With basketball done and dusted, softball and baseball now take center stage in the SEC. Thus, you’ll be seeing loads more content in that direction going forward here. That starts with this check-in on the SEC softball season.
Taking a stranglehold on the SEC was the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs have been tremendous of late, having posted a 12-0 record in league play thus far. That unbeaten mark is the only one in the conference and is two games up on second-place Florida. They are 31-3 in general on the season but rank just 10th in the country.
The two teams ahead of Arkansas in the rankings are Alabama and Florida. They are 29-4 and 26-4 on the year respectively. Statistically, they are the top two teams in ERA in the conference. UF leads the way with a team ERA of 1.46, with Alabama following with a mark of 1.55. Alabama has tossed the most strikeouts of any team in the conference, with 270 punchouts through this point of the season. UF ranks second in BAA, with a mark of .173.
Five more teams occupy spots in this week’s Top 25. Kentucky, 27-6 on the season, is tied with the aforementioned Arkansas for 10th in the poll. You would have to go down a few more rungs to find the next SEC squad, but lots of them would appear. LSU is ranked 17th in the nation right now with their 21-12 record. At 19th, Mizzou stands after a 28-7 start to the year. Georgia and Tennessee then follow with their 23-6 and 28-6 records respectively.
Statistically, the best offenses in the conference might be Kentucky and Mizzou. The Tigers have set the pace with a team average of .350 this year. They’ve clocked 52 homers, the second-most of any team in the SEC (Arkansas leads with 63). Mizzou’s also slugging .590 as a team and has an OBP of .430, the highest of any team in the SEC. Kentucky has hit 51 total homers on the year, third-most of any SEC squad. They’re hitting .346 as a team, have scored 254 runs, have an OBP of .428, and a slugging percentage of .598.
Individually speaking, Kayla Kowalik has been one of the best hitters in the conference. She ranks first in batting average and fifth in both on-base percentage and slugging. She leads with 47 runs scored, 55 hits, and also ranks first in triples, third in total bases, and fifth in stolen bases. Kowalik is one of the brightest stars in the conference this year, and ought to be applauded for her efforts.
Texas A&M’s Haley Lee has also been stupendous. Lee ranks sixth in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage, and first in slugging with a mark of 1.000. She’s 12th in hits and 10th in RBI and stands tied for second with Kentucky’s Erin Coffel in home runs with 14. They both still stand behind Arkansas’ Braxton Burnside, who has 19 homers to speak of. Lee’s 85 total bases are fifth in the conference and she also has 23 walks, good for fourth. Freshman Jenna Laird of Mizzou continues to be one of the best newcomers to the conference, as evidenced by her .439 batting average.
Pitching-wise, freshman Shelby Lowe continues to be a force. Lowe leads the conference in ERA with 0.88, and also ranks fifth with 118 strikeouts. She stands sixth in innings pitched with 88.0, and has a BAA of just .192, 13th-best in the league. Ashley Rogers has been outstanding herself. Rogers is second in ERA, first in BAA, second in innings pitched, and first in strikeouts with a whopping 170. Arkansas’s Mary Haff leads the way in innings pitched with 124.0, and ranks third in ERA, and tied for second with Alabama’s Montana Fouts in strikeouts.