Softball Games of the Week (5/1 – 5/5)

California College Softball

Softball Games of the Week (5/1 – 5/5)


#3 Tennessee vs #10 Missouri - Fri, Sat & Sun (5/3 6pm, 5/4 6:30pm, 5/5 12pm CT, Columbia, MO)

The Vols are 42-7 and more importantly for now, they are 15-4, the best record in the SEC.  Tennessee sits one game ahead of Florida in the loss column and three over Missouri.  Two wins in this series will cement at least a share of the SEC regular season crown, where losing twice could open the door for Florida to win the title.  These are two of the country’s best squaring off here in this outstanding league.  The Vols are coming off a loss to Arkansas.  The Tigers took two of three from Kentucky.  Tennessee will bring both Renfroe sisters to bear against the improved Missouri offense.  In contrast, it appears that Coach Earleywine is only able to count on the arm of Chelsea Thomas.  Thomas will be challenged by the speedy and powerful Tennessee offense.  Raven Chavanne and Lauren Gibson continue to hit above .400 for Tennessee.  Chavanne has 35 stolen bases and Gibson has 15 bombs.  Mizzu is hitting .314 as a team. They have hit 51 home runs in 38 games.  There is not much recent history between these two teams.  This weekend’s series could be the start of a good rivalry.


#6 Arizona State vs Arizona - Fri, Sat & Sun (5/3 6pm, 5/4 6pm, 5/5 3pm MT, Tucson, AZ)

The Sun Devils continue to flex their muscles, sweeping a Jolene Henderson-less Cal squad over the weekend.  Arizona State is an impressive 42-7 and 12-5 in Pac-12 action, second behind Oregon, but still within striking range.  The Oregon series closes out the regular season for both teams.  The Sun Devil offense is very strong, bashing 84 home runs in 49 games.  The top of the order is particularly scary starting with Alix Johnson, whose average has slipped to .323, but she has 10 homers and seven doubles.  Cheyenne Coyle is at .368 with a team high 17 homers and nine doubles.  Amber Freeman leads her team with a .411 average and is second on the team with 16 bombs.  Both Dallas Escobedo and MacKenzie Popescue are pitching well as the post season approaches.  This is certainly Arizona’s toughest season with Coach Candrea at the helm.  It is the first time that a Candrea led Arizona squad has lost more than 20 games, a tenure that spans back to 1986. The Wildcats are coming off a weekend where they were swept by Oregon State on the road, dropping them into last in the Pac-12 rankings.  The Wildcats are batting under .300 as a team and have a staff ERA over 3.8. This will probably be another tough weekend for the Wildcats.


#12 Louisville vs Notre Dame - Fri, Sat & Sun (5/3 4pm, 5/4 7pm, 5/5 1pm ET, South Bend, IN)

Louisville will face off with Notre Dame for the Big East regular season title.  Louisville is 44-8 and 17-2 in league action.  Notre Dame is 37-11 and also 17-2 in the conference.  The Cardinals have quality wins over Oklahoma, Michigan, North Carolina and LSU.  Six of the Cardinal regulars are hitting above .300.  The team batting average is .341, led by Katie Keller’s .422 average and 10 homers.  Rachel LeCoq and Caralisa Connell have been solid in the circle.  LeCoq is 19-4 with a 1.60 ERA in 25 starts.  Connell is 25-4 with a 2.20 ERA in 39 appearances, 27 starts.  Notre Dame is hitting .324 as a unit. Emilee Koerner leads the way with a robust .480 average.  Thirty-two of her 71 hits are for extra bases, 10 homers, 19 doubles and three triples.  Five other Irish are batting above .300.  Laura Winter is tops on her team with 14 long balls.  She’s hitting .347.  Winter is also getting it done in the circle with a 23-9 record and an 1.85 ERA in 34 appearances, including 30 starts.  She is a workhorse throwing 24 complete games and 208 innings.  Winter has tossed two-thirds of Notre Dames innings.  These teams did not face off in the regular season last year, but did face each other in the Big East Tournament Championship.  Louisville claimed the title with a 4-3 victory.  Neither Louisville nor Notre Dame have played USF this season and if USF can sweep Syracuse, a non-sweep in this series will give USF a share of the regular season crown.


#14 California vs #17 Stanford - Fri, Sat & Sun (5/3 3pm, 5/4 1pm, 5/5 12pm PT, Berkeley, CA)

Cal will look to rebound after being swept by Arizona State on the road without their star Jolene Henderson.  Henderson sustained a knee injury two weeks ago against Oregon State and it is not clear when she will return.  Without her the Golden Bears have struggled in the circle and will have to be at their best to keep a Stanford team that is not among the best in the Pac-12 under control.

Cal is 35-12 overall and 9-9 in conference play.  Stanford is 23-16 and 9-9 in the league.  Cal swept Stanford last year in Palo Alto, shutting the Cardinal out twice.  Without Henderson, the Bears should find that a tough feat to replicate.  Getting Henderson healthy for a post season run is key for Coach Ninemire. 


#7 LSU vs #18 Georgia - Fri, Sat & Sun (5/3 6pm, 5/4 1pm, 5/5 3pm ET, Athens, GA)

LSU travels to Athens with a chance to still claim a piece of the SEC regular season crown.  Coming off an impressive sweep of Alabama at home in a set of one-run ball games, the Tigers have put themselves in position to take advantage of any stumbles by Tennessee or Florida this weekend.  Two games behind the Vols in the loss column and one behind Florida, there is an outside chance for a share of the title.  Tennessee plays Missouri and Florida has South Carolina.  LSU is 40-11 and 15-6 in the SEC.  The Tiger’s pitching continues to be a tremendous strength, using both Rachele Fico (24-9, 1.98 ERA) and Ashley Czechrner (10-0, 2.37 ERA) to keep the powerful Alabama bats at bay.  With both arms working well, LSU is poised again to go deep in the post season.  Georgia is 35-18 and 12-9 in the SEC.  The Bulldogs have blasted 84 homers in 53 games this season.  Five Bulldogs have 10 or more home runs, led by freshman Geri Ann Glasco’s 18.  Kaylee Puailoa and Tina Iosefa have launched 15 and 14 respectively.  Georgia comes off a weekend where they lost the last two games of the series to Florida, scoring just five runs in three games.  This set of games could help reinforce the old adage that good pitching beats good hitting.