The eighth week of the 2017 college softball season saw March end and April start. There were some shockers (and not just on the diamond) as well as big games across the nation. Below, we take a day-by-day look at what happened in college softball.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
#4 Arizona showed no signs of a let down with a doubleheader sweep over Grand Canyon. Mandie Perez and Alyssa Palomino both had 2 RBIs while Danielle O’Toole threw a complete game in the 6-2 win. Arizona won more comfortably in the second game 13-0 thanks to an 8 run second inning. Katiyana Mauga and Mo Mercado both had 3 RBIs as seven different Wildcats recorded an RBI.
The lone SEC loss on the day (5-1) was #24 Ole Miss dropping a 5-4 decision against Jacksonville State. The teams were tied at 1 going to the seventh, but both teams were able to score a run in the inning to provide extras. Ole Miss looked to have a great chance to win after scoring two runs in the 10th on a wild pitch and RBI single by Courtney Syrett. JSU wasted no time cutting the deficit in half with a solo shot Anna Chisolm. JSU was down to their final strike when Jamie McGuire tied the game with her own solo shot and then Hayley Sims ended it in the 11th with a home run.
— Connor Rouleau (@ConnorRouleau) March 30, 2017
Southern Miss put up the high water mark for runs in a 21-5 win over Jackson State. 8 different batters recorded an RBI in the victory and Jillian Johnson threw the complete game over five innings.
The battle of Charleston was won by the College of Charleston as they swept Charleston Southern in a doubleheader. The Cougars won the first game 6-5 thanks to a two-run single from Dana Horgan while Izzy Berouty threw 2 2/3 innings for the save (gave up only two hits). The second game was a 2-0 win for the Cougars with the runs coming via an error and a sacrifice fly from Jordin Jones. Sydney Shipley had a very good outing allowing just one walk and two hits in the complete-game shutout with six strikeouts.
The ACC duo of Pittsburgh and Louisville defeated Big 10 foes Penn State and Indiana, respectively. The Panthers fell behind 1-0 in the first but were able to settle down and score the next seven runs for the 7-1 victory. Gabrielle Fredericks made the most of her only at-bat hitting a two-run shot to lead the team in RBIs for the game. Louisville needed a two-run single from Nicole Pufahl while Maryssa Becker threw a complete-game two-hitter. The Cardinals won 2-1 over Indiana and Becker improved to 15-5 on the season.
#11 James Madison bounced back from a surprising loss on Sunday to defeat Virginia Tech in a doubleheader. Game one was a pitching duel with the Dukes winning 2-0 thanks to a three-hitter from Megan Good (8 strikeouts) and RBI hits by Taylor Newton and Madyson Moran. Game two was more offensive with JMU leading 4-0 after two innings and leading comfortably at 7-2 until the final frame. Virginia Tech closed the deficit rapidly with three home runs in the seventh from Caroline Schoenewald, Breanna Davenport, and Emma Strouth. Odicci Alexander came in and shut the door as Newton led the Dukes with 3 RBIs in the 7-6 win.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
The action was light with #3 Oregon headlining the day’s games. They took on #25 BYU and won a close pitching duel 1-0. The lone run was not scored until the sixth when Nikki Udria brought home Alexis Mack. Miranda Elish pitch 5 1/3 innings giving up one walk, five hits, and striking out four. Maggie Balint came in during the sixth inning and struck out all five batters she faced while earning the win to improve to 14-0. BYU’s McKenna Bull had a very good performance allowing just three hits and striking out 8 but took the loss (now 15-4).
— Oregon Duck Softball (@OregonSB) March 31, 2017
Albany, Quinnipiac, and Drexel all posted doubleheader sweeps over Siena, Hartford, and St. Peter’s, respectively. Boston College defeated in-state opponent UMass-Lowell 3-1 after all four runs were scored in the fourth inning. Lowell scored their run on a single by Madison Alcorn, but the Eagles came right back to take the lead on RBI singles from Jordan Chimento and Chloe Sharabba. Sharabba later scored on a wild pitch while Jessica Dreswick earned her 12th victory of the season. She pitched five innings allowing the one run on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Friday, March 31, 2017
The big news off of the diamond came from Auburn as associate head coach Corey Myers announced his resignation, effective immediately. Myers resigned on Thursday night, but the news broke on Friday as the Tigers were set to face Georgia for a three-game series.
#5 Auburn did win their game against Georgia 7-5 in the back and forth affair with the Tigers drawing 11 walks. Haley Fagan drew 4 walks and scored three runs while Kaylee Carlson earned the win to improve to 17-1.
Missouri stumped the bats of #9 Alabama with a very good pitching performance from Cheyenne Baxter. Baxter allowed two walks and six hits with five strikeouts. RBIs from Cayla Kessinger and Kolby Romaine gave Baxter the support she needed. Missouri won 2-0 and handed Alexis Osorio her third loss on the season (16-3).
#24 Ole Miss defeated #16 Kentucky 7-1 at home as the two teams began a three-game series. Sarah Van Schaik had two hits, but both went for home runs and she recorded 5 RBIs. Kaitlin Lee had a strong outing giving up the one run on two walks and five hits with four strikeouts.
#12 Oklahoma opened Big 12 play by tearing through the Iowa State Cyclones. The first game was a 7-1 victory with the Sooners scoring two runs in the first, second, and third innings while five different players recorded an RBI. The second game was a complete destruction with a score of 20-0 in five innings. Macey Hatfield led the Sooners with 5 RBIs and Sydney Romero, Fale Aviu, Shay Knighten, and Kelsey Arnold each contributing 2 RBIs.
Also in the Big 12, Oklahoma State swept their doubleheader versus Kansas while #14 Baylor did the same to Texas Tech. OSU won 7-1 in game one thanks to 3 RBIs from Kristin Reasnor while game two was dominated by pitching. Shea Coats threw a complete game shutout allowing one walk and four hits with 10 strikeouts in the 1-0 victory. Baylor won 5-1 in their first contest after an 11 strikeout performance by Kelsee Selman and then won the second game 6-3 as five different hitters recording an RBI.
Big 10 favorites #6 Minnesota and #20 Michigan easily got past their opponents in five innings. The Gophers won 12-0 over Illinois with Sara Groenewegen throwing a one-hitter and striking out 8. Kendyl Lindaman led the offense with two home runs (both in the fifth inning) and 6 RBIs. Michigan won 10-0 over Northwestern thanks to a three-hitter and 10 strikeout performance from Megan Betsa. For Betsa, she recorded her 1,000th career strikeout in the win and Kelly Christner added 4 RBIs in the win.
— Michigan On BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) March 31, 2017
#13 UCLA won the opening game of their series at #8 Washington, 6-2. The Bruins took a 2-0 lead after an inning and a half on RBI singles from Maddie Jelenicki and Delaney Spaulding. The Huskies clawed their way back in the second and third innings to tie the game thanks to an error by UCLA and then a solo shot by Ali Aguilar. UCLA reclaimed the lead in the fourth on a single by Brianna Tautalafua and then doubled their advantage on a sacrifice fly from Kylee Perez. Rachel Garcia, who improved to 9-4 on the season, helped her own cause with a 2 run shot to center in the top of the seventh to seal the win.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Three ACC teams scored 12+ runs in their victory over fellow conference foes. #1 Florida State defeated Pittsburgh 12-4 with 5 RBIs from Sydney Broderick as the offense put up 16 hits and Meghan King improved to 16-0. North Carolina crushed Virginia 12-1 in six innings with the Tar Heels posting 8 runs in the bottom of the sixth. Katie Bailiff ended the game with a grand slam and Brittany Pickett allowed one run on five hits with three strikeouts. Virginia Tech won 13-6 over Georgia Tech as Carolina Schoenewald (3 RBIs), Lauren Duff (3), Breanna Davenport (2), and Jessie Mehr each had multiple-RBI games. The Hokies poured in 17 hits including three apiece from Schoenewald, Emma Strouth, and Aysha Richardson.
#2 Florida dominated #23 Arkansas 8-0 with Delanie Gourley allowing just two hits and striking out six over the run-rule shortened five-inning game. Jordan Roberts continued her tear with 4 RBIs to give her 10 over the last three games (4 versus Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday and 2 versus Arkansas on Friday).
#5 Auburn had an offensive explosion against #18 Georgia in a 13-4 victory. After drawing 11 walks in Friday’s game, Auburn drew 8 on Saturday with Haley Fagan adding 2 more to her weekend total (4 on Friday). Kendall Veach and Carlee Wallace both recorded 4 RBIs and Auburn recorded the 13 runs on 14 hits.
— Auburn Softball (@AuburnSoftball) April 2, 2017
#9 Alabama won 9-3 on Saturday over Missouri with a great hitting performance by Peyton Grantham. She went 3 for 4 with 6 RBIs with all three hits going for home runs. Sydney Littlejohn picked up the win to go to 13-1 this season.
A good ole fashioned pitching duel broke out in Baton Rouge as #10 LSU hung on for a 1-0 win over Mississippi State. The Tigers scored the lone run on an infield single by Sahvanna Jaquish that scored Shemiah Sanchez. An error by Mississippi State kept the inning alive and allowed Jaquish to get an at-bat. Sydney Smith (8-1) threw the complete game shutout allowing three hits and striking out three. Holly Ward got the loss to fall to 7-5, but she had a very good performance herself allowing the one run on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts. LSU is now 6-0 all-time when they wear their teal uniforms, which they wore for their annual Strikeout Ovarian Cancer game on Saturday.
#17 Louisiana-Lafayette decimated Georgia Southern 25-2 in their doubleheader. The first game was a 15-0 win with three Ragin’ Cajun pitchers combining to toss a one-hitter. The duo of DJ Sanders and Lexie Comeaux had 4 RBIs apiece with each hitting a home run. Game two was more of the same with Daniella Chavez recording 4 RBIs and Kassidy Zeringue driving home three runs. Louisiana won 10-2 to improve to 25-5 overall and 8-0 in the Sun Belt.
#6 Minnesota saw their 8 game winning streak snapped in a 4-3 victory by Illinois. Minnesota struck in the top of the first with a two-run shot from Kendyl Lindaman and then went up 3-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Maddie Houlihan. The Illini mounted a comeback in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single by Kiana Sherlund and two runs scoring on a throwing error. The Illini won in the bottom of the seventh on Annie Flemming’s double to left field that brought home Sherlund.
#20 Michigan won their 11th game in a row and posted their sixth straight shutout in a 6-0 win over Northwestern. Tera Blanco threw the complete game shutout allowing just three hits and Aidan Falk drove home three runs.
#12 Oklahoma, #14 Baylor, and Oklahoma State all finished off sweeps of Iowa State, Texas Tech, and Kansas, respectively. Oklahoma won 13-4 after 4 RBIs from Nicole Pendley including the walk-off three-run homer. Sydney Romero had 3 RBIs and the three through seven batters each scored two runs. Baylor won 4-0 with Kelsee Selman throwing a two-hitter with two walks and five strikeouts. The Cowgirls easily defeated Kansas 7-1 with Alex Edinger going 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs.
#11 James Madison dropped their second conference game of the season in as many weekends after splitting a doubleheader. They crushed College of Charleston 16-6 in game one as Megan Good got the win and drove home 5 RBIs along with two home runs. Game two saw Charleston produce the same amount of runs, 6, but their pitching held the Dukes in check for a 6-1 victory. Sara Garcia went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and two runs while Sydney Shipley threw a complete game allowing one run on six walks and four hits.
Cal Poly swept UC Santa Barbara in a doubleheader to start their Big West conference slate. The first game was scoreless until the fifth when Cal Poly scored two runs on a single by Stephanie Heyward and a sacrifice fly from Courtney Tyler. Santa Barbara cut the deficit in half, but the Mustangs were able to score two more including Heyward driving home a second RBI to win 4-1. Sierra Hyland threw a complete game allowing one walk and six hits with 10 strikeouts. Game two saw Cal Poly win 3-1 thanks to RBIs from Sierra Hyland, who also got the save, and Crimson Kaiser.
#13 UCLA withstood a furious rally from #8 Washington to win 9-8 and take the series. The Bruins took a 4-0 lead in the third and then made it 6-0 in the fifth on solo home runs by Brianna Tautalafua and Rachel Garcia. The Huskies cut it back to 6-4 after a single by Kaija Gibson and a three-run home run by Taylor Van Zee. A two-run double from Maddie Jelenicki and an RBI single from Paige Halstead made it a 5 run difference a 9-4, but Washington put up another 4 run frame. Three singles by Morganne Flores, Van Zee, and Kirstyn Thomas trimmed the score to 9-8. Washington had a great chance in the bottom of the seventh to tie and possibly win as they loaded the bases with one out. Rachel Garcia was able to get a strikeout and fly out to end the game and improve her record to 10-4 this season.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Lehigh posted their season-high for runs in an 18-0 drubbing of Lafayette. Production came from all over the lineup with 10 different hitters recording an RBI led by three apiece from Reva Alderman and Brianna Gerhardt. Pitching was excellent as Christine Campbell threw a one-hitter and struck out six to improve to 8-4. Lafayette did win the second game of the doubleheader 3-1 with Miranda Skurla driving home two runs.
— Lehigh Sports (@LehighSports) April 2, 2017
The Big 10 saw the completion of sweeps across several series. Michigan State swept Maryland, Ohio State swept Rutgers by a combined score of 32-3, #20 Michigan finished off Northwestern for their 12th straight win and 7th straight shutout, and Nebraska over #22 Wisconsin. The last sweep was a bit of surprise as the Huskers came into the series 8-20 overall, but won all three games by 3+ runs.
#5 Auburn swept #18 Georgia thanks to a 4-3 win in the series finale. Courtney Shea had 2 RBIs as Haley Fagan and Kendall Veach both delivered an RBI for the Tigers. #2 Florida also swept their opponent, #23 Arkansas, after a 6-1 victory. The Gators offense was supplied by 2 RBIs from Nicole DeWitt, Kayli Kvistad, and Brooke Clemens while Kelly Barnhill threw five innings allowing one run on one hit and striking out 7. #10 LSU swept Mississippi State with Allie Walljasper throwing a one-hitter. The Tigers won 4-1 with 2 RBIs from Constance Quinn.
Missouri secured a big series victory over #9 Alabama after winning 4-3 in 9 innings. Rylee Pierce tied the game twice; once in the fourth inning on a solo shot and again in the sixth inning on a two-run home run. The Tigers won in the bottom of the ninth on Kolby Romaine’s single that scored Kirsten Mack.
North Carolina defeated Virginia 8-7 in a tight contest. Virginia took a 3-0 lead in the top frame, but the Heels scored five runs unanswered to lead 5-3. Virginia came back with 4 in the top of the fourth and that led to Brittany Pickett going into the circle for UNC. The Heels scored two in the fourth to tie the game and Kendra Lynch drove home the eventual winning run in the fifth. Pickett threw three scoreless innings to move to 14-1 on the season.
The Mountain West saw the two of the top teams, Utah State and Fresno State, fall in their games. Utah State lost 4-2 but won the series after taking the first two games. Boise State took a 2-0 lead in the first and it was not until the sixth inning that Utah State tied the game with RBIs from Sarina Jaramillo and Sydney Hart. The Broncos reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from Edwards and added another to reach the final scoreline. Despite the loss, Utah State still leads the MWC at 6-3.
As for Fresno State, they lost a second straight game to Nevada, but they still remain one game behind Utah State. Nevada took a comfortable 7-2 lead in the top of the seventh on a three-run home run by Kenzi Goins and Fresno State closed the gap to 7-4 on back-to-back RBI doubles by Lindsey Willmon and Savannah Mchellon. However, the rally was too little, too late and the Bulldogs lost 7-4.
Fresno State is just 3-4 in its last 7 Mountain West games at home. Prior to that, the Bulldogs had a 32-game MW winning streak.
— MWC Softball (@MWCsoftball) April 2, 2017
The final unbeaten team in Division 1 softball, #3 Oregon, still remained that way after a sweep of #21 Arizona State. The Ducks needed an extra inning to win 1-0 and remain undefeated. Mia Camuso’s single to center field brought home Haley Cruse and gave Oregon a 33rd straight win. Megan Kleist threw 6 1/3 innings allowing two walks and four hits while striking out four but did not earn a decision. Maggie Balint came in for the final 1 2/3 innings and earned the win (16-0) allowing one hit.
— Oregon Duck Softball (@OregonSB) April 2, 2017
#8 Washington was able to avoid a sweep at the hands of #13 UCLA. The Huskies won 12-7 with a 4 for 4 and 5 RBI performance by Casey Stangel while Ali Aguilar went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Maddie Jelenicki and Bubba Nickles both had a double, home run, and 3 RBIs in the loss for UCLA.
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