Softball games of the Week (4/2 – 4/7)

California College Softball

Softball games of the Week 4/2 – 4/7


#14 UCLA vs. #17 Washington  Tue & Wed (4/2 4pm & 6pm, 4/3 12pm PT, Los Angeles, CA)

The Bruins took two of three from the Huskies in 2012 in Seattle.  The Bruins are 2-4 in the Pac-12 and are hitting .310 as a team with 48 home runs, fourth in the NCAA.  B.B. Bates leads her team with 14 bombs and six of their regulars are hitting above .300.  Offense for UCLA has not been a problem this season, scoring just under six runs a game while the Bruin staff has a 2.19 ERA.  The Huskies are extremely familiar with both of the UCLA work horses, Ally Carda and Jessica Hall.  Maybe a Paige McDuffee change up could be effective for UCLA.  UW is 3-3 in the conference.  They are hitting .335 as a team.  Victoria Hayward is tops on her squad with a .422 average.  Hooch Fagaly is hitting .389 with an on-base percentage of .538.  The Huskies are scoring 6.6 runs per contest.  The team ERA of 2.55 is uncharacteristically high for the Huskies, but Kaitlin Inglesby is still best among the Huskies at 1.73.  Bryana Walker has thrown more than half of the innings and will certainly see action against UCLA.  Walker is 12-5 with a 2.40 ERA.


#5 California vs. #22 Arizona  Tue & Wed (4/2 6pm & 8:30pm, 4/3 3pm MT, Tucson, AZ)

Cal is 27-3 and 3-0 in the Pac-12.  In the circle senior Jolene Henderson does almost all of the work for the Golden Bears.  She has a 0.90 ERA, a 21-2 record in 84% of the team’s innings. Henderson’s dominance has been important since Cal is hitting just .290 as a team.  Arizona’s pitching staff has lacked their historical quality, posting a 3.56 ERA to this point in the season with no pitcher below 3.00.  The Wildcats are 23-10 and 3-2 in the conference.  Cal won the series last season, winning two of three in Berkeley.  Henderson went the distance and shut out Arizona in both of those games.  If Henderson goes in all three games for Cal, it could be tough for the Wildcats to get a game.


#1 Oklahoma vs. #15 Baylor  Fri, Sat & Sun (4/5 6:30pm 4/6 12pm & 4/7 2pm CT, Norman, OK)

OU leads this all-time series 43-10 and 16-5 in Norman.  Last season Oklahoma won a pair in Waco before losing the Sunday matchup 1-0 with Keilani Ricketts in the circle.  Baylor’s senior pitcher Courtney Repka earned the shutout that day and threw 14 innings that weekend allowing just two runs.  Ricketts and Michelle Gascoinge made it tough on the Bears in 2012, striking out 18 and eight respectively.  The pair of lefties allowed just 11 hits, three to left handed hitters, in the three game series.  Coach Moore’s lineup is southpaw heavy.  Five of his regulars bat from the left.  The Sooners lineup is full of power.  Last season they hit four homers in Waco.  Red shirt junior Whitney Canion has not faced the Sooner hitters since 2011, when the Bears split a pair of low scoring games in Norman. Both teams reached the WCWS that season.  The Sooners have the best ERA in the country and a group of the top hitters led by the unquestioned best, Lauren Chamberlain.  Baylor will have its hands full against the top team in the country.


#7 Alabama vs. #9 Missouri  Fri, Sat & Sun (4/5 8pm, 4/6 2pm & 4/7 12pm CT, Tuscaloosa, AL)

This matchup is sure to be one of the toughest for both teams all season.  The Tide has done an excellent job replacing six seniors from their 2012 National Championship team.  At 32-5 and 8-4 in the SEC, they are poised to make another run.  Coach Murphy’s bunch makes effective adjustments quickly and they never quit playing hard.  As a team the Tide is hitting .326.  They are led by two of the best offensive players in the country Haylie McCleney and Kayla Braud.  The tandem is hitting .458 and .421 respectively.  They both have sick hands and ridiculous speed.  Between them they have stolen 53 bases.  The addition of Kalia Hunt’s (10) and Jackie Traina’s (13) homers provide lots of problems for opponents.  The Tide also boasts a solid pitching staff that includes Traina’s 1.74 ERA and Leslie Jury, who is 11-2.  Lauren Sewell rounds out the bullpen at 6-0 with a 1.89 ERA.  Missouri has been one of the top teams over the past few years.  One of the key drivers of that success has been Chelsea Thomas in the circle.  She is tough on both righties and lefties primarily through changing speeds.  Her 0.63 ERA is among the best in the country.  She has 109 strike outs in 77 innings.  As a team the Tigers are hitting .333 and they are top 10 in runs per game.  Give the pitching edge to Missouri and Thomas in this series.  Give the advantage to the Tide for having the home crowd and the ability to adapt over a three game set.


#3 Arizona State vs. #13 Stanford  Sat & Sun (4/6 2pm & 4:30pm, 4/7 12pm MT, Tempe, AZ)

The Sun Devils are an impressive 33-3 and 4-1 in the Pac-12.  They are hitting .355 as a squad with 56 bombs, only Georgia has more.  Five different Sun Devils have six or more homers.  The top of the order for Coach Myers’ team has some real power.  In typical sequence, Alix Johnson has eight, Cheyenne Cole 11 and Amber Freeman nine.  Dallas Escobedo and Mackenzie Popescue are a terrific one-two punch in the circle.  Excobedo is 17-3. She’s fanned 192 in 129 innings. Popescue is 15-0 with a 0.92 ERA.  The Stanford Cardinal are hitting just .288.  They have only 16 home runs in 32 games, the lowest in the Pac-12.  Teagan Gerhart carries the load in the circle for the Cardinal throwing 50% of the innings. She is 12-4 with a 1.47 ERA.  Gerhart will have her hands full with the Sun Devil hitters.


#5 California vs. #8 Oregon  Sat & Sun (4/6 1pm & 3pm, 4/7 12pm PT, Berkeley, CA)

Last season Cal won two of three.  Oregon scored just two runs in the three games.  The Ducks are improved on offense, hitting .341 with 43 home runs in 32 games.  Last spring the Ducks hit .308 with 66 bombs in 63 games.  The team ERA of 1.39 is outstanding.  Jessica Moore is 13-3 with a 1.36 ERA.  Cheridan Hawkins is 12-1 and she has a 1.23 ERA.  Oregon is 28-4 and 5-0 in conference action.  Under Coach White, the Ducks have continued to improve in all phases of the game.  Both of the teams are among the best in the country.  This should be a low scoring and entertaining series.  Look for both of these teams in OKC.