2017 College Softball Season: Week Five Review
The fifth week has been completed with the usual story lines of big performances and wild contests, but lacked a lot of major upsets. We take a day-by-day look at what occurred in the fifth week of the season.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
For a Tuesday, there were a nice amount of games. The four teams from the state of Florida particularly had a good day going 8-0. Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida International, and Bethune-Cookman all played doubleheaders and all came out on top.
The ACC went 3-1 with North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Pittsburgh all winning while Virginia Tech dropped a 6-4 game to Coastal Carolina.
Oklahoma State dropped 21 runs on Evansville including seven in the second inning and 11 in the fourth inning. Seven different Cowgirls had multiple RBIs in the 21-2 win over the Aces.
One of the four last unbeaten in NCAA Softball fell with Loyola being shut out 5-0 at #11 Alabama. The Ramblers had no chance with Alexis Osorio dealing her best stuff all game. Osorio allowed only one hit and struck out 18 in the complete game shutout. Also in the SEC, Arkansas run ruled UMKC twice on the day, 13-0 and 10-0 with both ending in five innings.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
A couple of ranked teams had to survive pitching duels, but both teams ended on the right side of 1-0 contests. #9 Oklahoma needed 10 innings to defeat a pesky Tulsa squad. Paige Parker threw all 10 innings where she allowed only two hits and one walk while striking out seven. Caleigh Clifton singled home the game’s only run in the 10th.
The other team in a tight contest was #11 Alabama. The Tide put a run across plate in the first inning on an error. Sydney Littlejohn threw a very good game allowing a walk and four hits and struck out 13 batters against Valparaiso.
After coming off a weekend sweep of Pittsburgh, North Carolina dropped a 6-3 contest to in-state foe UNC Greensboro. Greensboro put four runs across in the first inning with home runs from Jordan Gontram and Jasmine Palmer. The Heels trailed 6-3 in the seventh and loaded the bases, but were unable to close the deficit to drop to 16-5 on the season.
#1 Florida State won their doubleheader versus North Florida 8-0 and 3-0. The Seminoles allowed six hits over the two games. #15 Baylor also won their doubleheader with 3-1 and 5-0 score lines over Northwestern State.
The Pac-12 went 4-0 and all games were blowouts. In fact, none of the four games went beyond five innings. #8 Washington won 13-1 over Penn State, #21 Arizona State won 9-0 over Maine, and Stanford won 9-1 UC Davis.
The final Pac-12 victor was #20 Utah in a 10-1 win over Toledo. The Utes had three home runs from Alyssa Barrera, Anissa Urtez, and a walk off grand slam by Kelly Martinez.
— Utah Softball (@Utah_Softball) March 9, 2017
Thursday, March 9, 2017
#15 Baylor and #18 Louisiana-Lafayette squared off in thriller. The Bears got a lead off solo shot from Jessie Scroggins and add another run on a ground out by Shelby McGlaun in the top of the first for a fast 2-0 lead. McGlaun made it 3-0 in the fifth on an RBI double. The Ragin’ Cajuns finally broke through in the sixth on back-to-back solo home runs from Aleah Craighton and DJ Sanders. McGlaun restored the three run lead by for Baylor with a two run shot in the seventh. The Bears needed to survive a last ditch rally from Louisiana as Kara Gremillion hit a two run shot, but Baylor held on for the 5-4 win.
#20 Utah used a quick start to defeat Charleston Southern 9-0 in five innings. The duo of Hannah Flippen and Anissa Urtez batted in 4 runs apiece while Hailey Hilburn threw a one hitter with no walks and six strikeouts. The Utes won their second game of the day 1-0 over Hawaii in a pitcher’s duel. Katie Donovan went all seven innings allowing two hits and striking out five. Heather Bowen drove home the only run in the fourth on a single back to the pitcher.
San José State needed extra innings in both games to defeat their opponents. The Spartans overcame a 4 run deficit to beat Seton Hall 6-5 in 8 innings in the first game of the day. The Spartans had to rally in their second game as well. They trailed 2-1 after the top of the eighth, but two runs in the bottom half of the inning saw them walk off with the 3-2 victory.
#8 Washington took care of business against Penn State in a 9-1 win. The Huskies got multiple RBI efforts from Sis Bates, Julia DePonte, and Morganne Flores in the season’s home opener.
Friday, March 10, 2017
#1 Florida State continued their dominating start to the ACC conference schedule. The Seminoles defeated Virginia Tech twice in run-rule fashion 13-2 and 12-3. Jessica Warren drove home three runs in the first game while Cali Harrod matched that in the second contest. Two other ACC series took place between Syracuse and North Carolina State and Boston College and Virginia. Both of those series were split by the teams.
#13 James Madison had a good day winning both games. They started with a 2-0 win over Pittsburgh with Megan Good throwing the complete game shutout striking out 12. An RBI double from Taylor Newton and an RBI single from Odicci Alexander were all the scoring needed for the Dukes.
James Madison had a bit of an odd occurrence in their second game versus East Carolina. They won 12-1, but threw a combined no-hitter between Odicci Alexander and Jessica McCabe in the process. The Pirates hit a sacrifice fly in the first, but McCabe shut them down the rest of the game. Megan Good followed up her first game pitching performance with a 3 of 4 hitting game including five RBIs.
The SEC conference slate got underway with four games. South Carolina walloped #13 Tennessee 9-1 on the road in six innings thanks to a 4 RBI game from Kaylea Snaer. Mississippi State handed #6 Texas A&M their second loss of the season in a 5-2 win. Olivia Golden had 4 RBIs including a three run homer in the third inning. #11 Alabama took care of Arkansas in five innings, 9-0. The Tide scored at least one run each inning with Alexis Osorio throwing the complete game allowing four walks and one hit while striking out 8.
The biggest matchup in the SEC was between the Tigers, #12 LSU and #2 Auburn. Auburn had to rally twice to defeat LSU 5-4 with a two run sixth proving to be enough. Kendall Veach doubled home Haley Fagan while Courtney Shea scored on an error in the sixth with LSU going down in order in the 7th on three ground outs.
The Southland Conference also started their conference schedule with four doubleheader sweeps. Sam Houston State, Abilene Christian, Lamar, and McNeese State all went 2-0 for the day over Incarnate Word, Southeastern Louisiana, Northwestern State, and Central Arkansas, respectively. Nicholls State also defeated Houston Baptist 8-0 in five innings.
The Big 12 nearly went perfect on the day in their 8 games. The lone blemish was Texas Tech’s 8-5 loss to Montana. The Griz built a 7-2 lead through four innings with Tech cutting the lead to 7-5 on a three run shot by Kierra Miles in the fifth. Madison Saacke made it 8-5 on a solo shot in the sixth inning while Tech could not start a serious rally in the seventh.
Texas Tech did win their second game of the day 4-3 over Wichita State. Oklahoma State (twice), Iowa State, #9 Oklahoma (twice), and Kansas all posted wins on Friday.
Kennesaw State posted a big 9-8 win over Michigan State and did so in comeback fashion. The Owls trailed 3-0 after an inning and half, but rallied to tie the game and eventually led 6-4 after four innings. The Spartans took an 8-6 lead on two run home runs from Kaitlyn Eveland and Lea Foerster. The Owls made it 8-7 going into the seventh and then it was Courtney Sutter coming through in the clutch with a walk off two run single for the 9-8 victory. It was a bit of irony for the Spartans as they had won 9-8 earlier in the day on a walk off versus East Tennessee State.
The school record start for #7 Minnesota came to an end in a close 3-2 loss to #8 Washington. The Gophers, who were 19-1 after the loss, took an early 2-0 lead on a two run single by Kendyl Lindaman. The Huskies scored a run in the first and second innings to tie the game and then took the 3-2 lead in the sixth on Morganne Flores‘ solo shot. The Washington win marked number 500 for head coach Heather Tarr.
— UW Softball (@UWSoftball) March 11, 2017
San Diego State and Boston University played a wild contest that saw an offensive explosion over the final two innings. The Aztecs took a 4-1 lead after two innings on three home runs. Boston tied the game at 4 on a three run home run by Gabi Martinez. SDSU took a 7-4 lead in the seventh inning on a two run double by Jenavee Peres, but Boston came back to tie the game at 7 with a double and an error that scored two runs and sent the game into extras.
The eighth was just as crazy. The Aztecs scored four runs in the top of the inning, which in normal circumstances would be enough. Boston made it 11-8 on a sac fly by Madi Killebrew and then cut it to 11-10 on a two out, two run single by Martinez. Despite having runners on the corner, Boston could not complete yet another comeback and fell 11-10. Peres had 4 RBI for San Diego State while Martinez finished with 5 RBI for Boston.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
The day was disrupted by weather all around country. The Great Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and parts of the East saw games cancelled or postponed.
#3 Florida had a great game to start the SEC season versus #24 Missouri. Delanie Gourley did not allow a base runner until the sixth inning when she had an error. She allowed a walk and a double in the seventh with no outs, but was able to shut the door to keep the complete game shutout. Gourley struck out 10 while five different Gators drove home a run in the 6-0 win.
The Pac-12 had a wonderful day going 11-1. Fresno State delivered the Pac-12’s only loss in a 6-2 win over Oregon State. The Bulldogs were powered by a three run home run from Kierra Willis. The win gave Fresno State their 7th victory over a Power 5 opponent in 2017.
With this weekend’s 2-game sweep of Oregon State, #FresnoState is now pacing the Mountain West with 7 wins vs Power 5 conference opponents.
— MWC Softball (@MWCsoftball) March 12, 2017
Notre Dame had a tough day with two losses by one run. Both games came at Georgia Tech and went to nine innings. Georgia Tech won the first game 8-7 on a walk off solo shot by Colleen Darragh on just the third pitch of the nine inning. The Yellow Jackets were able to win the second game 9-8 thanks to two straight passed balls with Karissa Arnold scoring the decisive run.
The Big Ten saw at least on team score 10+ runs in more than half of 13 games. In total, there were 7 games that saw one team score 10 runs or more with Rutgers was on the losing side of two of those (12-4 to Ball State and 13-2 to Illinois State). Michigan won 11-2 over Evansville, Indiana won 16-4 over Oakland, Wisconsin won 15-5 over Maine, and Minnesota 14-6 over Seattle. Michigan State lost an offensive battle 10-8 to Tennessee Tech.
Both North Texas and Marshall got off to 2-0 starts in Conference USA play. NT defeated UTEP in a doubleheader while Marshall did the same versus UT-San Antonio.
The Sun Belt also started conference play with Georgia State and Texas State going 2-0 over South Alabama and Coastal Carolina, respectively. UT-Arlington and UL-Monroe both split a doubleheader as did Troy and Georgia Southern.
#25 BYU finished the week 3-1 with two wins over Sacramento State as well as splitting a pair of games versus Fresno State. Their win against the Bulldogs came on Saturday in an 8-6 thriller. BYU tied the game at five in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Ashley Thompson. In extras, the Cougars took an 8-5 lead on back-to-back doubles by Rylee Jensen and Lauren Bell. Fresno State made it 8-6 in the bottom of the eighth, but could not sustain the two out rally. BYU sits at 14-7 overall and face Maine and Wagner in doubleheaders next week.
The Mountain West, in which all 9 teams have a winning record, had a good day. They played 16 games on Saturday and won 14. One loss was the aforementioned Fresno State game versus BYU (see preceding paragraph) and also Wisconsin’s 8-1 victory over Colorado State. The most exciting game in the conference was New Mexico’s 13-12 win over Stony Brook.
Stony Brook came out on fire and blitzed the Lobos with 8 first inning runs. Melissa Rahrich hit a grand slam in the process to put New Mexico in a deep hole. The lead ballooned to 11-0 after three innings before UNM was able to get on the board. A five run fourth inning made it 11-5 Stony Brook with the Wolves adding a their final run in the top of the fifth. The Lobos rallied to put up 8 runs in the bottom of the fifth capped off by Jasmine Casados’ grand slam.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
The SEC had a few games postponed from Saturday, which caused three doubleheaders to be played on Sunday. #6 Texas A&M was able to win their series over Mississippi State by sweeping their two Sunday games 5-1 and 3-1. The Aggies sit at 21-2 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.
#11 Alabama swept Arkansas, but needed a rally in the first game of the day to open 3-0 in SEC play. The Tide trailed 3-0 after five innings, but cut it 3-1 after six on a single by Merris Schroder. They tied it up 3 in the seventh on a Chandler Dare triple and Peyton Grantham sacrifice fly. Dare ended the game in the ninth with a solo shot to right field on a 3-2 pitch to give the Tide a 4-3 win. The Tide rolled to a 5-0 win in the second game.
The other doubleheader was between #12 LSU and #2 Auburn. LSU delivered an 8-0 run rule victory in game one with Carley Hoover throwing six innings allowing three hits and three walks while striking out six. Sahvanna Jaquish hit a three run homer in the sixth inning to make it 8-0 and set the LSU mark for most RBIs in a career.
— LSU Softball (@LSUsoftball) March 12, 2017
Auburn won the rubber match of the series in a closely contested 5-4 game. Auburn’s Kendall Veach had a two run single in the first, but LSU rallied in the fifth to erase the deficit and take a 3-2 lead. Amber Serrett had an RBI double, Allie Walljasper an RBI single, and Bailey Landry an RBI triple to give LSU a short-lived lead. Haley Fagan gave Auburn the lead back with a two run double in the fifth while Landry tied the game at 4 in the seventh on an error. Kasey Cooper scored the walk off run on a throwing error by LSU.
#19 Kentucky posted a nice 5-1 win over #17 Michigan. The Wildcats scored in the first on a double steal of second and home with Hannah Huffman scoring the opening run. The Wildcats doubled their advantage in the third while the Wolverines pulled one back in the fifth. Breanne Ray put the game out of reach in the sixth with a three run home run. The Wildcats went 5-0 over the weekend to move to 18-4 as they head into their SEC slate.
The high water mark for the day was Boise State’s 25-12 win over Quinnipiac. The Broncos trailed 3-1 after an inning, but scored five runs in apiece in the second and third innings. The Broncos ended the game with a nine run sixth inning and finished with 25 runs on 22 hits. BSU’s Morgan Lamb had a 5 for 5 day with 5 RBIs and scored 4 runs. Rebekah Cervantes went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs and scored 4 runs. In total, 7 Boise State hitters finished with multiple RBIs. Quinnipiac was led by Erin Larsen who had a 2 for 3 day with 4 RBIs.
UMBC saw their offense get going against Rider with two games of 11+ runs on Sunday. UMBC opened with a 15-0 win over Rider in game one with Tori Alexander driving home four. The Retrievers scored in each of the four innings they had an at-bat in the run rule shortened game. The second game saw UMBC pick up right where they left off with an 8 run first inning. Rider made it a contest with a five run fourth inning, but UMBC pulled away with an 11-7 win.
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