Softball Games of the Week (3/20 – 3/24)

Oklahoma College Softball

Softball Games of the Week (3/20 – 3/24)


#1 Oklahoma vs #14 Louisville  Sat & Sun (3/23 2pm & 4:30, 3/24 12pm CT, Norman, OK)

Oklahoma is 27-1 and boasts the highest winning percentage among D1 schools and Coach Gasso’s squad has had some of its best performances against top 25 teams.  The statistics back up their outstanding record.  The Sooners are 4th in HR/game (1.57), 5th in slugging percentage (.583) and 8th in scoring (7.29).  Sophomore Lauren Chamberlain is on a torrid homerun hitting pace, bashing at a clip that is little better than one bomb every other game.  The slugger’s numbers are crazy.  She also leads Division I in average, runs per game and slugging.  Chamberlain is also top 10 nationally in on-base percentage, walks per game and RBI per game.  In the circle OU has two of the best in the country.  Their team ERA is .67, the best in the country.  Keilani Ricketts and Michelle Gascoigne are one and two in ERA at 0.59 and 0.72, respectively.  Louisville is a solid 23-4, with wins over Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan and North Carolina.  The Cardinals have three regulars hitting above .400.  Katie Keller has a .477 average with seven home runs.  The leadoff hitter has 27 RBI and has walked 18 times.  Alicja Wolny hits in the three hole, sports a .432 average with six homers.  She has walked 20 times and knocked in 21.  In the circle Louisville has a pair of junior 5’8” righties.  Rachel LeCoq is 9-2 with a 1.33 ERA.  Caralisa Connell has thrown 21 more innings than LeCoq. She’s 14-2 with a 2.10 ERA.  She’s fanned 110.  Both will be tested by the tremendous OU lineup.  With solid adjustments throughout the series, Louisville might have a chance to eventually slow the OU lineup down a little like Nebraska did in the second game of their double header.


#3 Arizona State vs #13 UCLA  Fri, Sat & Sun (3/22 7pm, 3/23 6pm & 3/24 12pm PT, Los Angeles, CA)

This series is the start of Pac-12 play for both teams.  Arizona State is 29-2, with a win over Texas’ best and Virginia Tech’s number two pitcher and losses to Michigan and Baylor.  Their schedule has not been super challenging thus far, but UCLA will give them some serious tests.  Offensively, the Sun Devils have been outstanding.  They are 3rd in batting average nationally (.366), 2nd in HR/game (1.61) and scoring (8.03) and number one in slugging (.516).  Cheyenne Coyle leads the way with 10 homers and a .440 average.  Amber Freeman hits third, has eight long balls and 31 RBI.  The Sun Devil lineup is very good at the top, but less special beyond that.  Their 1.44 team ERA is seventh nationally.  MacKenzie Popescue is 13-0 with a .84 ERA.  Dallas Escobedo has tossed just over 50 percent of the innings.  The junior is 15-2 with a 1.77 ERA.  She has struck out 179 in 111 innings.  The Bruins are 23-4.  They have wins over LSU, Tennessee and Hawai’i.  They lost early to Texas A&M at home in extra innings and last week fell 2-1 to Virginia Tech.  As a team, the Bruins are hitting .318.  B.B. Bates has a .369 average and is 2nd in home runs with 13, Ally Carda has 10.  Stephany LaRosa is hitting .444 and has walked 14 times. She has an on-base percentage of .531.  Ally Carda is also handling the majority of the innings for UCLA in the circle.  The junior has a 1.79 ERA, is 14-2 and has fanned 110 in 93.2 innings of work.  Senior Jessica Hall is 4-2 in eight starts.  She has thrown just 49.2 innings and has a 2.54 ERA.  The Sun Devils swept UCLA last season at home, run ruling them twice.  Look for high scoring games again this year.


#4 Tennesseevs #7 Texas A&M  Fri, Sat & Sun (3/22 6:30pm, 3/23 6:30pm & 3/24 1:30pm CT, Knoxville, TN)

SEC action continues.  At 23-6 overall and 3-3 in the SEC, Tennessee has already played some of the toughest teams on their schedule.  It does not get any easier this weekend.  The Aggies have a 26-2 record and are 4-1 in their first season in the SEC.  Coach Evans’ bunch has wins over UCLA, North Carolina (2), Louisiana and Missouri.  A&M is hitting .325 as a team, led by Nicole Morgan and Cali Lanphear at .390 and .381 respectively.  Morgan has 12 homers, while Lanphear has 11.  The Vols are led by Lauren Gibson’s .425 average and six homers.  Raven Chavanne is hitting .402 with 22 stolen bases.  Cheyanne Tarango and Madison Shipman have seven and five bombs respectively.  As a team the Vols are hitting .326.  The Renfroe sisters are sharing the majority of the innings.  Ellen has 74 and Ivy has 70.  Ellen is 8-1 with a 1.32 ERA. Ivy is 9-3 with a 1.50 ERA.  The Ags will get a steady dose of those two.  Coach Evans will undoubtedly counter with Mel Dumezich.  Dumezich has thrown about 60% of A&M’s innings.  The senior is 18-1 with a 1.12 ERA.  Their last meeting was in 2007 in the first round of the WCWS.  The Vols won 2-0.  This should be a fun, low scoring series.


#8 Texas vs #17 Baylor  Sat & Sun  (3/23 2pm CT  Waco, TX & 3/24 12:30pm CT Austin, TX)

These two kick off Big 12 play this weekend.  At 27-4 Texas is off to another excellent start.  Described by some as “OU light,” the Longhorns are hitting an impressive .340, 13th nationally.  They have hit 30 home runs and stolen 63 bases.  Individually, senior Taylor Hoagland is having an outstanding season.  Nationally the third baseman is third in walks per game (1.1) and on-base percentage (.640) and 11th in slugging (.935).  Hoagland continues to rewrite the Texas record book, already owning the single season and career record for homers, she is headed to the top of the all-time list in hits.  Blaire Luna leads D1 in strikeouts per seven innings at 13.4.  She is 13-1 with a 1.31 ERA.  She has fanned 174 in 91 innings.  Baylor’s pitching staff is certainly their strength, anchored by junior Whitney Canion.  Their 1.25 team ERA is second in the country.  Canion is 13-3, handling more than 50% of the innings for Coach Moore, who just recently crossed the 500 wins at Baylor mark.  Newcomer Heather Stearns is doing a solid job as number two with a 1.10 ERA and 7-2 record.  Senior Courtney Repka, who has led the Bears in the past, is 4-0 with a 0.39 ERA.  Last season she posted wins over both Texas and OU.  Offensively, Baylor is better than in the recent past.  Lead-off hitter, Kaitlyn Thumann is routinely “money” when it matters most.  She’s hitting .435 and leads the team in walks with 15.  Freshman Sarah Smith is batting cleanup and leads the team with a .443 average.  Senior Kathy Shelton has a .406 average and is tied with Thumann for the team lead with 18 steals.  As a squad the Bears are hitting a solid .315.  These teams know each other very well, of course.  Texas won two of the three games last season.  But in 2011, when the Bears had Canion in the circle, Baylor split their two games, both low scoring contests.


#9 Oregon vs #12 Stanford  Sat, Sun & Mon (3/23 2pm, 3/24 3pm & 3/25 12pm PT Eugene, OR)

The Ducks are 23-4.  They have beaten Nebraska, LSU and Michigan.  They slipped last Saturday, dropping a 2-1 decision to Iowa State.  Before that, they had won thirteen in a row.  Janie Takeda is hitting .500 and has stolen 14 bases.  Kaylan Howard and Kailee Cuico both have seven home runs.  As a team they are hitting a robust .347, eighth nationally.  Six of the Duck regulars are hitting .333 or above.  Coach White’s has a very good pitching staff with ace Jessica Moore carrying most of the load.  She has an ERA of 1.28 and a 12-3 win-loss record.  Cheridan Hawkins is 8-1 with a 1.25 ERA in just eight starts.  She has three saves.  Hawkins has collected 95 strikeouts in just 61.2 innings.    Add Karissa Hovinga’s 1.85 ERA, and the Ducks are third in the country with a team mark of 1.38.  Stanford is 22-5 and has not played since Sunday March 10.  They have beaten Georgia, Florida St. and Syracuse and are on an eight game win streak.  They are hitting .303 as a squad, but have a noticeable lack of power, hitting just 13 home runs so far this season.  In the circle Teagan Gerhart and Kelsey Stevens have shared about 90% of the innings.  Gerhart, the senior, is 11-3 with a 1.36 ERA.  Stevens is 9-2 with a 1.91 ERA.  Last season, Oregon won two of three, all high scoring affairs.


#16 Washington vs #23 Arizona  Sat, Sun & Mon  (3/23 6pm, 3/24 2pm & 3/25 3pm PT, Tucson AZ)

Both of these perennial power houses are having relatively down years.  UW is 22-7.  Arizona is 20-8.  The Huskies have wins over Hawai’i, Florida St. and Georgia, but have stumbled against most of the tops teams they have faced including:  Kentucky, OU, Michigan and Texas.  The Wildcats have victories against Nebraska and Notre Dame, but have been beaten handily by OU, Va. Tech, Michigan, Ohio State, LSU and Florida.  UW is hitting .352 as a team, ranking them fifth nationally.  Victoria Hayward tops her team, hitting .424.  Hooch Fagaly is next at .408.  She has six homers.  The consistent Kaitlin Inglesby has a .386 average with seven bombs.  Expect Inglesby and Bryana Walker to work against the Wildcats this weekend.  Walker has over 50% of her team’s innings.  She’s 12-3 with a 1.96 ERA.  Arizona is hitting .308 as a team.  Chelsea Goodacre paces Coach Candrea’s squad with a .418 average and 10 homers.  Lauren Young has eight long balls.  Pitching continues to be a tough spot for the Wildcats, who continue to look for that “ace” that can shut teams down.  A team 3.32 ERA could present a serious issue for the Wildcats.  In 2012 Arizona took two of three from UW in Seattle.