Top Performances From College Softball April 18-19
The Trojans had big performances in both the expected and the unexpected as they took two from Appalachian State in Troy, Ala. Freshman Leanna Johnson fanned a career-high 16 in a two-hit shutout to win the opener 5-0, already the seventh shutout of her young career. But a regular offensive contributor found a new way to be the difference. In 486 at-bats during her three seasons, junior first baseman Katie Webb had recorded one triple. She broke her previous career total in one day, hitting a pair of two-run triples, including the walk-off winner in game two as the Trojans rallied from a 5-2 deficit for a 6-5 win. By sweeping the doubleheader, the Trojans have won five straight conference series for the first time in program history.
The senior struck out all but two of the batters she faced for a one-hit shutout as Sam Houston State swept a doubleheader from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas. A popup to first base for the final out of the third and a leadoff single in the fifth were the only Islanders not to go down on strikes as McLeod fanned 14 in the 8-0, five-inning win. Dating back to the fifth inning against Nicholls State on March 30, McLeod has not allowed a run or a walk in her last 33 innings, scattering 10 hits and striking out 62.
The senior utility player was the engine behind the Ohio State offense as the Buckeyes erupted after an early 5-0 deficit to slam Michigan State 15-6 in six innings in East Lansing, Mich. Clark went 4-for-4 with a double, five RBI and four runs scored, tying her career-highs in hits and RBI and setting a new mark in runs. Clark wasn’t even the only one to score four times, as fellow senior shortstop Lilli Piper homered and walked three times to match her career-highs in walks and runs. The 15 runs scored by the Buckeyes are a season-best.
The Riverhawks clinched the best season in DI program history as they won a pair of one-run games against UMBC in Lowell, Mass. Junior third baseman Melany Sheldon had a walk-off two-run single to seal the 6-5 win in game two as the Riverhawks tagged UMBC freshman ace Courtney Coppersmith for her worst outing in over a month. That came on the heels of sophomore Lovina Capria outdueling Coppersmith in the 1-0 opener, allowing four hits and no walks for her third shutout of the season. UML sits alone atop the America East at 10-0, and the 22 overall wins is the highest total UML has had since transitioning to Division I in 2014.
The sophomore left fielder went 4-for-4 to power a ferocious Razorback offense as No. 22 Arkansas pounded No. 6 LSU 11-1 in five innings to clinch the series in Fayetteville, Ark. She racked up four singles in just four offensive innings for Arkansas, driving in three and recording her second four-hit game of the season. Senior first baseman Ashley Diaz went 3-for-3 including the go-ahead two-run homer to spark a seven-run first inning. Combined with Thursday’s 8-5 win, the Hogs have beaten the Tigers in back-to-back meetings, and 11 runs allowed is the worst total for the Tigers in five seasons.
The Crimson Tide grabbed a two-game lead atop the SEC as No. 4 Alabama snapped the eight-game winning streak for No. 11 Florida, winning 3-1 and 6-1 to clinch a series win in Gainesville, Fla. Freshman Montana Fouts and junior Sarah Cornell combined to shut down the Gators offense, each allowing one run on two hits in a complete-game win. Freshman second baseman Skylar Wallace went 3-for-6 with a triple in game one and a homer in game two, her first two career extra-base hits in SEC play.
Head Coach Bill Baber moved past 300 career wins as the Lancers hit six total homers in 9-6 and 6-3 wins over Utah Valley in Riverside, Calif. Freshman third baseman Shelby Arbeiter had her second two-homer game of the year and drove in a career-high six runs in the opener that gave Baber his milestone win. Freshman shortstop Molly Kolander went 5-for-7 with a double, exceeding her season hit total in a single day. In their inaugural season as a DI program, it’s the first time CBU has won consecutive games in WAC play.
The Kansas Jayhawks earned their first victory over a ranked opponent since 2016 on Thursday when they defeated No. 16 Texas Tech 6-4 in Lubbock, Texas. Kansas scored four runs in the second innings and then Madison Sykes hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 6-0. Brynn Minor earned her 10th victory in a six-inning effort.
In game two of Thursday's doubleheader, Holy Cross freshman Kelly Nelson struck out 19 Maine Black Bears in a complete-game win. The 19 strikeout are the second-highest single-game total for Nelson this season. Nelson recorded every out of the contest via strikeout except two.