The second week of SEC softball has come and gone. After the first two weeks, we still have four remaining unbeatens in the conference, and plenty of one-loss squads. And only one team with more than two losses. After a very busy week, let’s reset things, and see where these teams lie.
AUBURN TIGERS (13-0)
LSU TIGERS (10-0)
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (9-0)
ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (5-0)
Unsurprisingly, our clubhouse leader is Auburn. The 13th-ranked Tigers went on a tear last week after their roaring start to the year. They went 7-0 while allowing just four runs and scored a whopping 54. That’s how you make a statement.
Then there’s LSU, who picked up a midweek win over UL Monroe to start their week on Tuesday. They would follow that up with a dominant weekend, as they took out Central Arkansas, Louisiana Tech, Southern Utah and Oregon State twice. Through their five weekend games, the Fighting Tigers finished with 22 runs scored and just four allowed.
Texas A&M is a perfect 10-0 through the first two weeks of action. Much like LSU and Auburn, the Aggies were pretty dang dominant during the week. They allowed only three runs to be plated, posting three shutouts, and scored 30 runs in their five games played. That included a 10-1 win over the Big East’s Butler Bulldogs. Tori Vidales mashed in the A&M Invitational, recording a 5-7 effort at the plate with three homers, two grand slams and nine RBI on the tourney’s first day. In total, she went 8-15 at the plate over the course of the week, enough to earn herself SEC Player of the Week honors.
Then, there is Arkansas. The Hogs’ season began on Saturday, and they won all five games they played over the weekend. This included a 4-2 win over 24th-ranked Utah. They had to scrap for these wins, as they didn’t win by more than four runs in any of the five contests. That included a 6-5 effort they won in walk-off fashion against Loyola Marymount on Sunday, and a 4-2 win against Fordham on Monday. They won’t play again until Friday, but it was a successful first weekend of action for the Razorbacks. Oh, and also, RHP Mary Haff is the Freshman of the Week after posting 19 strikeouts in 13 innings. Pretty good.
THE ONE-LOSS CLUB
TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (10-1)
GEORGIA BULLDOGS (9-1)
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (9-1)
FLORIDA GATORS (8-1)
MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS (8-1)
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (6-1)
Six teams enter the third week with just one blemish in the loss column.
We start with the Tennessee Volunteers, who’ve run the gauntlet so far this year, having faced three ranked teams thus far. The Vols defeated the only one they faced this weekend, 15th-ranked Oklahoma State, 5-1 on Friday. The rest of the weekend went fine, despite a 3-2 loss against FAU and a close call against Marshall.
We then march on down to the two 9-1 clubs: Georgia and South Carolina. UGA went undefeated this weekend in rather dominant fashion. The ‘Dawgs scored a total of 39 runs and allowed only two, with four — count ‘em, four shutouts. Their lone loss to the third-ranked Oregon Ducks doesn’t seem to have any shame behind it at this point, as they’ve won their last eight since then.
South Carolina, meanwhile, continues to roll after their loss to FIU last Saturday. They’ve won their last six, including the five games they played this week. They traveled to Charlotte and won 5-2, then picked up wins over Michigan State, Southern Illinois, Georgetown and Mercer.
Going down the rungs, we have our two 8-1 clubs: Florida and Mississippi State. The Vaunted Gators picked up their first loss of the season in the back half of a doubleheader against 19th-ranked Louisiana. But, Kelly Barnhill was dominant earlier in the week, as Barnhill tossed a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts against the North Florida Ospreys.
Mississippi State’s first loss of the season came in excruciating fashion. The Bulldogs lost 1-0 in eight innings to the Drake Bulldogs in the back half of a doubleheader on Saturday. That being said, they were still on their game, picking up wins over Drake, South Alabama, UT Martin and Murray State.
Finally, there’s the Alabama Crimson Tide. ‘Bama received their first loss of the season at the hands of 12th-ranked Baylor on Sunday, ending what was a monstrous start to the year. They had picked up three wins over the weekend against Southern Miss, McNeese and Mississippi Valley State. In those three games, the Tide cruised to victory, outscoring their opponents 33-2 with a shutout win over MVSU.
THE TWO LOSS CLUB
OLE MISS REBELS (6-2)
KENTUCKY WILDCATS (5-2)
Two teams occupy the two-loss club. Makes things easy, eh?
Ole Miss wasn’t able to have a clean week, losing to Houston on Friday by the score of 6-0. They did pick up a win against Texas and Rutgers though, as part of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. But that wasn’t the biggest headline of the week for the Rebs.
No, that was the fact that they took down mighty Oregon. The Rebels outlasted the Ducks 1-0 in nine innings, thanks in part to Elantra Cox, whose RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave Ole Miss the huge walk-off win. They kept the Ducks offense in check, holding them to just a 4-for-30 mark at the plate. The dominant Kaitlin Lee allowed just those four hits over the nine innings she tossed and racked up five strikeouts. She was named SEC Pitcher of the Week for her efforts, which also included an additional four shutout innings.
Kentucky, meanwhile, continues to roll after starting off 0-2. They’ve won their last five, and went 4-0 this past week. They picked up wins against San Diego State, North Dakota State and two against Cal State Fullerton as part of the Campbell/Cartier Classic. Autumn Humes grabbed headlines with the no-no she tossed over the weekend against North Dakota State. It was her first career start, so that’s a pretty good way to start your career, eh?
MISSOURI TIGERS (6-5)
Things aren’t going so well for Mizzou, and that might be putting it mildly. Interim coach Gina Fogue has seen the Tigers be up-and-down, and they certainly were this weekend. They started things off with two wins over USF and UMass Lowell in the Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Tournament. Then, they proceeded to drop two to Oklahoma State and Marshall. After that, they followed it up with two wins over FAU and USF. So, they finished out 4-2, but remain 6-5 after their 2-3 start to the year. All you can hope for, if you’re a Mizzou Softball enthusiast, is that they continue to keep their heads above water.