It was an off day on Thursday for softball, so let’s look back at Wednesday.
Six SEC teams took the field and five emerged victorious. This, of course, was the best possible outcome since Mississippi State and Ole Miss squared off with each other in the lone conference matchup of the day. In the four nonconference matchups, Arkansas, Florida, Texas A&M and Tennessee each picked up victorious and outscored their opponents 37-4.
The most lopsided result came in College Station as the Texas A&M Aggies blew out Prairie View A&M 15-0. 10 Aggies hitters recorded at least one base knock and only Kaitlyn Alderink and Kristen Cuyos recorded multi-hit games. That’s how good the Aggie offense was. Four players hit doubles in the win (Cuyos, Ashley Waters, Sarah Hudek, Miranda Miles) and the combo of Regan Boenker and Tori Vidales hit home runs. Trinity Harrington threw three shutout innings and struck out four to bring her ERA down to a meager 0.80 on the season.
No. 1 Florida had a similar fate as they run-ruled USF 8-0 after five innings of play. The Gators jumped all over the Bulls in the third inning, plating home five runs in the frame. The big blow of the inning came off the bat of Jordan Roberts, who blasted a grand slam. It was Roberts’ fourth home run of the season and brought her slugging percentage this year up to .516. Jaimie Hoover logged a triple as her lone hit of the game, the third three-bagger of the 2017 season for her. Aleshia Ocasio notched the victory after throwing five innings of two-hit, shutout baseball and trimmed her ERA down to 0.55.
Arkansas kept the line moving as they improved to 22-6 with their 5-2 victory over Saint Louis. Two runs were plated in both the fourth and fifth innings by the Hogs and despite an answer from SLU in the fifth and sixth innings, Arkansas was able to hold serve. While Nicole Schroeder, one of the best hitters in the conference, went 0-for-3 her teammates picked her up. Stephanie Canfield went 2-for-4 with a run scored, Ashley Diaz hit her third home run of the season, and the duo of Madison Yannetti and Tori Cooper each racked up doubles. Autumn Storms (Who has to be on the All-Conference Name Team if not the entire country) went the distance, allowing only six hits and one earned run in a complete game effort. Storms struck out three, issued only one free pass and had her ERA cut down to 1.49.
In the lone conference game on Wednesday, Ole Miss shut out in-state rival Mississippi State 2-0. The Rebs put up a run in the first inning after Ashton Lampton was hit by a pitch. Despite having quite a few runners aboard, Ole Miss couldn’t capitalize and had to entrust in Kaitlin Lee to hold the fort down. So she did, as she would keep the Bulldogs offense stymied for the entire game, allowing only four hits and no walks with four strikeouts. Paige McKinney would tack on a much-needed insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning that would prove to be enough for the Rebs to get the win.
No bigger victory went down on Wednesday than Tennessee’s 9-2 win over 25th-ranked UNC. The 19th-ranked Volunteers nearly put it out of reach early as they scored four runs in the first inning. They would follow that up with another four-run inning in the fourth (coincidentally) and by then the score was already 9-1. UNC would fight valiantly, avoiding the run rule, but the Vols wound up coming away with the win to improve to 23-5 on the year.
Today’s Softball Schedule
|Lousiana Tech vs. Mississippi State||4:30 p.m.|
|Arkansas vs. Kentucky||6 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Ole Miss vs. Tennessee||6 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Georgia vs. LSU||7 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma||7 p.m.|
|Mizzou vs. Texas A&M||7:30 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|South Carolina vs. Alabama||7:30 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
This weekend’s softball slate is awfully significant. We’ll see two matchups of Top 25 teams in the SEC, plus three more ranked teams in action. Mississippi State will get things started with a doubleheader against Louisiana Tech before taking on the 12th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. OU is 24-7 on the season but haven’t played since partaking in the LMU Tournament in Los Angeles last week. They’ll be hosting the Bulldogs on Friday night in the College Preview Tournament where games will be played in both Norman as well as Oklahoma City.
Everything else going on will be intra-conference matchups. 22nd-ranked Arkansas faces off with 17th-ranked Kentucky as the Wildcats look to end a two-game losing streak. The Hogs meanwhile look to build off their win over SLU back on Wednesday. The aforementioned Vols hope their luck continues against Ole Miss elsewhere. These two games will both tee off around 6 p.m. ET.
The night shift starts with 15th-ranked Georgia taking on 11th-ranked LSU. Elsewhere, Mizzou will look to wreak some havoc against the 7th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies and, finally, South Carolina will be squaring off with 9th-ranked Alabama.