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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Blue Devils Return Home for Duke Inaugural Tournament
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/01/2018
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DURHAM, N.C. – Riding a wave of momentum that has seen them win seven of their last nine contests, the Duke Blue Devils (9-5) return home to host the Duke Inaugural Tournament this weekend at the Duke Softball Stadium on East Campus.

The Blue Devils will welcome North Dakota State (5-5), Yale (0-4), Lehigh (1-4) and Kent State (7-4) for the final weekend of tournament play, which begins Friday, March 2 and closes play Sunday, March 4. Duke opens with a doubleheader against NDSU (4 p.m.) and Yale (6:30 p.m.) on Friday before facing Lehigh at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Kent State at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission for all games this weekend and every home event at the Duke Softball Stadium is free.

All four of the Blue Devils’ contests this weekend will be broadcast online on ACC Network Extra, which fans can access 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).

After the Blue Devils’ final weekend of tournament play, they will head to Charlotte, N.C., to face the Charlotte 49ers at Sue M. Daughtride Stadium for a doubleheader Tuesday, March 6. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. ET. After that, Duke will head down the road to open ACC play for the first time in school history, taking on North Carolina in Chapel Hill Friday, March 9 – Sunday, March 11.

Duke Blue Devils (9-5, 0-0 ACC)
Roster | Coaches | Statistics | Schedule & Results | Game Notes

North Dakota State Bison (5-5, 0-0 Summit)
Roster | Coaches | Statistics | Schedule & Results | Game Notes

Yale Bulldogs (0-4, 0-0 Ivy)
Roster | Coaches | Statistics | Schedule & Results

Lehigh Mountain Hawks (1-4, 0-0 Patriot)
Roster | Coaches | Statistics | Schedule & Results

Kent State Golden Flashes (7-4, 0-0 MAC)
Roster | Coaches | Statistics | Schedule & Results

2018 Duke Inaugural Tournament Schedule…

Friday, March 2
Game 1 – Lehigh vs. Kent State – 11:00 a.m.
Game 2 – Kent State vs. Yale – 1:30 p.m.
Game 3 – Duke vs. North Dakota State – 4:00 p.m.
Game 4 – Duke vs. Yale – 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 3
Game 5 – Yale vs. Lehigh – 10:30 a.m.
Game 6 – Yale vs. North Dakota State – 1:00 p.m.
Game 7 – Duke vs. Lehigh – 3:30 p.m.
Game 8 – Kent State vs. North Dakota State – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 4
Game 9 – North Dakota State vs. Lehigh – 10:00 a.m.
Game 10 – Duke vs. Kent State – 12:30 p.m.

* All times Eastern
* Team listed first is home team


Live Broadcasts…
All four of Duke’s contests this weekend will be available via ACC Network Extra. Fans can access the broadcast by going to WatchESPN.com, using the ESPN app or clicking the links below.

Duke vs. NDSU (Friday, March 2) ACC Network Extra Broadcast
Duke vs. Yale (Friday, March 2) ACC Network Extra Broadcast
Duke vs. Lehigh (Saturday, March 3) ACC Network Extra Broadcast
Duke vs. Kent State (Sunday, March 4) ACC Network Extra Broadcast

Live Stats…
Duke will provide live stats for all 10 games this weekend. To access those, go to www.GoDuke.com/softball or click the links below.

Friday, March 2
Lehigh vs. Kent State Live Stats
Kent State vs. Yale Live Stats
Duke vs. North Dakota State Live Stats
Duke vs. Yale Live Stats

Saturday, March 3
Yale vs. Lehigh Live Stats
Yale vs. North Dakota State Live Stats
Duke vs. Lehigh Live Stats
Kent State vs. North Dakota State Live Stats

Sunday, March 4
North Dakota State vs. Lehigh Live Stats
Duke vs. Kent State Live Stats

Ticket Information…
All 10 games of the Duke Inaugural Tournament, as well as all Duke softball home events, are free admission.

Weather

Friday, March 2 – High 54, Low 33; Sunny/Windy (0%)
Saturday, March 3 – High 56, Low 32; Sunny (0%)
Sunday, March 4 – High 54, Low 31; Sunny (0%)

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. Duke’s midweek contest at No. 20 South Carolina, which was set for Wednesday, Feb. 28, was rescheduled due to the threat of inclement weather in the area. That contest will now be played Tuesday, March 20 at 6 p.m. ET in Columbia, S.C.

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.
  • 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 Scored: Raine Wilson (1st Inning, Amelia Wiercioch 2 RBI Double) vs. FAU (Game 1), 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

Double Play Turned: 5-3 (Raine Wilson to Rachel Abboud) vs. Purdue, Feb. 17, 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.

Pitching Success...
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).

On Deck…
After the Blue Devils’ final weekend of tournament play, they will head to Charlotte, N.C., to face the Charlotte 49ers at Sue M. Daughtride Stadium for a doubleheader Tuesday, March 6. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. ET. After that, Duke will head down the road to open ACC play for the first time in school history, taking on North Carolina in Chapel Hill Friday, March 9 – Sunday, March 11.

Social Media…
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”.

#GoDuke

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