College Softball News

10 Things to watch for this weekend in College Softball

Photo courtesy of FSU Athletics

Mizzou

The Tigers welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks to Columbia and are celebrating the official grand opening of the new Mizzou Softball Stadium Saturday afternoon. The ribbon cutting ceremony is set for 12:30 p.m. CT by the main gate. Following the game, fans can enjoy a pig roast, beverages and exclusive access to the new stadium. The first 1,250 fans in attendance Friday will receive a Mizzou Softball Stadium inaugural season mini bat. After Sunday’s game, fathers and daughters are invited to play catch on the field.

Stephanie Canfield

Arkansas senior Stephanie Canfield needs six hit to set the career hit record at Arkansas. The outfielder currently has 221 hits. She has eight multi-hit games this season including one four-hit game. Also, she is only five runs short of third all-time in runs scored.

Florida State at Syracuse

The ACC series between FSU and Syracuse has been pushed back to April 8 and 9 instead of a three-day series due to weather. It’s a rare thing but FSU will battle the Orange and the elements with a high of 45 on Saturday. The Seminoles have won each of their last 13 true road games, dating back to April 20, 2016. FSU is 12-2 all-time against Syracuse and this weekend marks the first trip to New York for FSU.

OVC Pitcher’s Spotlight

Morehead State and SIUE are set to meet this weekend for a doubleheader on Sunday. This sets up the possibility of a pitcher’s duel between two of the top pitcher’s in the country. Morehead junior Chelsea McManaway is 12-5 with 10 shutouts and a 1.24 ERA. She has also struck out 178 batters in 113.1 innings. SIUE senior Haley Chambers-Book is 16-4 with 17 complete games and 1.37 ERA. She has struck out 173 in 133 innings.

McKenna Bull

BYU pitcher McKenna Bull is 17-4 this season with a 1.83 ERA and 15 complete games. She has collected 140 strikeouts in 126 innings and allowed 41 walks. Among active players, she is fourth in complete games (85), fourth in innings pitched (820.3), second in appearances (163), second in games started (131) and second in victories (94). This weekend Bull and the Cougars travel to Los Angeles to face Loyola Marymount.

Sierra Hyland

Cal Poly’s Sierra Hyland has allowed just seven earned runs in her last 90 innings and ranks fifth among NCAA Division I pitchers in strikeouts (185), fifth in walks allowed per seven innings (0.64), eighth in shutouts (six) 11th in hits allowed per seven innings (3.62) and 12th in ERA (0.94). With every strikeout, she adds to her Big West Conference career record and she required one more shutout to match the Mustang career record (33). She is ranked second among active players in complete games (89), third in innings pitched (822) and second in shutouts (32).

Auburn

The No. 5 Auburn Tigers return home after nearly a month-long road trip. Junior catcher Courtney Shea is coming off a big weekend against Georgia. She plated the go-ahead run in all three victories. Her fellow catcher, Carlee Wallace was named the SEC Player of the Week. Auburn will look to Wallace again to lead the offense from the top spot, where her slash line leads in every category, .402/.514/.768. She is also hitting .610 when leading off an inning. The Tigers host Ole Miss in a three-game series this weekend.

Earned Runs are scarce

Of the top 10 individual ERA leaders, six different schools are represented. Florida’s Kelly Barnhill leads the way with a 0.26, Delanie Gourley and Aleshia Ocasio are eighth and ninth (0.82, 0.84). Megan Good of JMU is second (0.45) and Minnesota’s Sara Groenewegen (0.50) is third. Florida State’s Jessica Burroughs’ 0.64 is good for fourth while her teammate Meghan Kings is seventh with a 0.75. Arizona fills in the middle with Taylor McQuillen (fifth, 0.70) and Danielle O’Toole (sixth, 0.74). Oregon’s Maggie Balint rounds out the Top 10 with a 0.86.

Offensive Trends

The SEC leads all conferences in hitting so far this season; it also leads in games played. In 12,055 at bats, the SEC has scored 2,707 runs and collected 3,771 hits with 1,081 for extra bases. The Big 10 is second with 11,975 at bats and 2,212 runs scored.   The conference’s 958 extra base hits have accounted for 28 percent of the total hits (3,455).

Home Run Watch

DJ Sanders (Louisiana-Lafayette) leads Division I with 17 homers this year and Jordan Seneca remains in second with 16. The Ragin’ Cajuns play Troy in a three-game series this weekend while Saint Francis has moved its doubleheader against LIU Brooklyn to Monday due to weather.

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