Top Performances From College Softball (4/26/19)
A pair of huge days from freshmen powered the Cavaliers to a 12-0, five-inning win over NC State in Raleigh, N.C. Freshman Aly Rayle threw UVA’s first one-hitter in six years and blew past her previous career-high of six strikeouts, fanning 11 of the 19 batters she faced. She allowed just four baserunners – two hits, a walk, and a hit batter – to record her first career shutout. Left fielder Tori Gilbert was 3-for-4 with two home runs, five RBIs and three runs, setting career-highs in all four categories.
The senior claimed the Gators’ career strikeout crown while also throwing her eighth career no-hitter as No. 13 Florida snapped a three-game skid with a 7-0 win at No. 22 Auburn. Barnhill has now fanned 1,121 batters in her career, surpassing the 1,116 by Stacey Nelson (2006-09). She also becomes the first player in UF history to throw at least one no-hitter in all four years of her career. Fellow senior infielder Amanda Lorenz got Barnhill all the support she would need with a clutch two-out, three-run blast in the second inning. That earned Lorenz a pair of milestones with HR No. 40 and hit No. 280, breaking a tie with Aja Paculba (2008-11) for second on the Gators all-time hits list.
The Beavers run-ruled archrival Oregon for the first time in 18 years, rolling to an 8-0 win in five innings over the Ducks in Eugene. Sophomore Mariah Mazon gave up six hits and struck out four in the sixth complete-game shutout of her career, but first in Pac-12 play. Sophomore infielder Missy Nunes went 2-for-3, with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Freshman shortstop Maia Rader had a clutch hit out of the nine-hole, hitting a two-out, two-run double in the second inning to make the score 3-0. OSU took the opening game of the Civil War Series for the first time since a 2-1 win on March 21, 2009.
The senior became the first Buckeye to throw multiple no-hitters in a single season since 2007 as Ohio State routed Illinois 9-0 in five innings in Columbus, Ohio. She didn’t allow a baserunner until a fifth-inning walk, striking out four and facing the minimum 15 batters. The Buckeye offense secured the no-hitter for Ray by ending the game early, scoring in all five innings. Freshman Kaitlyn Coffman had two hits including the game-ending two-run homer in the fifth.
The Vikings cooled off red-hot Sacramento State, handing the Hornets their first back-to-back losses in almost a month with a doubleheader sweep in Sacramento, Calif. Junior shortstop Darian Lindsey had a four-hit game in the nightcap as she reached base seven of her nine trips to the plate with a home run and two doubles. Junior righty Katie Schroeder allowed just five hits and one unearned run in a complete-game 3-1 win to open the series. Since being alone in last place with a 2-6 Big Sky record on April 14, the Vikings have now won five straight conference games and surged to third, just one game back of the second-place Hornets.
The sophomore homered twice and drove in all three runs as No. 15 South Carolina outlasted No. 20 Georgia 3-2 in 11 innings in Columbia, S.C. It’s the second walk-off win of the year for the Gamecocks, both of which have come off the bat of Kumiyama, as she capped a rally from four runs down with a game-winning RBI single to beat Duke 5-4 on March 20. Kumiyama’s heroics backed stellar pitching from sophomore Kelsey Oh and junior Cayla Drotar, who combined to hold UGA to just six hits and two runs (one earned) over 11 innings of work.
The junior left fielder had her third career multi-homer game and was retired just once as BYU outscored San Diego 23-2 en route to a doubleheader run-rule sweep in Provo, Utah. She went 2-for-3 with a pair of solo homers in the 8-0 game one, then had two more hits and scored three of the Cougars’ 15 runs in the 15-2 finale. Jensen has at least two hits in eight of her last nine games and is on a 16-game on-base streak.
The No. 11 Gophers pushed their winning streak into double digits with a pair of dominant wins, run-ruling rival Iowa twice in Minneapolis, Minn. Junior second baseman MaKenna Partain went 3-for-3 and drove in four runs in game two, blasting a three-run homer in the fifth to end the game early 8-0. Sophomore first baseman Hope Brandner homered in each game, driving in a total of five runs. Junior Amber Fiser and senior Sydney Smith each threw five-inning shutouts against the Hawkeyes, allowing just three combined hits.
The sophomore catcher doubled her career home run total and had her first career three-hit game as No. 1 Oklahoma won twice against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. Coming in with two career round-trippers, Elam hit one of three Sooner long balls in the second inning of game one with a solo shot off the left field foul pole. She hit another in game two while also adding a double and a single, going a career-best 3-for-4 with three RBIs. The Sooners’ active 34-game winning streak is a program-record (first set on Wednesday at Wichita State), and the 39-game winning streak against Big 12 opponents is a program and conference record.