Let’s take a look at the week that was, shall we?
Softball Week in Review (4/10-4/16)
Tennessee and Texas A&M are at the top of the charts in run differential, and if this is starting to sound like a broken record, it probably is. The Volunteers and Aggies have been just dominant the past few weeks and that continued this past week as they each went unbeaten in their four respective games. The two combined to score 68 runs while allowing just 13, with the Vols merely letting six runs come to pass against them. While Florida continues to lead the conference, make no mistake: The Aggies and Volunteers are as legit as they come.
The aforementioned Gators had an unbeaten week of their own, going 3-0 while allowing a league-low two runs over the last week. But perhaps one of the most surprising results over the last week was the play of Mississippi State. The Bulldogs went 3-1, had a run differential of +16 and were able to scoop up a series win over South Carolina. Things haven’t really gone State’s way this season but this recent surge is nothing if not a confidence boost. They’ll need it when they go to Athens later on this week to face 18th-ranked Georgia.
Alabama and Auburn were the only other teams from the conference to finish the week with records above .500. The Tide and Tigers took wins in their series against LSU and Ole Miss as the state of Alabama has solidarity (for once!) in victory.
LSU suffered quite the setback in their series loss to Alabama. The Tigers had been getting it together but this series pushes them down to an 8-4 mark in conference play, tied with Auburn for fifth in the league. Granted, at 32-9, the Bayou Bengals don’t have too much to worry about. But, obviously, you’d like to see them score wins especially against teams like the Crimson Tide.
Another team that suffered a big setback was Kentucky. The Wildcats were victims of the Vols’ high-powered offense this past weekend as they were promptly swept and handed a thorough beating in the series. The ‘Cats were outscored 23-6 in the weekend set and dropped to 5-7 in conference play as a result. They’ve now lost their last four games and five of the last six, which is especially off-putting for a team that had previously been 18-3 from February 24-March 31.
The Georgia Bulldogs meanwhile continue to see themselves slip down the chute. The ‘Dawgs have lost each of their last five games and have fallen to 2-9 in the SEC, which puts them at the very bottom of the conference. Granted, UGA’s schedule has done them no favors at all. In three of their last four series, they’ve faced LSU, Auburn and Florida back-to-back-to-back. They’ve gone 0-8 against them (their series finale against the Gators is later Monday night) and have been outscored 40-16. Runs have been hard to come by and if UGA wants to right the ship, so to speak, the offense simply has to get it going.
What’s to Come
On Monday night, Florida faces off with Georgia at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network. You can find that game on WatchESPN as well.
Tuesday has a very loaded slate of nonconference action. Many of the matchups appear winnable at a glance for the teams of the SEC as they’re either against lower-tiered opponents or teams from the MAC, American and the like.
On Wednesday, Kentucky faces Louisville in a Commonwealth State battle. In addition, Georgia faces off with in-state rival Georgia Tech, Memphis faces Ole Miss, and Florida takes on second-ranked Florida State in a Sunshine State collision.
Only one game goes down on Thursday (Mercer-South Carolina) before we get more conference action on Friday. While South Carolina faces FSU, several notable in-conference matchups will be happening. Jumping off the page is Mizzou-Auburn, an encounter featuring two ranked teams. Kentucky will try to get back on track against the touted Florida Gators while LSU faces Ole Miss in a doubleheader. Texas A&M meanwhile will face Arkansas and Georgia battles Mississippi State. Saturday sees much of the same, but a titanic matchup between Alabama and Tennessee will almost certainly take center stage.