Friday night begins the final weekend of the 2017 SEC softball season.
It’s been a pretty eventful ride to this point to say the least. Let’s take a look at a few storylines to look out for.
Florida is #1, but how does the rest of the top shake out?
The Texas A&M Aggies, Auburn Tigers and Tennessee Volunteers check in at the 2, 3 and 4 spots in the SEC standings heading into the final weekend of play. The Aggies boast a 15-5 record, the Tigers claim one of 15-6, and the Volunteers meanwhile have one of 14-6. As you can see, there’s not too much separation between the three teams. And, when you consider the fact that the Ags and Vols will be playing each other this weekend, it gives way to the thought that there could be quite the shakeup.
It’s not like Auburn’s task will be easy either. They face Alabama, the fifth-place team in the conference, who stands at 11-9. The Tigers and Crimson Tide could wind up being tied in the loss column by the end of the weekend should ‘Bama pull off a sweep. This weekend’s action is extremely pivotal in deciding who gets what seed when the SEC Tournament rolls around.
How does the middle of the pack shake out?
As mentioned, Alabama sits at fifth at 11-9. Their lead on LSU and Kentucky, the sixth and seventh place teams in the SEC, is slim to say the least. Both the Tigers and Wildcats sit at 11-10 right now and will be facing two teams with sub-.500 SEC records (South Carolina and Mississippi State).
Granted, those two teams’ overall records are pretty good - State at 34-18, Gamecocks at 30-21 - but with the Bayou Bengals sitting at 37-15 and UK checking in at 34-14, they should be able to handle their business.
Look for the middle of the pack to make some waves this weekend.
Who wins the batting title?
Entering play on Friday, LSU Tigers superstar Bailey Landry holds a slim .001 edge over Meghan Gregg of the Tennessee Vols in the BA race, edging her out .453 to .452. But Gregg isn’t the only one on Landry’s tail.
Sydni Emanuel of the Georgia Bulldogs is .007 off the lead with a .446 batting average entering Friday so we’ve got ourselves quite a race heading into the final weekend.
All three will be playing in separate matchups, so we’ll have to keep an eye on the leaderboard as the season comes to a close.
How many SEC teams are in the Top 10?
The D1 Committee will be releasing their second Top 10 on Saturday night. The first one was littered with teams from the conference as Florida, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Auburn were all featured. Will this remain true? Will another team creep up or slide out? Time will certainly tell but the SEC looks to, again, be boasting one of the best conferences in America in the world of softball. That should remain consistent throughout the weekend.