Softball Games of the Week 2/28 - 3/4

Michigan at LSU Softball

Softball Games of the Week 2/28 – 3/4


Though some great matchups in Palm Springs knocked some talented teams from the ranks of the unbeaten, there are still a number of undefeated clubs, including: Cal, Alabama, Louisiana, Auburn, Hawaii, Louisville and Florida State.  If both Hawaii and Florida State do not stumble before they meet in Honolulu it will be the only tilt of teams with no losses this weekend.  Auburn puts their perfect record on the line against Michigan, UCLA and North Carolina in Orlando.  Louisville battles Tennessee in Knoxville.


Citrus Classic (3/2 – 3/4, Orlando, Florida)

The 2012 Citrus Classic in Orlando at the ESPN Softball Diamondplex will pit a few top ranked teams against each other, giving softball fans a third week in a row of great action at a fantastic venue.

#17 Baylor vs #16 Oregon Friday, (3/2 4:45pm EST)

The matchup here has certainly changed over the last couple of days with the injury to Canion, but it still should be an entertaining event as the Bears try to deal mentally and emotionally with her seemingly temporary loss for the first time in competition.  Baylor is 12-2 overall.  The offense has produced just one home run so far, but they are hitting .306 as a team and have scored in double digits three times and only been shutout once.  Junior right handed pitcher Courtney Repka appears to have come into her own with a 5-0 record and a .81 ERA.  Oregon went 5-0 last weekend at Cathedral City recovering a bit from their opening weekend 3-2 start.  The Ducks have won seven in a row averaging over seven runs per contest during that streak.

#12 Michigan vs #13 UCLA Friday, (3/2 4:45pm EST)

An 11-3 Wolverine club comes off a 3-2 weekend at the NFCA Leadoff Classic to take on a reeling UCLA bunch that lost four games to tough competition in Palm Springs.  The weekend dropped the Bruins from the ranks of the unbeaten to 11-4. Michigan’s pitching staff that includes two freshman boasts a respectable 1.71 ERA, with the two freshmen getting the majority of the innings.  Haylie Wagner is 7-0 with 4 complete games.  UCLA features sophomore Jessica Hall and freshman, Junior National Team pitcher Ally Carda.  Both are 5-2 with almost identical strikeout to walks ratios of 1:1.  Given the solid pitching both teams have we should probably expect a shootout.

#23 North Carolina vs #15 Auburn Saturday, (3/3 10am EST)

North Carolina, playing at home, suffered their first two losses of the season last weekend, both to Notre Dame. The 11-3 Tar Heels have pitched six shutouts, but do not have any real signature wins yet.  The offense is scoring just under six runs per game.  Auburn record remains unblemished at 14-0. The Tigers have wins over Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State and Michigan State heading into Orlando where they will face three more quality foes.  The pitching staff has been dominant posting an ERA of 1.19 while striking out 106 in 88 innings and earning five shutouts.  So far ACC teams have been no match for Auburn.

Other games with ranked teams at the Citrus Classic

#15 Auburn vs #12 Michigan Friday, (3/2 7pm EST)

#23 North Carolina v. #17 Baylor Friday, (3/2 7pm EST)

#17 Baylor vs #13 UCLA Saturday, (3/3 10am EST)

#13 UCLA vs #15 Auburn Saturday, (3/3 12:15pm EST)

Syracuse vs #12 Michigan Saturday, (3/3 12:15pm EST)

#23 North Carolina vs #16 Oregon Sunday, (3/4 11:15pm EST)


Texas A&M Invitational (3/2 – 3/4 College Station)

#25 Texas A&M vs Nebraska Friday & Saturday, (3/2 3pm & 3/3 5:15pm CST, College Station)

The Aggies and Cornhuskers both had rough weekends in Palm Springs, both losing four of five.  The Ags are 9-6 and Nebraska is 9-7. A&M starts the week hitting .253 as a team with 16 homers, Mel Dumezich and Megan May accounting for eight of those.  Opponents continue to pitch around May, walking her 22 times in 56 plate appearances. Dumezich and Lindsey Sisk have accounted for all but seven of A&M’s innings in the circle with a combined ERA of 3.12.  Nebraska is hitting .330 as a team with 11 home runs spread among six hitters.  In the circle, the Cornhuskers lean on Ashley Hageman.  She is 5-5 with a 3.72 ERA, striking out 80 in just under 69 innings. Expect fireworks from these old conference foes who know each other well.

Nebraska vs Houston Friday & Saturday, (3/2 12:15pm & 3/4 12:15pm CST, College Station)

Houston started off hot winning their first six, but the Cougars have dropped five of their last seven games and were 2-3 over the weekend in Santa Barbara, CA.  Houston is scoring over six runs a game led by junior Reina Gaber who leads Conference USA and her team with a .535 average.  Though neither team is currently ranked, they are both solid clubs that should produce a very competitive display.

#25 Texas A&M vs Houston Saturday, (3/3 3pm CST, College Station)


Other Games of Note

#11 Oklahoma vs LSU Friday & Saturday, (3/2 6pm CST in Norman and 3/3 4pm CST OK City, ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)

The Sooners are 9-3 after going 3-2 in Palm Springs. They have losses to Georgia Tech, Georgia and Stanford, all sustained by USA National Team lefty Samantha Ricketts.  Junior pitcher Michell Gascoigne is 5-0, allowing just 2 runs, both earned, in just under 25 innings for a .58 ERA.  The OU pitching staff has earned eight of their nine wins by shutout, four by five inning run rule.  The offense has just nine home runs, but is averaging over 6 runs a contest.  LSU has struggled early, but have won seven in a row to improve to 9-4.  The Tigers are hitting .258 as a team with just three home runs.  Rachel Fico is 5-1 with a .37 ERA, while Brittany Mack is 3-3 with a 3.21 ERA.  The LSU offense may have trouble providing enough support for whichever Tiger pitcher gets the ball.

#20 Hawaii vs #18 Florida State Saturday, (3/3 10pm EST Honolulu, Hawaii)

A potential clash of undefeated teams here.  Hawaii sits at 12-0 after taking a break this last weekend. This powerful club is hitting .375 as a team with 18 home runs, scoring over nine runs a game.  Ricketts and Parnaby have allowed just seven earned runs.  They have struck out 79 in 74 innings and pitched six shutouts.  The Seminoles are 15-0, but have not played a top team yet.  This will be their toughest test thus far in 2012.  Briana Hamilton provides the Florida State power slugging .714.  She is hitting .310 and has four of the team’s seven long balls. The Seminoles team average is .275.  Lacey Waldrop and Monica Perry have the majority of Florida State’s innings and have ERAs of 0.92 and 1.39 respectively.  The duo has combined for 86 strikeouts in 86 innings.  Opponents are batting .159 against both.

#19 Louisville vs #10 Tennessee Saturday, (3/3 3pm EST Knoxville, TN)

A 12-0 Louisville club will take on the Volunteers in their fourth game of the weekend in Knoxville.  Tennessee is 10-3 with quality wins over Arizona State, Georgia Tech and UMass and losses to Washington, Texas and a surprising stumble to Winthrop last weekend. The Cardinal offense is hitting .327 with 11 home runs, averaging just above five runs per game.  Louisville’s pitching staff has a very good 1.41 ERA and has fanned 123 batters in 84 innings.  Tennessee’s Ellen Renfroe is 8-0 in the circle and has a 1.09 ERA, while elder sister Ivy is 2-3 with a 4.59 ERA.  Ellen has struck out 85 in 68 innings of work.  The Volunteer offense is hitting .307 with 13 home runs, averaging 5.15 runs a game.