Top Performances From College Softball April 18-21
The No. 4 Crimson Tide dominated the head-to-head matchup of the SEC’s historical powers, sweeping the Gators for the first time since 2006, and the first time since 2001 in Gainesville, Fla. Sophomore outfielder KB Sides hit her second career triple in game two and drove in two of Alabama’s three runs with her second career home run in the series finale. Freshman Montana Fouts combined with juniors Sarah Cornell and Krystal Goodman to hold UF’s offense to two extra-base hits and two runs in the series, the fewest runs ever allowed in a three-game series by Alabama in Gainesville.
The senior lefty threw 7.2 scoreless innings including her first shutout of the season as No. 21 Georgia took two out of three from No. 9 Tennessee in Athens, Ga. Bass got the final five outs to secure a 6-2 win in the series opener, then threw her first career complete-game shutout in SEC play when junior right fielder Alysen Febrey belted a walk-off grand slam to finish an 8-0, six-inning victory to win the series. Overall, Bass allowed five hits, no runs, one walk, and struck out eight. Combined with a series win in Knoxville last year, it’s the first time UGA has won consecutive series against Tennessee since 2009 and 2010.
The No. 25 Tar Heels earned their third and fourth top-25 wins in the past week, winning two of three from ACC leader No. 17 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Junior pitcher/designated player Brittany Pickett threw a three-hit shutout in the 3-0 win in the opener and added two hits including a two-run homer in the 8-4 win in the finale. Senior second baseman Leah Murray extended her hitting streak to 15 games and stole the 100th base of her career, leaving her just three away from becoming UNC’s all-time leader in stolen bases. UNC now has eight wins over ranked opponents this season, breaking the program record of six set in 2010.
San José State
The Spartans won a marathon and then staged a furious seventh-inning rally to take the final two games and earn a series win against UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev. Freshman Jenessa Ullegue allowed just two earned runs over 13 innings and had four hits, including a career day in game two, pitching six scoreless innings in relief to get the win, matching her career-high with three hits and scoring the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. Senior Madison Aurin had the go-ahead two-run single to cap a four-run seventh in the series finale, helping earn herself the win in relief.
The senior broke Louisiana’s single-season stolen base record, swiping six bags and scoring five runs as No. 8 Louisiana swept Georgia State in Lafayette, La. Her 52nd steal of the season in Friday’s 12-3 win broke Dorsey Steamer’s record of 51 steals in the 1992 season. She now holds the single-season stolen base record at two storied softball programs, having swiped a record 54 as a freshman at Texas A&M in 2016. The Ragin’ Cajuns clinched the Sun Belt title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament with two full weeks left, surpassing the 18-0 start in 2001 and 2004 for the best start to conference play by any school in Sun Belt history.
The senior threw a pair of complete-game shutouts, fanning 22 in 12 innings as Sam Houston State moved into a tie for first in the Southland with a sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the fourth inning against Nicholls State on March 30, she has thrown 40 consecutive scoreless innings, tying Eliane Devlin’s school record set in 1986. During her historic stretch, she has allowed 12 hits, one extra-base hit, no walks, and has struck out 72, allowing a maximum of three hits in any single game since.
The junior threw the second perfect game in Penn history on Sunday as the Quakers finished a sweep of Brown on Senior Day in Philadelphia. It’s the fifth seven-inning perfect game in Division I this season, and the first for the Quakers since Alexis Borden blanked Cornell 4-0 on May 5, 2012. She also fanned 10 to match her career-high, originally set in a 4-3, nine-inning loss to Western Michigan on March 4, 2018.
North Dakota State
The Bison dominated a battle for first place in the Summit League, outscoring South Dakota 19-0 to earn a three-game sweep in Vermillion, S.D. Senior KK Leddy and freshman Paige Vargas threw back-to-back one-hitters to open the series before Leddy blanked the Coyotes again on five hits in the series finale. Sophomore designated player Cara Beatty racked up two hits in each game, including driving in a key insurance run in the top of the eighth in game one. Facing the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the Summit League over the past two weeks, NDSU has recorded five shutouts in those six games.
The senior first baseman was nearly impossible to keep off the bases, going 7-for-9 with three home runs and seven RBI as Sacramento State swept Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. She now leads the Hornets with a .500 batting average in Big Sky play. Also drawing four walks in the series, Aubert set a program record by reaching base in each of her last 10 plate appearances and will try to add on to her streak next weekend vs Portland State. The Hornets have won 10 of their last 11 games, including an upset of Stanford on April 2.