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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Jameson Kavel
Tobacco Road Rivalry Opens ACC Play for Duke
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/07/2019
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DURHAM, N.C. – One of the greatest rivalries in college athletics returns to the softball stage this weekend, as the Duke Blue Devils (9-12) open their 2019 ACC slate against the North Carolina Tar Heels (9-8) at the Duke Softball Stadium.

Due to inclement weather, the series has shifted to feature the series opener on Friday and culminate in a Saturday doubleheader. First pitch for Friday is set for 3 p.m. ET, with Saturday’s twinbill scheduled for 10 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. All three contests will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, which can be accessed through or the ESPN app.

Duke Blue Devils (9-12, 0-0 ACC)
Roster | Coaches | Statistics | Schedule & Results | Game Notes

North Carolina Tar Heels (9-8, 0-0 ACC)
Roster | Coaches | Statistics | Schedule & Results | Game Notes

Game 1
 Duke vs. North Carolina
 When: March 8 | 3:00 PM (ET)
 Where: Durham N.C.
 Venue: Duke Softball Stadium
 Watch Live: ACC Network Extra
 Live Stats

Game 2
 Duke va. North Carolina
 When: March 9 | 10:00 AM (ET)
 Where: Durham N.C.
 Venue: Duke Softball Stadium
 Watch Live: ACC Network Extra
 Live Stats

Game 3
 Duke vs. North Carolina
 When: March 9 | 12:30 PM (ET)
 Where: Durham N.C.
 Venue: Duke Softball Stadium
 Watch Live: ACC Network Extra
 Live Stats


Need To Know

  • For the second-straight season, the Blue Devils open up ACC play against rival North Carolina. Duke will be looking for its first win against UNC, as the Tar Heels took all three contests last year in Chapel Hill.
  • Duke will look to continue its conference success from last year, when they went 13-11 and earned the No. 7 seed after being predicted to finish last. This year, the Blue Devils were picked to finish sixth.
  • The Blue Devils are looking to rebound from a 5-4 loss at Elon on Wednesday. Duke held the lead going into the seventh inning before Elon tallied three runs for the walk-off win. It’s the first time in program history Duke has lost when holding a lead going into the final frame.
  • It’s been quite the stretch for senior Reilly Metzger over the last five games. The utility player, who leads the team with a .348 clip this year, is 6-for-14 (.429) with six RBI and three runs scored in the last five games. During that stretch she has not struck out once (.438 OBP) and hit the walk-off single against Kansas.
  • Duke has been one of the nation’s best at producing triples, as the Blue Devils own 10 on the year which is second in the ACC and one more than they had all of last season. Their 0.48 triples per game average is 10th in the nation. Jameson Kavel leads the team with three, which currently stands 13th nationally and second in the league.
  • Kavel has been a master when it comes to extra-base hits this season, leading the Blue Devils with eight doubles and three triples while tallying one home run for 12 XBH. Her three doubles against Kansas set the program single-game record. Her double and triple totals are both ranked 13th in the nation.
  • It’s been a solid start to the collegiate career of Deja Davis, as the rookie infielder owns a .292 average and leads the team with 21 hits and 13 stolen bases. She is currently three steals away from tying the single-season school record, set by Kavel last year.

Duke Begins ACC Play With Tobacco Road Rivalry...
For the second-straight year, the Blue Devils will open ACC play against their rivals North Carolina, with the second edition of the rivalry coming from the Duke Softball Stadium. Last year, the Tar Heels picked up the sweep in Chapel Hill, winning in extras on day one before taking both in a Saturday doubleheader. Duke will look to keep its home ACC opener success rolling after beginning last year with a sweep of Boston College at the Duke Softball Stadium.

Team Two Against The Tar Heels...
North Carolina won all three meetings between the two teams last year … This is the first time the two sides will meet in Durham … During game two of last year’s series, Raine Wilson became the first player in program history to hit multiple home runs in a contest … Duke is 4-7 against in-state opponents, with a 1-3 record against ACC foes from the state of North Carolina.

Young & Poppa Meet Again...
This year’s series will feature the second meeting between Duke head coach Marissa Young and UNC leader Donna Poppa. Young was an assistant for the Tar Heels from 2014-15, helping UNC reach the NCAA Tournament during her final season in Chapel Hill before being named the first head coach in Duke softball history.

Metzger Madness...
Senior Reilly Metzger has been on a tear as of late, helping fuel the Blue Devil offense as they head into conference play with a team-high .348 clip. Over the last five games, Metzger is 6-for-14 (.429) at the plate, driving in six runs and scoring three of her own, tallying a .429 slugging clip. She has also drawn one HBP and has not struck out in that stretch, earning a .438 on-base percentage. She has also been a threat with a runner 60 feet from home, going 4-for-4 with a runner at third and less than two outs on the board.

In the final non-conference tournament of the year, Metzger had a weekend to remember. The utility player recorded a scorching .455 average at the plate, going 5-for-11 with six runs batted in and zero strikeouts. Metzger was the catalyst on three crucial plays for Duke over the weekend. She drove in the game-tying run in the top of the seventh with two outs against Mississippi State via sac fly and then had an RBI groundout in the bottom of the seventh against Kansas to push the game to extras. Her weekend culminated with the walk-off single in the 7-6 win against the Jayhawks.

Go DJ, That’s My DJ...
It’s been a solid start to the career of Deja Davis, as the rookie infielder enters the week with a .292 batting average and a team-high 21 hits and 13 stolen bases. Davis put together a 4-for-4 showing against NC Central two weeks ago, just the second four-hit performance in program history. She joined teammate Rachel Abboud, who went 4-for-4 against Boston College on March 17, 2018.

Davis has also been a stud on the base paths for Duke, going 13-for-13 in stolen bases, including a pair of 3-for-3 showings to set and then tie the school single-game record. With three more steals, Davis will tie Jameson Kavel for the program record of 16 set last season. Her 13 steals are second in the ACC.

Jameson Doubles Down...
One of the most consistent forces for the Blue Devil bats this year has been sophomore outfielder Jameson Kavel. Kavel, who owns a .309 average and leads the team with 21 hits, 15 runs scored, eight doubles and three triples, has hit safely in seven of the last eight games.

It was a day of doubles for Kavel in Duke’s extra-innings win against Kansas. The sophomore outfielder went 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in two runs, with all three of her hits being for two bases. Her three doubles made her the first player in school history to record at least three in a game. Kavel put up her second multi-double contest of the year in Duke’s Wednesday matchup against Elon.

Butler Serving Up A Scoreless Streak...
After tossing five scoreless innings of relief work against the Elon Phoenix on Wednesday, sophomore hurler Brianna Butler upped her scoreless innings streak to 8.1 consecutive innings. Over her last four appearances, Butler has allowed only one run on five hits and tossed 11 strikeouts in 13.1 innings of work. Her current streak marks the first time in her career she has put up consecutive scoreless appearances.

Triple Trouble...
Through the first four weeks of the season, the Blue Devils have established themselves as one of the top squads in the nation when it comes to tallying triples. Through 21 games, Duke has accumulated 10 triples, which stands second in the ACC and surpasses its 2018 total of nine. Duke’s 0.48 triples per game average is also second in the conference and 10th nationally.

Jameson Kavel leads the squad with three triples on the year, cementing her status as the master of getting extra bases so far this season (team-high 12 XBH). Kavel’s three stand second in the ACC and 13th nationally, while her 0.14 triples/game clip is fourth in the league and 62nd in the NCAA. She is just two triples away from tying the program single-season record, which she set last year with five.

Defensive Excellence...
In the last five games, the Blue Devil defense has been nearly perfect, especially when it comes to the error column on the scoreboard. Duke has not committed an error since its February 27 game at USC Upstate. The stretch of five-straight errorless games is a program record, besting the four-straight contests from last year set through the first four games in the Citrus Classic (Feb. 23-24) in Orlando, Fla.

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”.