2017 College Softball Season: Week Three Review
Three weeks of the 2017 college softball season are already in the books. Weeks one and two were full of wonderful games along with some surprising results. We will take a day-by-day look at the third week of the season below.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
#24 Baylor played a doubleheader against McNeese and won both games. The Bears rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the first game to win 6-5 in extra innings. Ari Hawkins brought home the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. The second was far more comfortable for Baylor as they won 9-3 and it was a significant victory for Glenn Moore as he won his 800th game in his career.
North Carolina won the battle of the Carolinas over South Carolina 7-3 to improve their record to 7-4. Meanwhile, Jacksonville State continued their great start with a 7-1 win over Georgia Tech. The Gamecocks had a six run outburst in the fifth and sixth innings to move to 9-1 overall.
#10 Alabama won a 2-0 contest over North Florida behind the pitching duo of Sydney Littlejohn and Alexis Osorio. Littlejohn threw 5 1/3 innings giving up four walks and a run while striking out 10 batters. Osorio came in and got the save after one and two-thirds perfect innings where she struck out all five batters faced.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
The curse of the number one team continued as the top ranked Florida State Seminoles lost 2-0 to #18 Texas A&M. Samantha Show put on a show in a complete game where she struck out 15 batters while allowing three walks and four hits. Kaitlyn Aldernik’s two run shot in the sixth was the difference as the Aggies moved to 12-0 on the season. There was also this gem of a catch by Erica Russell:
FSU bounced back to win the night cap 8-2 over Stanford led by Jessica Warren’s three for four night at the place along with three RBIs.
#4 Oklahoma started the day with a 2-1 win over Louisville with Paige Lowary going the distance allowing four hits and two walks while striking out seven. Caleigh Clifton scored twice in the game in both the first and fifth innings with the latter being the go-ahead run.
The day ended with the same score line for the Sooners, but they ended up on the losing side. #18 Tennessee got a stellar performance from Caylan Arnold in which she allowed just four hits. The Volunteers scored two runs in the second with both coming off the bat of Chelsea Seggern. Arnold and the Vols withstood a furious Oklahoma rally to get the win. Two errors by Tennessee put runners on second and third, but the Vols were able to get the final out and win 2-1.
#11 Georgia started the day undefeated at 12-0, but were handed their first loss by #23 BYU. The Cougars scored two runs apiece in the first and third innings with Ashley Thompson getting the runs started with a two run blast. The four runs were more than enough for McKenna Bull who went the distance in the 4-0 win.
Another big matchup on Thursday was #6 UCLA versus #11 Georgia. UCLA led 4-1, but four runs over three innings saw Georgia take a 5-4 lead in the sixth. That is when the Bruin bats came back to life with six runs capped off by Paige Halstead’s three run blast as the Bruins won 10-5.
Friday, February 24, 2017
The #3 ranked Florida Gators had two potential hiccups on Friday, but the pitching was stellar as the Gators only allowed six hits all day and no runs. Florida won a close 2-0 battle over Syracuse thanks to RBI singles from Jaimie Hoover and Sophia Reynoso. The pitching from Aleshia Ocasio (2-0) and three perfect innings of relief via Kelly Barnhill (8 strikeouts in those 9 outs) saw the Gators through for the win. The second game was a 4-0 win over Fordham with Delanie Gourley allowing only one hit and striking out 9 in the complete game shutout. Kayli Kvistad had an RBI single while Jordan Roberts hit a three run bomb to give Gourley enough cushion for the victory.
#19 Pittsburgh suffered their first stumble of the year in a 1-0 loss to Lipscomb. Mandy Jordan threw the complete game shut out where she allowed eight hits and two walks, but also struck out eight Panthers. Lipscomb won an 8-6 extra innings game over Troy later in the day while Pittsburgh went on to defeat Southeastern Louisiana 10-4.
#24 Baylor faced a solid 8-2 SIU Edwardsville squad and came away with a 4-0 win. Kelsee Selman threw six shutout innings allowing one walk and four hits and struck out six. Baylor also defeated Massachusetts 8-0 on Friday in their Baylor Invitational tournament.
South Dakota had quite the dichotomy in their two games on the day. They dropped a 20 run effort on Creighton including nine in the fourth inning. The Coyotes won 20-6 in a run-rule shortened five innings. In their other game on Friday, South Dakota had a pitching duel versus Illinois-Chicago. Kayla Fields, who had 5 RBI in the game versus Creighton, drove home the lone run on a fielder’s choice. Rachel Cue threw all seven innings giving up two walks and seven hits, but ended up with both wins on the day.
The Ivy League finally started their season and their teams went 1-8. Only Harvard was able to get in the win column and they did it in style with a 15-1 win over Detroit.
Haley Wiseman of Charlotte threw a perfect game in a run rule shortened contest against Robert Morris. Wiseman threw only five innings for the perfect game, but she struck out 8 batters in the 11-0 win for the 49ers.
The Pac-12 Conference, who had an outstanding start to the season, had an up and down day. #18 Texas A&M took on #21 Arizona State a day after their 2-0 win over #1 Florida State. It took nine innings for runs to be scored and the game to be decided. ASU took the lead in the top of the ninth on a bases load walk. The Aggies responded with a walk off two run double by Samantha Show for the 2-1 win.
Arizona State came back to defeat Notre Dame 3-1 later in the day. #8 Washington dropped a 9-5 affair against #20 Missouri, but it was how it happened that was surprising. Washington opened the game with a five runs in the first inning on four hits including Morganne Flores‘ three run home run. The rest of the game, Washington tallied just three hits off Madi Norman, who was kept in despite the rough start. Norman struck out 10 Huskies and Kirsten Mack, Braxton Burnside, and Natalie Fleming had multiple RBIs.
#5 Oregon had a pair of close wins over Montana (1-0) and UNLV (4-2). #17 Utah had a big 3-0 win over #15 Tennessee. The top ten matchup of #4 Oklahoma and #6 UCLA turned out to be one sided and not in the favor of the Pac-12. Shay Knighten hit a grand slam in the third inning to ignite the offense and the Sooners went on to run-rule the Bruins 10-1 in five innings.
Notre Dame got a big win over a #11 ranked Georgia team. Morgan Reed went 4 for 4 and the Irish plated five runs in bottom of the sixth for the 10-7 win. Through Friday, the Irish faced 8 ranked opponents and had a 2-6 record in those games. Meanwhile, Georgia was able to win their second game of the day 2-0 against Northwestern.
Fellow ACC team Boston College had their second big win of the week. After defeating Arizona State 3-2 on Monday, the Eagles shut down Wisconsin’s offense for a 4-1 victory. Jessica Dreswick threw a complete game allowing four walks and five hits. The Eagles then lost to another team named the Eagles in Florida Gulf Coast. FGCU tied the game in the bottom of seventh and then won the game 3-1 in the ninth on Racquel Fournet’s two run home run.
Finally, there was the NCAA’s second best offense in Arkansas (through games on Thursday) held to their lowest output of the season. Florida Atlantic held Arkansas to just one run, nearly 10 runs below the Razorbacks’ average. Kylee Hanson threw a gem allowing that one run on only two walks and three hits. She struck out 11 batters and Samantha Lageyre’s two run double in the fifth broke a 1-1 deadlock
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Notre Dame continued their great weekend with a 5-4 win over #4 Oklahoma. The first three innings were back and forth with Oklahoma taking 1-0 and 3-2 leads, but the Irish came back to tie the game. After falling behind 4-3, Notre Dame tied the game again behind Caitlyn Brooks homer to center field. The Irish took a 5-4 on Katie Marino’s home run to left field in the top of the seventh and were able to get out of a bases load jam to hang on.
The Texas Longhorns used a three run first inning to get past #15 Tennessee. Reagan Hathaway hit a solo home run and Jade Gortarez hit a two run double while Tiarra Davis went the distance for in the 4-2 Texas win.
Fresno State’s Kamalani Dung has been sensational in 2017. Through Saturday, she recorded a 7-2 record with six complete games and four shutouts. For the week, again through Saturday, she allowed two runs, nine hits, and four walks in 15 innings while going 2-0. The Bulldogs defeated Cal Poly 3-2 on Thursday and UC Davis 3-0 on Saturday.
#18 Texas A&M, who defeated both #1 Florida State and #21 Arizona State in the previous two days, completed their incredible week. They ended the third week on Saturday with two more victories over ranked teams. Their first game was an 11-1 drubbing of #23 BYU with Riley Sartain leading the offense. She went a perfect three for three with four RBIs including a two run home run.
The Aggies’ second win of the day was versus #14 Michigan behind Trinity Harrington’s six innings of shut out ball. Ashley Walters hit a single in the first inning that scored Keeli Milligan and Kristen Cuyos added a two run homer in the fourth for insurance. The Aggies won 3-0 over the Wolverines and have started the season 15-0.
A game fit for the Women’s College World Series took place between #7 LSU and #6 UCLA. Maddy Jelenicki hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning to put UCLA in a great spot. Amanda Doyle was able to hit separate solo shots in the second and fourth innings to halve the deficit, but UCLA went up 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth on a wild pitch.
The Tigers were down to their final out when they began a rally. After two singles and a walk, Sahvanna Jaquish hit a three run double down the left field line to tie the game at five. The game went to extras with Brianna Tautalafua scoring on an error to win the game 6-5 for UCLA.
#1 Florida State handed #9 Arizona their first loss of the season in a 1-0 duel. Meghan King pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing three walks and five hits while Jessica Burroughs came on for the final out. Jessica Warren drove home the lone run of the game in the bottom of the third. Arizona’s Danielle O’Toole threw a great game in the loss giving up only two walks and three hits while striking out 8 batters.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
One of the best comebacks belonged to UT-Martin. Northwestern State took a commanding 8-0 lead on a three run home run by Brittney Jones and a grand slam by Micayla Sorosiak. The Warhawks were able to chip away at the deficit with a run in fourth and two runs in the fifth. UT-Martin tied the game at 8 in the bottom of the sixth on two run doubles by both Carly Gonzales and Alli Fulcher. UT-Martin won the game 9-8 in the bottom of the seventh thanks to Rachel Williams’ single to right center field that brought home Aeron Smith.
Ole Miss capped a perfect weekend with a second victory over #25 South Florida in run rule fashion. The Rebels won 8-0 in six innings on Friday with four RBIs from Ashton Lampton. Sunday saw the Rebels do even better winning 12-1 over South Florida in five innings of work. Alyssa Gonzalez (4 RBIs), Miranda Srother (3), Brittany Finney (2), and Dylinn Stancil (2) all had multiple runs batted in for Ole Miss. Kaitlin Lee threw all five innings allowing only one run on three hits and a walk. Ole Miss sits at 12-2 after the third week of the season.
#13 James Madison and #2 Auburn split a pair of games over the weekend. On Saturday, Auburn won 4-0 after Kaylee Carlson went the distance allowing five hits and two walks with 8 strikeouts. James Madison responded Sunday with Megan Good throwing a one hitter to improve to 8-0 on the season in the 1-0 victory. Haley Fagan’s single in the fourth inning prevented the no-hitter against Auburn while Good allowed only three walks and struck out 10. Cambry Arnold had a single in the third inning that brought home Mimi Morris for the game’s only run. The loss snapped a 13 game winning streak for Auburn and James Madison is now at 12-2.
#1 Florida State had two more tough games starting with #6 UCLA. FSU took the 1-0 lead in the second on a single by Dani Morgan and then doubled their advantage in the fifth with a double by Alex Powers. The Bruins got one back in the bottom of the fifth inning on a single from Zoe Shaw to cut it to a 2-1 game, but the Seminoles hung on for the one run victory thanks to 2 1/3 innings from Meghan King in relief of Jessica Burroughs.
The second game of the day for FSU was against #14 Michigan. The Seminoles and Wolverines ended the game tied at after eight innings. Per FSU, the game ended in a tie due to a drop dead time.
Both teams scored runs in the first inning and then matched one another with two runs in the fifth. Florida State took a 4-3 lead on a single shot home run by Zoe Casas. Michigan responded with a two run double from Tera Blanco to take a 5-4 lead. The Seminoles tied the game in the seventh Dani Morgan’s fielder’s choice that Michigan could not turn into a double play. The game would end 5-5 as neither team could put a run across.
Michigan won the nightcap versus #21 Arizona State, 3-0. RBIs from Tera Blanco and Lindsay Montemarano along with a solo shot from Faith Canfield gave the Wolverines all the support they would need. Blanco was also the pitcher for the game and delivered a six inning performance allowing only three hits and one walk. She struck out five batters while Megan Betsa came in for the save and struck out the side in the seventh to seal the win.
Rebecca Freeman of Marist had herself a day to remember at the plate. She went a perfect 4 for 4 with four runs scored and 11 RBIs! She hit a walk off grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to give Marist the 14-10 win over Savannah State.
Grand Canyon moved to 16-1 overall thanks to an 11-5 win over Nevada. The Lopes trailed 2-0, but two runs in third tied the game and seven more in the fourth put the game in firm control for Grand Canyon. Taylor Nowlin is now 9-1 in 2017 and the victory also gave head coach Ann Pierson her 400th career win.