GWU 2012 Spring Sports Preview

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Flowers are beginning to bloom and temperatures are beginning to rise, and Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldog Spring Sports are underway. For complete coverage of GWU athletics, visit www.gwusports.com.

Baseball

The Gardner-Webb baseball team is eager for the 2012 season.  With eight position players and seven vital arms returning from last year’s team, along with a core of young talent, the ‘Dogs are confident they can improve on the fifth place finish they earned in last year’s Big South Conference standings, and make it back to the Big South Conference Tournament Championship.

The ‘Dogs open the season with 19 of their first 21 games at home, including home contests March 2-4 (vs. Air Force, Valpo, and Albony), March 9-11 against Marshall, and March 12 against regional foe Mars Hill. The ‘Dogs will also take on the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill on March14. The ‘Dogs open conference play with a weekend series on Mar. 23-25 at Liberty, before returning home for weekend series against Winthrop on Mar. 30-April 1 and against last year’s conference champion Coastal Carolina April 6-7. The Big South Conference Tournament begins on May. 22 in High Point, N.C.  For the complete schedule, click here.

Softball

The 2012 Gardner-Webb University softball team is poised for a run at the Big South Conference championship, returning 16 players and 9 starters from the 2011 squad that reached the championship game of the Big South Tournament.  The ‘Dogs also have a wonderful group of young freshman who will battle for playing time throughout the season.

The ‘Dogs are currently enduring an 18-consecutive-game road stretch, including a Feb. 29 contest at Georgia.   The first conference game will be at home against the Flames of Liberty on Mar. 24.  On April 6-7, Gardner-Webb will welcome Campbell University for a 3-game series. The Big South Conference Tournament will be held at Radford University on May 10-12.  For the complete schedule, click here.

Track and Field

The Gardner-Webb University outdoor track and field team is poised for another wonderful season, including several meets in close proximity to Boiling Springs. The season kicks off on Mar. 9-10 at the Coastal Carolina University Invitational.  The season continues the next week with the 49er classic in Charlotte, N.C. Mar. 15-17, followed by the Weems Baskin Invitational in Columbia, S.C., Mar. 23-24, and the Asics Winthrop Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C., Mar 29-31.  The Big South Conference Championships take place in Conway, S.C., April 19-21. For more, click here.

Women’s Tennis

The Gardner-Webb University women’s tennis team opens conference play on March 9 at Liberty, before returning home on March 17 when they host Coastal Carolina in the conference home opener.  Other highlights of the 2012 schedule include home matches against Big South foes Winthrop (Mar 21) and Charleston Southern (Mar. 24), and a nonconference match at home against Western Carolina on April 1.  The Big South Conference Championship Tournament is April 19-21 in Asheville, N.C. Click here for the complete schedule.

Men’s Tennis

The Gardner-Webb Men’s Tennis team’s home slate features match-ups against conference opponents Winthrop (March 21) and Coastal Carolina (March 25), along with non-conference matches against Abraham Baldwin (March 31) and South Carolina State (Apr. 1).  The conference tournament will be held on April 19-21 in Asheville, N.C.  For the complete schedule, click here.

The Gardner-Webb University Bulldog Club serves as the fundraising arm for the Department of Athletics and plays an important role in funding scholarships for the University’s 21 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports. Through their generosity, Bulldog Club members provide Gardner-Webb student athletes with the opportunity to achieve their academic and athletic goals.  For more information about how to get involved with the Gardner-Webb Bulldog Club, visit www.supportgwu.com/bulldogclub

-Written by communications intern Travis Sherrill