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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Blue Devils Head South of the Border to Open Year Two
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/06/2019
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DURHAM, N.C. - Year two for the Duke softball program officially gets underway Thursday, Feb. 7 in Mexico, as the Blue Devils open the 2019 campaign at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.

Duke opens its second season of play against ACC foe Notre Dame at 9:30 p.m. ET, before playing No. 10 South Carolina on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. The Blue Devils close out the weekend with a Saturday, Feb. 9 doubleheader against Liberty (4 p.m.) and No. 3 Washington (9:30 p.m.).

Duke Blue Devils
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Notre Dame Fighting Irish
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No. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks
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Liberty Flames
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No. 3 Washington Huskies
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Game 1
Duke vs. Notre Dame
When: Feb. 7 | 9:30 PM (ET)
Puerto Vallarta College Challenge
Where: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Venue: Nancy Almaraz Stadium
Watch Live: FloSports
Live Stats

Game 2
Duke vs. No. 10 South Carolina
When: Feb. 8 | 7:00 PM (ET)
Puerto Vallarta College Challenge
Where: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Venue: Nancy Almaraz Stadium
Watch Live: FloSports
Live Stats

Game 3
Duke vs. Liberty
When: Feb. 9 | 4:00 PM (ET)
Puerto Vallarta College Challenge
Where: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Venue: Nancy Almaraz Stadium
Watch Live: FloSports
Live Stats

Game 4
Duke vs. No. 3 Washington
When: Feb. 9 | 9:30 PM (ET)
Puerto Vallarta College Challenge
Where: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Venue: Nancy Almaraz Stadium
Watch Live: FloSports
Live Stats

Need To Know

  • Duke opens its second season after finishing its inaugural campaign with a 29-27 overall record, including a 13-11 mark in ACC play that landed it the No. 7 seed in the conference tournament.
  • The opening weekend trip to the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Mexico is the program’s first international trip as they face Notre Dame, South Carolina, Liberty and Washington.
  • Leading the way for the Blue Devils are a trio of all-conference honorees from the 2018 season. Raine Wilson was tabbed All-ACC First Team, while Rachel Abboud and Peyton St. George were named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.
  • Wilson was named to the inaugural All-ACC Preseason Team on Jan. 29. Wilson topped the team in nine different categories in 2018. She also turned in team highs in multi-hit games (19) and multi-RBI performances (9).
  • The Blue Devils welcome eight newcomers to the squad in year two, headlined by the seven freshmen that made up the 13th-ranked recruiting class in the nation according to FloSoftball. Joining the rookies is graduate transfer Marissa Gagliano, who comes to Duke via Radford.
  • A rigorous schedule awaits the Blue Devils in year two, as 11 of their opponents appeared in last year’s NCAA Tournament, including national champion Florida State and national runner-up Washington.

Duke vs. The PVCC Field
Duke will take on Notre Dame, South Carolina, Liberty and Washington to open the 2019 season in Puerto Vallarta. Two of those foes, Notre Dame and South Carolina, the Blue Devils saw during the 2018 season, while Liberty and Washington are first-time opponents.

Duke vs. Notre Dame
The most familiar foe during opening weekend for the Blue Devils will be in their season opener, as Duke has faced Notre Dame three times before … The Blue Devils are 2-1 against the Fighting Irish, winning the series in South Bend last season for their first ACC road series win in program history … Thursday’s meeting will be the first against Notre Dame at a neutral site … Duke is 1-1 against ACC foes in non-conference matchups, defeating NC State, 7-4, last year in the regular season and falling to Virginia Tech, 4-0, in the opening round of the 2018 ACC Tournament.

Duke vs. South Carolina
The Blue Devils are looking for their first win against South Carolina on Friday … Duke dropped a 6-1 decision in Columbia last season … A win would be the first for Duke against an SEC opponent (0-2).

Duke vs. Liberty
The first game of Duke’s Saturday doubleheader will put them up against Liberty for the first time in program history … A win would be Duke’s first against a Big South opponents, as it fell to Campbell last year, 3-2.

Duke vs. Washington
Duke’s weekend finale comes against the Washington Huskies, who were runners-up in last year’s Women’s College World Series … This is Duke’s first meeting against a Pac-12 opponent … The Blue Devils have faced at least one foe from four of the five power conferences, with the only one they have not faced being the Big 12.

Duke Kicks Off Season South Of The Border
For the first time in program history, the Duke softball program will head outside the United States as the Blue Devils will take part in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge to open the 2019 season … The Blue Devils will take part in the first session of the tournament, which includes Baylor, BYU, Liberty, South Carolina, Washington and ACC foes Notre Dame and North Carolina … The first session has seven teams that reached the 2018 NCAA Tournament, including Women’s College World Series finalist Washington and Super Regional participant South Carolina … Duke opened both of their seasons away from home, with last year coming in Boca Raton, Fla. … Duke won its first game in program history, a 4-3 victory against Florida Atlantic.

Rigorous Schedule Ahead For Team Two
Year two will be no easy task for the Blue Devils, as their 2019 schedule features a slew of tough opponents, highlighted by 11 programs that appeared in the 2018 NCAA Tournament … Headlining those 11 are the Women’s College World Series champion Florida State and WCWS runner-up Washington … South Carolina reached a Super Regional last season, while California, James Madison, Liberty, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio and Ohio State all made regional play.

All-ACC Talent Returns For The Blue Devils
Three of the best in the ACC in 2018 return for year two in a Blue Devil jersey, as All-ACC honorees Raine Wilson, Rachel Abboud and Peyton St. George lead the way in 2019 … Wilson, who topped the team in nine different statistical categories, became the first player in program history to be named All-ACC First Team … Abboud and St. George became the first to earn ACC All-Freshman Team honors … Abboud was a constant force at the plate and as Duke’s first baseman, while St. George was dominant in the circle, leading the league in runs allowed and earned runs allowed.

Wilson Named To All-ACC Preseason Team
After earning All-ACC First Team honors last season, Raine Wilson was named one of the 15 members of the inaugural Preseason All-ACC Team … The Mechanicsville, Va., native finished the year standing top 10 in the ACC with 15 doubles (2nd), 62 hits (T-3rd), a .371 clip (5th), .453 on-base percentage (5th), .593 slugging percentage (7th) and 35 runs batted in (7th) … She also topped the team with 19 multi-hit contests and nine multi-RBI performances, including being one of two Blue Devils to drive in four runs in a single game.

Newcomers Set For Year One
Seven members of the 2019 Duke softball squad will see collegiate action for the first time when the Blue Devils open up year two on Thursday … The class, which head coach Marissa Young reeled in just before the start of Duke’s inaugural campaign, came to Durham ranked 13th in the nation … Of the seven players, five were ranked inside the FloSoftball Top 200 and three within the Top 100, which was the most amongst ACC schools … The squad was the second-highest ranked class amongst ACC programs, falling just one spot behind Florida State … Making up the Blue Devils freshmen group is Angie Biele, Kylie Coffelt, Deja Davis, Kristina Foreman, Caroline Jacobsen, Kyla Morris and Shelby Walters.

Gagliano Adds Veteran Presence
For the second-straight season, the Blue Devils have a fifth-year player on their roster, as Marissa Gagliano joins Jill Ferraro as the only two graduate student players in Duke history … The Riviera Beach, Fla., native joined the Blue Devils after a standout career at Radford … In 2018, Gagliano was the catalyst for the Radford offense, leading the squad in batting average (.361), hits (65), runs (46), doubles (16), total bases (94), slugging percentage (.522), on-base percentage (.453) and stolen bases (20) … She was also one of the best in the conference at the plate, standing top 10 in the Big South in seven offensive categories and top five in runs scored and doubles.

Duke Staff Looks To Dominate Again In Year Two
Duke's pitching staff wrapped up year one with a 2.05 ERA, good for second in the ACC and 21st nationally … They also turned in a 2.08 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which finished fifth in the league and 86th in the NCAA, and kept opposing batters to a .238 average at the plate, finishing fifth in the ACC … Leading the way was ACC All-Freshman selection Peyton St. George, who capped year one at 8-4 with a team-best 1.79 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 93.2 innings of work … Most impressive was her play in conference action, posting a perfect 6-0 record with a 1.40 ERA and 51 strikeouts … St. George was one of three pitchers to post a sub-2.00 ERA in ACC play, while also standing top 10 with a .193 opponent clip … Both totals were tops amongst the league’s freshman hurlers.

Social Media
For more information on Duke softball, follow the Blue Devils on TwitterFacebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeSoftball”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.


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