Game Shutout: Katherine Huey vs. Michigan State, Feb. 9, 2018
Extra Innings Game: Feb. 10, 2018 vs. Boston University
Home Run: Katherine Huey (2-Run, 4th Inning) vs. Penn State, Feb. 16, 2018
Save: Amelia Wiercioch vs. Penn State, Feb. 16, 2018
Comeback Win: Feb. 16, 2018 vs. Penn State (Trailed 5-0 in T3)
Triple: Jameson Kavel (6th Inning) vs. Purdue, Feb. 16, 2018
One-Hitter: Amelia Wiercioch vs. Purdue, Feb. 16, 2018
Winning Streak: 4 Games (Feb. 16 vs. Penn State - Present)
National POTW Honor: Katherine Huey (espnW), Feb. 21, 2018
St. George Sets Program Strikeout Mark...
Duke’s first game of their weekend in Orlando was highlighted by the dominant performance in the circle from Peyton St. George. The freshman righty threw her first complete game shutout, retired the first 13 batters and held Morgan State hitless through the first 5.2 innings. To top it off, St. George fanned 12 batters throughout the contest, which currently stands as the most in a single game in program history. Kavel Leading (Off) The Way...
Jameson Kavel has been the catalyst for the Blue Devil offense throughout the first three weekends, leading the team in seven different offensive categories and helping Duke to a 7-4 record when leading off the lineup. Kavel, who also tops the team with five multi-hit games, is a team-high 9-for-17 (.529) when leading off an inning. In her 11 contests as the Blue Devils’ leadoff hitter, she is a combined 14-for-39 (.359) with 10 runs, seven RBI, three doubles, three triples and a home run, which she earned in Duke’s 5-0 win against Morgan State (Feb. 23). Huey Honored By espnW...
After a weekend that saw her go 2-0 in the circle, strike out 10 batters, record the program’s first home run and tally eight RBI, freshman Katherine Huey caught the eye of the national media. For her efforts, she was named espnW’s National Player of the Week Feb. 21, making her the first player in program history to receive a weekly honor of any kind.
Early Inning Success...
Duke has found a majority of its offensive firepower in the early innings of its first 14 contests. The Blue Devils have 58 total runs scored after their first three weekends of action, with 28 of those coming in the first three frames. Duke has scored 13 in the first, the most of any frame. Production has ramped up in the middle innings recently, with 26 of Duke’s runs coming from the fourth to the sixth innings.
Double The Fun...
Through its first 14 games, Duke has tallied 24 doubles. That total stands second in the conference. The Blue Devils’ 1.71 doubles per game average is second in the ACC and up to 22nd nationally. Jameson Kavel leads the Blue Devils with four doubles. A total of 12 Blue Devils have recorded a double through the program’s first three weekends.
Perhaps the strongest point of Duke’s game after its first three weekends in competition is its pitching unit. With a 1.57 ERA and a .220 opponent batting average, the Blue Devils’ staff stands second overall in the ACC in team pitching. The staff’s ERA enters the week ranked 30th nationally.
Individually, the Blue Devils are led by freshman Katherine Huey, who has a team-high five wins. Huey busted onto the scene in her first weekend in the collegiate game, tallying the program’s first win (Feb. 8 at FAU-1) and first complete game shutout (Feb. 9 vs. Michigan State) before earning espnW’s National Player of the Week honors after the second weekend of play.
Peyton St. George tops the team with a 1.35 ERA, good for fifth in the ACC. Amelia Wiercioch stands seventh in the conference in ERA (1.40), while Brianna Butler is in ninth (1.47). St. George is also the team’s strikeouts leader with 27 and her 9.1 strikeouts per seven innings is good for second in the ACC and 38th nationally.
New Program? No Problem...
Logic would state that a new athletics program will need time to build and grow before the winning comes. Well, that may be the case for most, but don’t tell that to Marissa Young and her squad... The Blue Devils are 9-5 through their first three weekends, including a 4-0 sweep of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge weekend. Duke took down both Penn State and Purdue twice in the weekend, schools with a combined 78 years of collegiate softball experience compared to the two weeks of the Blue Devils. And the highlight of that weekend? The program’s first comeback victory, as they rallied from down 5-0 in the third against Penn State in the home opener to win 7-5.
Kavel A Terror On The Basepath...
She’s led off the lineup in 11 games, leads Duke with 49 at-bats and 17 hits and sports a .612 slugging percentage with team highs in doubles (4) and triples (3). But perhaps the best part of Jameson Kavel’s game so far? Her speed.
Through three weekends, Kavel has been a terror for opposing pitchers and catchers, going a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen bases. She currently averages 0.57 a game, good for second in the ACC and 65th nationally. After only picking up one in the opening weekend, Kavel recorded five during the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, including two games with multiple steals.
Young’s Successful Start...
After years spent building up the Duke softball program, head coach Marissa Young was finally able to lead her squad into actual action last weekend in Boca Raton. With the win in the program’s inaugural contest, Young became the program’s all-time winningest coach. Young, who was hired July 29, 2015, begins her first season as a head coach of a Division I program after serving as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan (2012-13) and North Carolina (2014-15).
The Blue Devils will return home to the friendly confines of the Duke Softball Stadium after their weekend in the Sunshine State for the Duke Inaugural Tournament (March 2-4). Duke will host North Dakota State, Yale, Lehigh and Kent State over the weekend, with all four contests being live streamed on ACC Network Extra.
For more information on Duke softball, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeSoftball”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.