2017 College Softball Season: Week Nine Review
The season has worked its way into April and the ninth week saw some incredible performances. It also saw the final unbeaten team, Oregon, drop their first game of the year. We take a day-by-day look at all the action below.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Plenty of games were wiped out due to rainy conditions, but of the games that went on, several stood out. Three Big 12 teams were upset by mid-major opponents starting with Texas State over Texas. The Bobcats won 2-1 on a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth inning via Jaelyn Young. Randi Rupp went all 9 innings allowing the one run on five hits and two walks with 7 strikeouts. Texas State improved to 26-8 overall.
— Sports Night (@Sports_NightTX) April 6, 2017
Abilene Christian delivered a resounding 5-1 win over Texas Tech. The Wildcats fell behind 1-0 after three innings, but three runs in the fifth inning and two more in the seventh saw them win going away. Sydney Holman pitched an outstanding game allowing one walk and two hits with four strikeouts.
The third Big 12 team to lose was Oklahoma State to instate foe Tulsa 3-2. Tulsa struck in the top of the first with Julia Hollingsworth scoring on a passed ball. The Cowgirls came right back in the bottom of the first with Vanessa Shippy hitting a two run home run, but that would be the last hit of the game for Oklahoma State. Maggie Withee put Tulsa in front for good in the top of the second on a two run double that gave Emily Watson all the support she would need. Watson allowed only two hits and one walk with while striking out 17 batters, which tied a career high.
— Tulsa Softball (@TulsaSoftball) April 6, 2017
#11 Oklahoma defeated #25 Arkansas 4-2 at home as Mariah Lopez moved to 11-1 on the season. Lopez went five innings allowing both runs on three hits and five walks, but struck out seven. Paige Lowary came on for the two inning save, which was her third of the season. Alissa Dalton drove home two runs in the first inning to lead the Sooners on offense.
#3 Florida defeated North Florida 5-1 as Amanda Lorenz went 2 for 3 with 4 RBIs. Both hits went for home runs while Aleshia Ocasio threw a complete game to improve to 7-0. #12 Alabama beat Lipscomb by a similar score behind 14 strikeouts from Sydney Littlejohn. She went all seven innings allowing only one walk and three hits as four different hitters recorded an RBI in the 5-0 win.
Wagner and Monmouth needed 11 innings to decide a winner in the day’s longest game. Wagner took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Kaila Smith’s solo shot, but Monmouth roared back in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI double from Katie Baron and a two run single by Justene Reyes. Wagner came back in the third and five innings with RBI singles that scored Lauren Serrato both times. The sixth through 10th innings saw no runs, but that gave way to two runs scored in the 11th on fielding errors in left that gave Wagner the 5-3 win.
Nebraska came off their sweep of Wisconsin and did the same to Iowa State in a doubleheader. Nebraska took a 5-0 lead after three innings in game one and were on cruise control until the seventh inning when Iowa State scored three. Iowa State could not complete the comeback in the 5-3 loss while Kaylan Jablonski led the Huskers on offense going 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs including a 2 run shot. She also earned the win for her effort in the circle going 6 2/3 innings.
The second game was very tight as Nebraska managed only three hits, but scored two runs. Cassie McClure hit a solo shot in the fourth inning to give herself enough offense for the 2-1 win. McClure threw a complete game allowing one run on six hits while striking out five. McClure saved game one and improved to 6-6 with the win in game two.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
There were just two games on the day (three games were washed out) led by Tulsa against Wichita State. Tulsa took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Maddie Withee’s sacrifice fly. The Hurricanes were looking good until the bottom of the sixth when an error and sacrifice bunt put Wichita State in position to score. They did just that on singles by Kelli Spring and Laurie Derrico. Katie Malone finished the game for the 2-1 Wichita State win. Malone threw a complete game with six hits and one walk allowed while improving to 18-8 on the season.
The other game was Prairie View defeating NAIA Jarvis Christian College. There was no shortage of offense as the Panthers took a 4-0 after the top of the fourth. They gave up the lead in the bottom half, but reclaimed it in the top of the fourth for good, albeit an uneasy lead. The Panthers won 9-7 as Kylar Ward-Flowers, Kelsey Coronado, and Alyssa Garcia each recorded 2 RBIs.
Friday, April 7, 2017
The biggest story of the day was the #2 Oregon Ducks losing their first game of the season to #9 UCLA 2-0. In a reversal of the usual storyline for the Bruins, it was the pitching that won the game. UCLA claimed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a single by Zoe Shaw. Their advantage was doubled two innings later on a solo shot by Maddie Jelenicki. From there, it was all Rachel Garcia who threw three perfect innings to end the game. Garcia went the distance giving up five hits and recording three strikeouts. UCLA was able to get past a 9 strikeout performance by Oregon’s Megan Kleist, who also gave up five hits.
— UCLA Softball (@UCLASoftball) April 8, 2017
#4 Arizona hit seven home runs and put up 13 first inning runs on their way to an easy 20-1 win over Stanford. Alyssa Palomino hit a grand slam in the first inning and a three run triple in the second inning while Jessie Harper hit two home runs in the first inning.
Utah State scored a big doubleheader sweep of Fresno State to move further ahead in the Mountain West and leave the Bulldogs with work to do. Game one was a 1-0 contest decided in the seventh inning with Sarina Jaramillo hitting a walk off solo shot to center. Kellie White threw a complete game shutout allowing two hits and two walks with five strikeouts to improve to 13-3. Kamalani Dung allowed only one walk and three hits with 6 strikeouts in the loss.
Game two saw Fresno State take a 2-0 lead in the third on a two run home run by Morgan Howe. It became 4-0 in the fourth thanks to a solo shot from Kierra Willis and Vanessa Hernandez stealing home. Jaramillo got two tack in the bottom on a home run and the Aggies completed the comeback in the sixth inning. Riley Plogger hit a three run shot and Bailee Trappe finished off the scoring for the 7-2 victory.
#12 Alabama scored three first inning runs and went on to win 3-0 over eighth ranked rival LSU. Marisa Runyon hit a double that brought home Mari Cranek to start the scoring. Two batters later, Peyton Grantham cleared the bases with a two run shot. Alexis Osorio threw a complete game shutout allowing two hits and six walks while striking 11.
#24 Missouri defeated #25 Arkansas 1-0 in a game that saw a scarcity of hits. Missouri scored the only run in the third inning on a passed ball and the Tigers managed just two hits all game. The Razorbacks finished with just four hits of their own. Cheyenne Baxter improved to 9-2 after allowing those four hits and two walks as well as striking out eight. Autumn Storms was unlucky to get the loss as she threw six innings of two hit ball allowing only one walk and striking out seven.
#17 Tennessee used an early barrage of runs to defeat #20 Kentucky in five innings. The Vols scored two runs in the first, three in the third, and four in the fourth as Matty Moss improved to 17-1. She allowed only two hits with no walks and struck out three. Scarlet McSwain led the team in RBIs with three, all coming on her double in third inning.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
For the second time in as many days, #2 Oregon lost to #9 UCLA in a defensive game. The game remained scoreless until the the bottom of the ninth inning. Zoe Shaw reached first on an error, moved to second on a wild pitch, and then was sacrificed to third on a bunt. A passed ball allowed Shaw to score the only run of the game. The Bruins recorded only two hits and had three errors, but it was the Ducks who made the untimely mistakes.
Selina Ta’amilo threw six scoreless inning for UCLA giving up one walk and three hits while recording three strikeouts. It was Rachel Garcia who got her second straight win over the Ducks (12-4) with three innings of 2 hit ball and three strikeouts. Maggie Balint got the loss for Oregon (16-1 on the season) after allowing only two hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
#10 Washington lost a close contest to Oregon State at home 2-1. Oregon State scored right away in the first with an RBI single from Natalie Hampton. They made it 2-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Alysha Everett while the Huskies cut the deficit down to one in the bottom half on a solo shot by Ali Aguilar. The Huskies were unable to tie the game as Nerissa Eason came on for the final inning save. Taylor Cotton got the win after throwing six innings allowing five hits and four walks with two strikeouts.
#1 Florida State gave up a season high 9 runs, but they still won comfortably over Syracuse 18-9. In the previous 13 games before this contest, FSU had allowed 10 runs in total. Both teams had 15 hits as FSU was led by Carsyn Gordon (3 for 5 with 4 RBIs), Alex Powers (3 runs and 4 RBIs), and Ellie Cooper (2 for 5 with 4 RBIs). Syracuse hitters Alicia Hansen (3 for 5 with 3 runs and 3 RBIs) and Sydney O’Hara (4 for 5 with 2 runs and 1 RBI) both had strong success against the FSU pitchers.
Another high scoring ACC game took place between North Carolina State and Georgia Tech. Molly Hutchinson hit a two run home run to start the scoring, but Georgia Tech answered back emphatically with 7 runs in the bottom of the first including a three run double from Karissa Arnold. NC State scored three runs in a row, all on walks, to make it a 7-5 deficit after the top of the second.
Georgia Tech added four runs over the second and third innings with their final three runs coming on a three run shot by Colleen Darragh. That made it 11-5 in favor of the Yellow Jackets as NC State answered back in the fourth with 5 runs led by a Hutchinson three run shot. A run in the fifth tied the game and it was none other than Hutchinson who brought home the last run on a solo shot in the seventh. Hutchinson had a day to remember in the 12-11 win going 4 for 4 with 3 home runs , 3 runs, a walk, and 7 RBIs.
— PackSoftball (@PackSoftball) April 9, 2017
#18 Michigan saw their shutout streak end at seven, but they will gladly take the doubleheader sweep over their rival, #25 Ohio State. Game one was dominated by Megan Betsa’s 12 strikeouts in her complete game performance. She allowed two runs on four hits and three walks. Kelly Christner (3 RBIs) and Abby Ramirez (2 RBIs) led the Wolverines to the 7-2 victory.
Game two was similar to the first with Megan Betsa dominating, but in a relief performance. She came on for a three inning save and struck out the side each inning. Terra Blanco had plenty of fours in her pitching line: she went four innings allowing four runs on four hits and four walks. In addition, she had 4 RBIs as she improved to 14-2 for the season after the 8-4 win.
The Ivy League had all 8 teams in action with each series completing a doubleheader. Yale, Harvard, and Dartmouth all swept their doubleheaders over Columbia, Cornell, and Princeton, respectively. The fourth series, which ended in a split, was between Penn and Brown. Dartmouth (4-3 in the Ivy) leads the competitive North Division by half a game over Harvard (3-3) and Yale (4-4). Princeton (4-2), Penn (5-3), and Columbia (5-3) are essentially tied for the lead in the South Division.
Speaking of competitive, the Missouri Valley has four teams at 8-3 in conference through Saturday’s games. Wichita State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, and Illinois State are all atop the standings with Southern Illinois a game behind and Evansville two games behind. Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois played a doubleheader with UNI winning both games. Kennedy Bailey recorded 3 RBIs in the first game while Anna Varriano went 3 for 3 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored in the 5-2 second game win.
#16 Louisiana-Lafayette won their doubleheader over Troy 3-1 and 11-0. The Ragin’ Cajuns hit two home runs in the first game win as Alyssa Denham threw a complete game allowing the one run on one walk and four hits with five strikeouts. Game two featured plenty more scoring. Louisiana scored their last 7 runs on home runs topped off by DJ Sanders hitting a grand slam to up her home run tally to 18 for the year.
#8 LSU evened the series against #12 Alabama with a 1-0 win. Sydney Smith out-pitched Sydney Littlejohn going the distance and allowed only three hits and three walks. Bailey Landry drove home the lone run in fifth inning on a double that scored Aliyah Andrews. Landry went 3 for 4 hitting and accounted for 60% of the LSU hits.
The other Alabama team also fell on Saturday as #5 Auburn lost to #21 Ole Miss. The Rebels took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, but Auburn stormed back to take a 4-2 lead in the bottom half of the inning. Ole Miss came back with five runs of their own in the third and did not look back in the 10-4 win. Sarah Van Schaik (3 RBIs), Ashton Lampton (2 RBIs), Alyssa Gonzalez (2 RBIs), and Kaylee Horton (2 RBIs) were the bulk of the offense. The latter three all had multiple hit games as well.
Sunday April 9, 2017
Houston obliterated Connection in a 22-0, five inning win. The Cougars were led by Savannah Heebner in both the circle and the batter’s box. She went 2 for 2 with 7 RBIs as both hits went for home runs of 3 runs and 4 runs. She also got the win after allowing two hits over four innings with five strikeouts. Shelby Miller went 3 for 3 with 3 runs and 3 RBIs while Sarah Queen, De’Zha Scott, Sarah Barker, and Jaylin Baldridge each recorded 2 RBIs.
#13 Baylor swept Iowa State after a 9-6 win. The Cyclones struck first in the second inning, but were answered by Baylor’s three runs in the bottom of the inning. The Cyclones tied the game at three in the third, but Baylor added two runs in the third, one in fourth, two in the fifth, and one in the sixth to make it 9-3. Iowa State was down to their final out when they started a rally. A two run double by Kelsey McFarland and RBI single from Kaylee Bosworth made it 9-6, but the rally came up short as a fly out ended the game. Kyla Walker, Sydney Christensen, and Maddison Kettler all had 2 RBIs apiece for Baylor.
#11 Oklahoma also swept rival Texas after a 6-0 win as they scored five runs in the second inning. Paige Lowary went 5 1/3 innings giving up five hits and striking out six. Paige Parker finished off the shutout with 1 2/3 perfect inning and 2 strikeouts.
#6 Texas A&M finished off an impressive sweep of Oklahoma State as Lexi Smith threw a one-hitter with five walks and 9 strikeouts. Six different Aggies recorded an RBI in the 9-0 win. The Aggies are now 35-3 with one scheduled non-conference opponent the rest of the regular season (Louisiana-Lafayette at home on April 19).
#5 Auburn won the rubber game of their series against #21 Ole Miss. Kaylee Carlson won her 20th game against just one loss after throwing a complete game giving up four hits with no walks and striking out six. Kasey Cooper brought home two runs while Alyssa Rivera drove home the other run in the 3-1 win.
#25 Arkansas also won the third game, and the series, at #24 Missouri after a 4-2 win. The Razorbacks took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a solo shot from A.J. Belans. Missouri took their first lead in the third when Kirsten Mack hit a two run shot, her fifth of the season. Belans tied the game in the fourth with another solo home run while Madison Yannetti hit a two run shot later in the frame to make it 4-2. Carolina Hedgcock came on in relief after 2 1/3 innings from the starter Autumn Storms. She was able to pitch 4 2/3 perfect innings to get her first win of the season.
#14 James Madison posted a deceptive 15-5 win over Towson to complete a sweep. The game featured little scoring for a large portion of the contest as it was tied at 2 after seven innings. The Dukes posted 13 runs in the eighth inning including grand slams by Kierstin Roadcap and Niki Prince. Megan Good went 2-0 on the weekend (now 24-1) and had an excellent weekend at the plate going 7 for 13 with 4 RBIs and 5 runs scored.
#25 Ohio State was able to salvage the weekend against #17 Michigan with a 5-0 win. Shelby McCombs threw the complete game shutout allowing only one walk and three hits while striking out seven. Ashley Goodwin hit a three run home run to lead the Buckeyes.
#1 Florida State posted a blowout win and a close victory to sweep Syracuse. Jessica Warren (4 RBIs and 3 runs), Sydney Broderick (3 RBIs and 2 runs), and Cali Harrod (3 RBIs and 3 runs) powered the offense to a 13-4 win. The Seminoles needed a rally in the sixth inning to win the second game. The Seminoles led 4-0 after the top of the third and looked poised to post another blowout. Syracuse scored five runs in the bottom of the third with a three run home run from Bryce Holmgren. Harrod came through for the ‘Noles in the sixth with a two run shot to give them a lead they would not relinquish.
#15 Utah and California saw their final game cancelled due to an overnight snow storm. The Utes posted 7-6 and 12-2 wins in the first two games.
— Utah Softball (@Utah_Softball) April 9, 2017
#12 Alabama won the third game 4-2 against #8 LSU to take the series. Gabby Callaway had an RBI single in the bottom of the second before LSU scored two in the third to claim a 2-1 lead. Alabama tied the game in the third and Marisa Runyon’s two run double in the fifth got the game to final score. Alexis Osorio (18-4) threw a complete game giving up two runs on three walks and five hits with two strikeouts.
#2 Oregon ended their two game skid with a convincing 11-4 win over #9 UCLA. Nikki Udria went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs and a home run to lead the Ducks while Madi Bishop added a three run home run. #3 Florida won 4-1 against #19 Georgia to claim their series against the Bulldogs with a third game to be played on Monday. Delanie Gourley threw a complete game allowing 8 hits and a walk, but struck out 9. Amanda Lorenz went 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs, both coming on a single in the second inning.
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