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On Deck for SEC Softball: February 15

There’s... a lot of games today. A LOT!

So there are quite a lot of games today. Before we get into that, let’s talk about Thursday, shall we?

The SEC went 4-4 in the eight games played. The biggest win of the day went to the LSU Tigers, who defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys 3-1 in the St. Pete/Clearwater Invitational. The win gave LSU an early W against a ranked squad, which should no doubt help them along the way as long as OSU complies, of course.

Arkansas also scored a huge victory, but not in the way you might think. They came back to defeat North Dakota State 7-6 after falling behind 5-3 following a 3-run sixth by NDSU. The Hogs scored three in the bottom stanza, but the game was tied in the top of the seventh. Eventually, Sydney Parr picked up a bases loaded walk (SHRIMP!) to get the win. On the flipside, they suffered a heartbreaking defeat against the Washington Huskies. Washington walked them off in the bottom of the 7th after Arkansas had held a 2-1 advantage heading into the final stanza, and UW won 3-2 as a result.

Georgia and Auburn, meanwhile, breezed to victory with 14-1 and 9-0 routs of Buffalo and UAB. UGA’s Justice Milz had an absurd day at the plate as she collected six RBI and went 3-4 with a double, triple and a home run. Elsewhere, five different Tigers hit doubles in their shutout win over the Blazers.

It was a not so fun day for Kentucky and Mississippi State. The Bulldogs took two losses in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, falling to Southern Illinois and fifth-ranked Washington. UK, meanwhile, lost to vaunted Oklahoma down in the St. Pete/Clearwater Invitational. It wasn’t so fun for Ole Miss either, as the Rebels’ game against Loyola Marymount was taken out because of rain.

So, yeah. Back to it here. There’s a lot of games today! 23 to be exact! Let’s do it like this. Here are the games that can be watched on TV or via WatchESPN:

Notre Dame vs. Tennessee (10 a.m., ESPNU)
Oregon vs. LSU (12:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Winthrop vs. Georgia (2:30 p.m., SEC Network+)
Minnesota vs. Tennessee (3 p.m., ESPN3)
Texas vs. LSU (4 p.m., ESPNU)
Liberty vs. Texas A&M (4 p.m., SEC Network+)
Omaha vs. Georgia (5 p.m., SEC Network+)
McNeese vs. Texas A&M (6:15 p.m., SEC Network+)

Here are the ones featuring ranked teams that aren’t on TV

Hofstra vs. Kentucky (9:30 a.m.)
USF vs. Alabama (1:15 p.m.)
UNC Greensboro vs. South Carolina (2:30 p.m.)
Utah vs. Kentucky (3 p.m.)
New Mexico vs. Alabama (3:30 p.m.)
Northern Colorado vs. Arkansas (4 p.m.)
Illinois State vs. Florida (4 p.m.)
Ohio vs. South Carolina (5 p.m.)
Furman vs. Auburn (7 p.m.)
Florida vs. Arizona State (9 p.m.)

And the rest!

Sacramento State vs. Mississippi State (11 a.m.)
UC Riverside vs. Ole Miss (Noon)
Troy vs. Mizzou (1:30 p.m.)
Cal Poly vs. Ole Miss (2:30 p.m.)
Mizzou vs. Villanova (4 p.m.)

One of the bigger games of the day won’t be aired. That being Florida-Arizona State. ASU is ranked 16th in the nation and will be facing the touted 4th-ranked Gators. ASU, picked 4th in the Pac-12 preseason poll, is led by pitcher Cielo Meza who is among the 50 players listed on the 2019 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year watch list. They’e 5-1 through their first six games of the season, having defeated Illinois State in their first game in the Littlewood Classic.

Meanwhile, LSU will continue to be run through the gamut as they face two ranked squads on Friday. First up is the 22nd-ranked Oregon Ducks and then the 12th-ranked Texas Longhorns. LSU will certainly have to earn every bit in their run through the St. Pete/Clearwater Invitational, and Friday’s slate is more indication of that.

Also in St. Pete, 6th-ranked Tennessee will be tasked with facing 24th-ranked Notre Dame bright and early at 10 a.m. Eastern. The Vols are 5-0 on the season and we last saw them rough up the RIder Broncs 18-0 back on Sunday. They will obviously be hoping for similar results here, as they begin their trek through St. Pete. They’ll face three other ranked squads in Minnesota (who they take on later in the day), James Madison and Florida State later this weekend. Getting off to a good start would behoove them greatly.