JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (14-4) opens up spring break with a pair of crucial doubleheaders against region foes Saturday and Sunday.
The Eagles start the weekend in Gaffney, S.C. at Babe Ruth Field for a 1 p.m. twinbill against Limestone (15-3). C-N finishes the road swing Sunday against Augusta (4-14) at 1 p.m.
Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) rides an 18-game hitting streak to start the season for the Eagles. She passed teammate Kristen Toppel (16) for the fourth longest streak in school history. Only Kelli Hensley (19), Angel Bales (25) and Sammi Hatcher (33) have hit successfully in more consecutive games.
Fiessinger has been particularly adept with situational hitting. In 33 opportunities to advance runners, Fiessinger has done so 27 times, an 81.8 percent clip. She and Kristen Toppel (Roanoke, Va.) have combined to go 9-for-11 at the plate with a runner at third and less than two out. Fiessinger, who's .509 average is second in the SAC and 17th in the country, is hitting .667 with runners in scoring position.
Fiessinge has clobbered six home runs through the first month of the season. That figure is tied for the league lead.
It hasn't just been Fiessinger sparking the Eagle offense though. Eight regulars are hitting at least .300. A ninth, Sarah Barrett (West Hamlin, W.Va.) sits at a .292 average.
Carson-Newman's freshman have frequently come through in the clutch. KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) have delivered the go-ahead RBI in five and four games, respectively.
While the Eagles' offense has hummed along for the most past, it has also left 138 base runners stranded. The Eagles team average drops from .358 with the bases empty to .311 with runners on base.
Carson-Newman's pitching staff has been effective as well. The Eagles have a 1.35 team ERA - that's the ninth best tally in the country. Rinus is fifth in the nation with three shutouts. Both Rinus and Allison Webster (Charlestown, Ind.) are top five in the SAC in punchouts with 60 and 62, respectively.
The Saints swept Carson-Newman last season, including a run-rule win in the night cap. Carson-Newman won 24 of the first 25 meetings in the series.
Limestone loves the longball. The Saints average a homerun a game. The Eagles have only allowed on home run on the season.
Augusta has struggled to a 4-14 start, primarily at the hands of the South Atlantic Conference. The Jags are 2-10 against the league this year. The two wins came against Catawba. Augusta has also lost to the Indians, Wingate, Lenoir-Rhyne, Coker and Anderson
The Jags have struggled to put runs on the board. Augusta averages 2.45 runs per game, which is 209th out of 228 teams nationally.
At the same time, opponents have walloped the Jags pitching staff. Augusta has given up 18 home runs this year, nearly one a game. Opponents are hitting .302 off the Jags.
Carson-Newman and Augusta split the last time the Eagles went to Jaguar Field. C-N won game one 12-7, the largest C-N win in series history, before dropping the night cap 5-3.
Follow @cnathletics for live updates for both games. Live stats will be available through limestonesaints.com and augustajags.com.