Let’s start by running down what happened Wednesday.
Florida won to improve to 6-0 on the season, defeating North Florida 3-1. The Gator offense struck in the first two innings, collecting runs off a double by Kendyl Lindaman and a SAC fly by Hannah Adams. The third run of the game was put up by Alex Voss, who clocked an RBI double in the fifth. Natalie Lugo pitched six innings, allowed just one earned run and two hits, fanned five batters and issued one free pass. Kelly Barnhill earned her second save of the season by striking out the side.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M shut out Prairie View A&M 8-0. The game needed only five innings to complete as PVA&M was promptly run-ruled in this Wednesday collision. Kelbi Fortenberry and Morgan Smith collected multi-hit games, with Fortenberry continuing her blistering start to the season, going 3-3 at the dish with a double AND a triple, falling just a homer shy of the cycle. Smith hit a long ball and also picked up a triple herself, too. Riley Sartain, Baylee Klingler, Gabby Moreno and Ashlynn Walls were the others to rack up hits. Kendall Potts picked up the victory as she went five innings, allowed no runs, put up six strikeouts but did struggle a bit with four walks issued.
As the dek said, we have softball all day today. Literally.
Amanda Sanchez and LSU will battle Sydney Springfield and Oklahoma State in the first game of the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational. LSU will be partaking in this event along with OSU and is set to play Oregon, Texas, Ohio State and Florida State, running the gamut with four ranked teams on the docket, including the top-ranked ‘Noles. You’ll be able to find this game on ESPNU at 10 a.m. ET.
Meanwhile, Mississippi State will start their venture through the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge with a matchup against Southern Illinois. Looming ahead for MSU are Washington (also on Thursday night), Sacramento State and UCF. Much like Mississippi State, Arkansas is also partaking in the PVCC, as they begin against North Dakota State before, you guessed it, facing Washington at night’s end.
21st-ranked Kentucky will have an opportunity to collect a big win out of the gates, as they face the 3rd-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. The Sooners, the prohibitive favorite in the Big 12, boast reigning B12 Pitcher of the Week Mariah Lopez as well as plenty of other noteworthy talents. Kayla Kowalik and her Wildcats will have to bring everything they have against OU if they want to collect a victory in the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, which they, along with LSU, will be participating in. This will be aired at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Georgia will be welcoming a garden variety of teams down to Athens for the Red & Black Showcase, which will begin on Thursday with a matchup against Buffalo. They’ll also play Omaha and Winthrop, with the Eagles having the luxury of having the reigning Big South Player of the Week in Keleigh Romine.
Before beginning the Stacey Winsberg Memorial Tournament on Friday, Ole Miss ventures west for a matchup against Loyola Marymount. The Rebels are 3-1 after their run in the Friends of Jaclyn Tournament, having defeated UCF, Minnesota and George Mason while collecting one loss to Ohio State. They’ll face an unbeaten LMU squad that will be playing in their 2019 home opener. They went 4-0 through their run in the Cal State Fullerton Titan Classic, defeating Utah State, Idaho State, Northwestern and Buffalo.
Auburn is going to begin their time in the Plainsman Invitational right at home against UAB. Upcoming matchups for the Tigers this weekend include Furman, Drake and Texas Tech. Tech will be an intriguing showdown, as the Red Raiders have the reigning B12 Player of the Week in Kairi Hamilton.