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Top Performances From College Softball (5/3-5/5/19)

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(Graphics By Don Olea)

Amber Fiser

The junior gave up just three hits in 16.2 innings as No. 11 Minnesota handed No. 18 Northwestern their first two losses of Big Ten play in Minneapolis, Minn. After a seventh-inning wild pitch left her with a hard-luck 1-0 loss in the opener, she buckled down, giving up just one hit over 9.2 scoreless innings and striking out 15, carrying a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of the 4-0 series-clinching win. Fiser has struck out at least five batters in each of her last 19 appearances despite six of those outings lasting four innings or less.

Georgia

The Bulldogs earned their first sweep of conference play, winning a pair of nail biters before blowing open game three to hand No. 8 Ole Miss its only series loss of the season in Athens, Ga. UGA pitchers allowed just one earned run to the Rebels in the series, led by senior lefty Kylie Bass, who tossed a three-hit shutout to earn a 1-0 win in the opener. Sophomore Tyler Armistead and freshman Savana Sikes had walk-off hits to seal the first two wins. The Bulldogs would need no late dramatics in the finale, tagging the Rebels’ Brittany Finney with her worst outing of the season (six earned runs in just 1.1 innings) en route to an 8-0, five-inning win.

Oklahoma

The top-ranked Sooners became the first team to go undefeated in back-to-back seasons in Big 12 play, holding high-scoring Oklahoma State to just two runs for a three-game sweep in Norman, Okla. and Stillwater, Okla. The 4-5 punch of sophomore Jocelyn Alo and freshman Grace Green hit back-to-back homers to give OU a lead they would never surrender in both games one and three. Juniors Giselle ‘G’ Juarez, Mariah Lopez and Shannon Saile each earned complete-game wins, allowing just total six hits and striking out 31 in 21 innings. The Sooners also pushed their program-best winning streak to 38 games, which is now tied for the longest single-season streak in Division I history, matching 1997 South Carolina.

Taran Alvelo

The senior kept the Wildcats guessing all weekend long as No. 7 Washington earned a historic sweep of No. 3 Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. Alvelo got a one-out save on Friday, entering with the tying and go-ahead runs aboard and striking out cleanup hitter Dejah Mulipola to earn the save, then scattered eight hits over a complete-game win on Saturday, allowing just a solo homer to Rylee Pierce. She saved her best outing to secure the sweep, allowing just one hit and one walk over five scoreless innings in relief as the Huskies grabbed a 7-4 win on Sunday. Since the start of 2018, Alvelo has been stellar against the Wildcats, allowing just two runs in 29.1 innings and striking out 44 on her way to recording five wins and one save. Playing each other at least three times a season since 1993, it’s the first time UW has ever swept a series of at least two games in Tucson.

N.C. State

The Wolfpack punched their ticket to the ACC tournament the hard way, becoming the first team to sweep Louisville this season with a trio of hard-fought wins in Raleigh, N.C. Freshman April Visser belted a walk-off homer in the 11th inning of game two and followed up with the game-winning RBI single in Sunday’s 2-1 win. Sophomore third baseman Logan Morris homered twice, drove in five runs and drew four walks. Sophomore Kama Woodall was nearly perfect in relief, allowing just one base runner over 4.2 shutout innings to earn wins in games two and three. It’s the first ACC sweep for NC State since March 17-19, 2017 against Virginia.

North Florida

The Ospreys earned their first conference sweep in four years to clinch the final spot in the A-Sun tourney, earning three straight shutouts of Stetson in DeLand, Fla. It’s the first time UNF has recorded three consecutive shutouts in conference play in Division I, having last done so in 2005 in their final season as a DII program. Sydney Matzko, Morgan Blourne, Morgan Clausen, and Kayla Cruz combined to allow just eight hits to the Hatters in 20 scoreless innings. Senior third baseman Navia Penrod extended her lead atop the Osprey’s all-time hit leaderboard, going 8-for-11 and driving in five runs. Head Coach Marcie Higgs recorded her 300th win at UNF with the 5-0 win in the regular-season finale.

Aubrey Creekmore

The senior shortstop had a pair of walk-off hits in a special senior weekend for Idaho State, sweeping Sacramento State in Pocatello, Idaho. She had a game-winning RBI single in the opener and a two-out, three-run blast to finish the sweep with a 6-4 win, clinching the 2-seed in the Big Sky tournament. In the middle game, Creekmore went 4-for-4 with three RBI to help ISU hold off a late rally from the Hornets for a 9-6 victory. After batting just .190 through her first three seasons, Creekmore has posted a .414/.458/.701 slash line in 2019, all of which lead the Bengals.

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs took a series from the Gators for the first time in 15 years, winning two of three over No. 13 Florida in Gainesville, Fla. The MSU lineup was fantastic against strikeout artist Kelly Barnhill, fanning just four times in 8.1 innings against the Gators ace as the Bulldogs tagged her for nine earned runs and a pair of losses. Senior center fielder Kat Moore had five hits including her 11th home run of the season, setting a new program-record by a senior. Sophomore Emily Williams held the Gators to just a single hit in the 6-4 series opener, getting clutch outs to get out of jams and overcome a slew of walks.

North Texas

For the first time in program history, the Mean Green is a conference champion. North Texas secured a share of the regular season Conference USA title with a series win against Middle Tennessee State. Hope Trautwein pitched two complete games, finishing the season with 15. The Mean Green, under first-year head coach Rodney Delong, will be the No. 1 seed in the Air Force Reserve C-USA Softball Championship hosted by Alabama-Birmingham May 8-11.

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Minnesota Dreams Big, Advances To Supers

Minnesota swept the Minneapolis regional and will host LSU in its Super Regional.