Winthrop softball coach Mark Cooke would rather be playing a doubleheader with South Carolina, but the Gamecocks' schedule wouldn't allow it. The way Cooke looks at it, one is better than none.
Coach Joyce Compton's Gamecocks (16-15) and the Lady Eagles (20-13) meet today at 7 p.m. at Terry Field.
"Joyce does a great job scheduling other teams in the state," Cooke said. "With the new scheduling format, she only had one game left. We probably could have scheduled two, but it would have hurt somebody else."
Cooke hopes the evening start time will bring out fans that can't get to the 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. starts.
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Winthrop is coming off a three-game sweep of Charleston Southern in the Big South Conference opener.
Junior first baseman Mallory Hogan had an exceptional series, going 4-for-8 with two home runs and five RBIs.
• SPECIAL INVITE: Virginia Tech coach Scott Thomas has invited sophomore pitcher Cari Wooldridge to join a team he's putting together for a July 24 game against the U.S. National team.
Wooldridge, the MVP of last season's Big South Conference tournament, is 9-7 this season and has struck out 68 in 85.2 innings.
• BACK ON THAT HORSE: The men's golf team was thrown for a loop this past weekend when it finished tied for 22nd -- next to last -- in the 54-hole Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville.
Coach Kevin Pendley hopes for much better this weekend when the Eagles travel to Greenville, N.C., for the Ironwood Pirate Intercollegiate, hosted by East Carolina at the Ironwood Country Club.
The Eagles shot a three-day total of 932 (313-309-310) and tied with Marshall to finish 58 shots behind tourney champion Chattanooga, which nipped Clemson by three shots.
"There's no doubt that we've struggled all year," Pendley said. "A lot of our problems come down to confidence, so I think it's good to get right back out and play a tournament."
That tournament will be held at the Patriot Golf Club in Greenwood on April 20-23.
• MANCHESTER CUP: Saturday's bone-chilling cold and some afternoon and evening rain might have cut down on the crowd, but it didn't dampen the caliber of play in the second annual Manchester Cup at Manchester Meadows.
Last year's inaugural day-long event drew 3,000 to the state-of-the art facility, but an estimated 1,600 braved the cold and rain this year.
"I was actually shocked that we had as many as we did, especially for the later sessions," Winthrop coach Rich Posipanko said. "Those who were there saw some excellent games. They were all close."
• WHAT TO BID?: Tickets for the 17th annual Winthrop Eagle Club scholarship auction are on sale.
The auction, which raises money for athletic scholarships, will be held May 17 in the Winthrop Coliseum beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are $50 per person and include a full buffet dinner and an open bar. A table for 10 can be reserved for $500. Order forms can be found on the Winthrop Web site (winthropeagles.com). Print and return the form to Sharen DuBard, Director of Athletic Development and Eagle Club, Winthrop Coliseum, Rock Hill, SC 29733.
• WORK ON THOSE SKILLS: Volleyball coach Sally Polhamus and her staff will conduct clinics this Sunday and again on April 13.
There will be a general skills clinic from 1-3 p.m. each day and it is open to boys and girls in first -sixth grades. Cost is $25 a session or $40 for both. The clinic will cover passing, setting, hitting, serving and defense while also giving the opportunity for match play.
The position skills clinic is open to girls and boys seventh-12th grades and runs from 3:30-6:30 p.m. both days. Cost is $30 per session or $50 for both. The clinic will cover training according to position.
For more information, contact assistant coach Shannon Wells at (803) 323-2129 ext. 6612 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.