The 2019 softball season has entered its penultimate week. Hard to believe right? Well, that is indeed the case. And with things winding down, the action’s gotten all the more intense. Let’s take a look back at what happened this weekend, and preview what’s to come this week.
ALABAMA KEEPS IT ROLLING, AS DOES FOUTS
A week after sweeping Georgia, the Alabama Crimson Tide pulled off another sweep this past weekend. They did so against yet another titanous team from the SEC, as they bested the Florida Gators in Gainesville. They tagged the Gators for 12 runs and allowed merely two, including a 3-0 shutout on Saturday. Montana Fouts stood out yet again, as the newly crowned SEC Pitcher of the Week allowed just one run in 10 innings of work and a BA of just .091. ‘Bama continues to stay atop the SEC standings with a 14-4 record in league play and a 45-4 mark overall. Florida, meanwhile, fell down to 9-9 after being swept.
LSU SLIPS UP, FALLS TO ARKANSAS
The LSU Tigers lost two of three to rival Arkansas over the weekend. While they salvaged the sweep in the final game, the Tigers certainly took a hit from the Razorbacks. Arkansas grabbed an 8-5 win on Thursday and then slammed them 11-1 on Friday. Arkansas hit two homers in the 11-1 rout, and three in the 8-5 victory. Danielle Gibson hit her team-leading 11th homer of the season in this spurt, while Katie Warrick hit her ninth and Ashley Diaz hit her eighth. In LSU’s lone 3-1 win, Tigers 1st baseman Amanda Doyle crushed one of her own. The series loss puts LSU in second place in the SEC, as they stand at 14-7. Arkansas, meanwhile, climbed up to an 8-10 record, and could’ve hit .500 had they pulled off the sweep. Alas, they sit 9th at the moment.
OLE MISS TAKES TWO FROM RIVAL MISSISSIPPI STATE
The Ole Miss Rebels certainly flexed their muscles this past weekend. Playing their rivals Mississippi State, the Rebels won two of three to pick up another series win — their fourth consecutive in SEC play. They got things started with a rather ridiculous 21-0 defeat on Friday. Yes. 21-0. Jessica Puk and Autumn Gillespie hit homers in the rout, with Puk driving in five total runs in the win, tying Amanda Roth for the team lead in that category. The Bulldogs got them back in the latter portion of the doubleheader to the tune of a 6-0 win, but Ole Miss bounced back to win 3-1 in extras on Saturday. This despite Mia Davidson clocking her 23rd homer of the year. Ole Miss sits 3rd in the SEC with a mark of 11-6, just one game ahead of Tennessee in the loss column. State, meanwhile, dropped to 4-14 as they’re 12th in the SEC standings right now, one game up on last place Texas A&M.
TENNESSEE FALTERS, GEORGIA TAKES TWO
The Georgia Bulldogs scored a big series win over a ranked Tennessee Volunteers squad. UGA got things started with a 6-2 win in the top half of a doubleheader on Saturday. Ciara Bryan starred with a triple and two RBI. The Vols were able to strike back in the bottom half though, edging the Dawgs 7-6. Haley Bearden went deep twice and Chelsea Seggern joined her in the long ball department. Tyler Armstead and Mahlena O’Neal were able to go deep for UGA, but their homers weren’t enough for them to grab a win. However, the Dawgs whooped the Vols 8-0 to take the series on Sunday. Alysen Febrey starred with a homer, a grand slam at that, in the bottom of the 6th that ended the game. Kylie Bass struck out eight in the six innings she pitched. Tennessee now sits at 11-7, good for 4th place in the SEC. Georgia, at 7-11, currently stands 11th in the standings.
KENTUCKY SWEEPS AUBURN, SCHAPER STARS
The Kentucky Wildcats took care of business in their sweep of the Auburn Tigers. And leading the way for the ‘Cats was senior catcher Jenny Schaper. The newly reigning SEC Player of the Week smashed three homers in the series sweep of the Tigers, including a game-winning blast in the final matchup of the weekend. She racked up a .500 BA against them with six RBI, doing more than enough to claim the coveted honor. Kentucky held Auburn to just three runs total, with two shutouts over the course of the two matchups on Sunday and the final game on Monday. Comparatively, UK dropped 21 runs — seven in each game. The series sweep pushed UK up to 12-9 on the season in SEC play, while Auburn now sits at 9-9 on the year.
MIZZOU BOWLS THROUGH TEXAS A&M
The Missouri Tigers bowled through the Texas A&M Aggies, racking up a series sweep in rather dominant fashion. After a 4-3 result on Thursday, they bounced back to win 8-0 and 4-0 on Friday and Saturday. Madi Norman pulled off a strong effort in Saturday’s win, as she pitched five innings and struck out six. Kim Wert homered for the 16th time this season in the victory on Saturday and Jazmyn Rollin collected her 29th RBI. Missouri’s postseason ban will not allow for them to compete in any tournaments, but the wins pushed them up to 10-8 on the season. A&M, meanwhile, sits at the bottom at 4-13 in SEC play and 25-21 overall.
SOUTH CAROLINA TAKES SERIES FROM UNC GREENSBORO
The South Carolina Gamecocks didn’t partake in conference play this weekend. Instead, they played UNC Greensboro in a two-game series. The Gamecocks defeated UNC Greensboro in both contests, winning 6-3 and 9-4 on Saturday. They collected four homers in the first game and two in the second. Karly Heath, the SEC’s Freshman of the Week, hit .778 last week and had seven hits, two being homers.