Softball Games of the Week (3/13 – 3/17)

California College Softball

Softball Games of the Week (3/13 – 3/17)


Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament

#3 California vs #18 Baylor  (Wed 3/13 2pm Hawai’i Time, Honolulu, HI)
The battle of the Bears could be a clash of two of the best pitchers in the country and should be a good measuring stick for both teams.  Cal is 20-2 and they have won 19 consecutive.  They have beaten Georgia Tech, Nebraska and Wisconsin in that streak.  Baylor is 22-3 with a recent win over Arizona State.  Cal is hitting .296 while the crew from Waco has a .323 average.  Cal’s 1.44 team ERA is anchored by Jolene Henderson’s 0.98 ERA.  She is 16-2 with 126 strikeouts, tossing the majority of Cal’s innings.  Whitney Canion sports a 0.97 ERA, helping her squad to the second best ERA (1.04) in the country.  The red-shirt junior has fanned 110 in 79 innings.  Senior Courtney Repka has a 0.44 ERA and is 4-0.  Freshman Heather Stearns is 6-1 with a 0.78 ERA and threw a no-hitter in just her second collegiate appearance.  Cal has smashed 27 homeruns, led by senior Lindsey Ziegenhirt who has 10. Six different Cal players have gone deep.  Baylor has 15 bombs, which is one more than they hit all of last season.  Eight different Baylor hitters have contributed big flies, led by red-shirt freshman Linsey Hays’ four.  The last time these two squads faced off was in Hawai’i in 2007.  Baylor won that matchup 4-0.  If all goes well, fans could get a rematch on this game on Saturday afternoon.


#3 California vs #24 Hawai'i  (Thur 3/14 6pm Hawai’i Time, Honolulu, HI)
Hawai’i is 17-5 and in a three week stretch of home games.  They have collected victories over Washington and Oregon this spring and they have won six in a row.  The Rainbow Wahine are hitting .267 as a team, with four hitters above .300.  Kelly Majam is tops among her teammates at .354 with seven homers.  Kaia Parnaby is getting most of her team’s innings in the circle.  She’s 15-2 with a 1.23 ERA.  Parnaby has fanned 153 in 119.2 innings.  Hawai’i beat Cal last year in this event, 3-1 in 10 innings.


#18 Baylor vs #24 Hawai'i  Thur (3/15 8pm Hawai’i Time, Honolulu, HI)
Hawai’i leads the all-time series between these two clubs 3-2.  The last meeting was in 2007 in Honolulu, where they split a pair of one-run games.  The tournament format is such that these two have a good chance to play twice in four days.


Judi Garman Classic

#11 Washington vs #15 Michigan (Thur 3/14 11am PT, Fullerton, CA)
The Huskies have won 14 straight with wins over Florida State and Georgia in that stretch.  The last time these two teams collided was at the Judi Garman Classic in 2009. UW eked by in that one 1-0.  At 19-5, the Huskies are hitting .367, fourth nationally.  Eight batters have had a hand in hitting their 25 homers.  Michigan is 17-6 with wins over ULL, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M.  The Wolverines have a .317 team batting average, with 16 home runs.  Sara Driesenga leads the Wolverines in the circle hurling 110 of Michigan’s 148 innings.


#2 Arizona State v. #8 Texas  (Thur 3/14 6:30pm PT, Fullerton, CA)
The Sun Devils are 25-1.  They have wins over Kentucky and North Carolina.  Their lone defeat was to Baylor and Whitney Canion.  Their contests at the Judi Garman Classic will be their first away from home in 2013.  Twelve of Arizona St.’s wins were run rules. Twelve were shutouts.  The Longhorns are 23-3 and continue to deliver in all phases of the game.  Blair Luna is 11-0 with a 0.99 ERA.  She has 134 strike outs in 71 innings.  Kim Bruins has been an effective number two in the circle tossing 53 innings. The senior is 7-0 with a 1.06 ERA.  Offensively, Texas has been solid, averaging 6.8 runs per game. They have mashed 26 homers and 30 percent of the Longhorn hits have been for extra bases.  Five Longhorns are hitting over .400, led by Taylor Hoagland’s .469 average.  Taylor Thom leads the squad with eight bombs.  The last time these two played was the 2011 Garman Classic. Texas run ruled them 12-0 in five innings.


#8 Texas vs #11 Washington (Fri 3/15 7pm PT, Fullerton, CA)
UT and UW last played at this same event in 2011.  Texas won 12-0 in five innings.  Blair Luna earned a perfect game against Bryana Walker.  The Longhorns got home runs from Karina Scott and Taylor Thom.  This matchup could very well materialize again.


#2 Arizona State vs #15 Michigan (Fri 3/15 10am PT, Fullerton, CA)
The Sun Devils got the Wolverines at the Garman last year 1-0.  Michigan has a way of coming up big in big games.  The all-time series record between these two perennial powers is 9-9 dating back to 1988.  Escobedo got the win last year giving up just two hits.  Driesenga did not face the Sun Devil sticks in 2012.  With luck, for the fans, she will on Friday.


#21 Arizona vs #15 Michigan (Fri 3/15 3pm PT, Fullerton, CA)
Arizona is 18-5 and does not feel like Wildcat clubs that had been a dominate force before 2011.  Coach Candrea’s bunch has been beaten soundly by Florida, OU and LSU; no shame there.  But they have also drop contests to Bradley and Ohio State. They did beat Nebraska 1-0, but do not have another top 25 victory to their credit yet this spring.  Before this game they face a Virginia Tech squad that stopped UCLA last week.  Michigan’s hitters will make it tough on the Wildcat pitching staff that has a 3.01 ERA.  Shelby Babcock is 9-2 with a 2.39 ERA and has never turned into the ace that her pre-college accolades might have suggested.  Transfer Estela Pinon is serving in the number two role.  She’s 6-2 with a 3.59 ERA.  Nancy Bowling is a freshman.  She is 3-1 with a 3.5 ERA.  The good news for the Cats is they do have 27 homers and are hitting .322.  Chelsea Goodacre and Lauren Young are pacing Arizona in the long ball category with eight and seven respectively.  
Arizona is up 9-6 in the all-time series that started in 1986. The last time they played was 2011, also in Fullerton where Michigan mashed them 8-0.


#1 Oklahoma vs #21 Arizona  (Sat 3/16 5pm PT, Fullerton, CA)
Oklahoma is clearly the best team in the country, right now.  This scary squad has demonstrated that they have the potential to be human, losing a 1-0 ball game to Nebraska a few weeks back.  Coach Gasso’s club is 22-1, leads the NCAA in numerous offensive and defensive categories.  The Sooners have beaten the who’s who of D1 softball, including, in no particular order, Stanford, Oregon St, Oregon, Kentucky, Washing, Georgia, Arizona, Nebraska (2), Florida State and Houston (2).  The numbers are impressive, both offensively and in the circle, especially when you keep in mind the fact that they have played the toughest schedule in the country so far.  They are only hitting .325 as a team, have belted 36 home runs and average over 7.4 runs per game.  In the circle they are even more dominant leading the nation in ERA (0.80), runs allowed (21) and earned runs (17).  The Sooners will likely feast on the Wildcat pitching, while Keilani Ricketts or Michelle Gascoigne silence the Arizona bats.



#5 Florida vs #4 Tennessee  (Fri 3/15 6pm ET, Sat 3/16 11am ET, & Sun3/17 1pm ET, Gainesville, FL)
This will be another great SEC matchup.  Both teams are 2-1 in SEC play and both have recently beaten Alabama.  Florida stumbled in the middle game of last weekend’s Auburn series, a loss that could cost them dearly in terms of the SEC Regular Season Title.  Tennessee took two of three from Bama at home to open league play last weekend.  The Vols are 21-4 and the Gators are 25-2.  These teams know each other very well, of course.  Last season, the Gators took two of three from the Vols on the road.  Tennessee is loaded with offensive talent that is worth the price of admission, like Raven Chavanne, Lauren Gibson, Madison Shipman and Cheyanne Tarango.  The Renfroe sisters, Ivy and Ellen have faced the Gators numerous times.  Coach Walton does an excellent job getting his hitters ready for these big contests.  Freshman Kelsey Stewart has been ridiculous, hitting .409 with 15 extra base hits including three bombs and five triples.  She has stolen 23 bases without being caught and has an on-base percentage just under .500.  Those who have seen her for years in club ball know she is a very tough out.  Gator pitcher Hannah Rogers and Lauren Haeger are also familiar with their opponents.  Whoever makes the better adjustments will win those individual battles, the games and series.


#16 LSU vs #17 Kentucky  (Fri 3/15 6pm CT, Sat 3/16 4pm CT, & Sun 3/17 12pm CT, Baton Rouge, LA)


#14 Louisville vs #23 North Carolina  Fri (3/15 3pm ET, Louisville, KY)