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Softball Opens 2019 Season This Weekend At Gardner-Webb Tournament

Lauren Duggar
Lauren Duggar

Greenville, S.C. -- Furman opens the 2019 softball season this weekend with five games at the Gardner-Webb University Tournament at Brinkley Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C.

Head coach Wally King's Paladins begin 2019 with a 1:30 p.m. first pitch on Friday versus George Washington before taking on the host Runnin' Bulldogs at 4 p.m. Tournament play continues on Saturday with the Paladins squaring off against the Colonials again at 10 a.m. before playing the Georgetown Hoyas at noon. The Paladins conclude the weekend with a 1:30 p.m. first pitch versus Gardner-Webb on Sunday.

Furman, 41-15 last season, was tabbed to finish fifth in this season's Southern Conference race in preseason polling of the league's head coaches, it was announced this past week. Shortstop Casey Bigham, pitcher Emily DeMonte and designated player Marissa Guimbarda were selected to the preseason All-SoCon second team.

George Washington was picked fifth in the Atlantic 10 Conference, following a 33-21 overall record and 12-11 mark in league play a year ago. The Colonials are in their first season under the leadership of former Charleston Southern head coach Shane Winkler.

Gardner-Webb was tabbed to finish sixth in the Big South Conference after posting a 29-29 overall record and 8-13 league mark a year ago. Head coach Tom Cole's squad returns first team All-Big South outfielder Andria Booth, who paced the country with 94 hits in 2018.

Georgetown finished 16-36 overall and 7-13 in the Big East last season, but returns the services of second team All-Big East selections Sarah Bennett and Anna Brooks. Head coach Pat Conlan's team was tabbed to finish seventh in preseason polling of the league's head coaches.

Fans can follow live statistics for each game this weekend through StatBroadcast at FurmanPaladins.com and can find in-game updates via Twitter by following @FurmanSoftball.

The Paladins continue their season-opening road trip with five games at Auburn's Plainsman Invitational February 15-17, before hosting the Furman Invitational at Pepsi Stadium February 22-24.