Top Performances From College Softball April 20
The freshman catcher smashed past her previous bests in many categories, belting three of Elon’s program-record eight home runs as the Phoenix rallied from six runs down in the seventh for a wild 13-10 win in eight innings over Drexel in Philadelphia. White went 5-for-5 with three homers, five RBIs, and four runs scored, all of which exceeded her previous career-highs by at least two. She hit a solo shot in the fifth, then hit the second of Elon’s four homers in the seventh inning to erase a six-run deficit and force extras. She came back to the plate an inning later and came through with her third long ball of the day, a three-run blast that held up as the game-winner.
Alyssa Barrera capped a five-run rally with a grand slam as the Utes snapped No. 7 Washington’s 16-game winning streak with a 5-4 win in Salt Lake City, Utah. The junior center fielder was the hero of a big home upset for the second time in her career, hitting a walk-off single to clinch a series win over No. 1 Arizona on April 15, 2017. Freshman Sydney Sandez worked out of multiple jams in the first five innings to keep the Huskies off the board until the sixth, earning her seventh win of the year. Senior pitcher/utility Hailey Hilburn recorded her first save since her freshman season, working a clean seventh inning for her third career save.
The senior allowed just one hit in 4.2 innings of scoreless relief as Iowa State finished their road sweep in conference play in 17 years, defeating Baylor 4-1 in Waco, Texas. Combined with a complete-game four-hitter in a 4-1 win to open the series on Thursday, Hylen allowed just one run and five hits in 11.2 innings against the Bears. It’s the first time the Cyclones have ever swept a three-game road series in conference play; Iowa State hadn’t earned a sweep since March 23-24, 2002 at Texas Tech, when the Big 12 was playing two-game series.
The Tigers swept a three-game series over an SEC opponent at home for the first time ever, shutting out Texas A&M 4-0 in Columbia, Mo. Senior Madi Norman and sophomore Cassie Gasper combined to blank the Aggie offense, allowing six combined hits and fanning eight. Gasper retired all six batters she faced in relief to seal the win with two strikeouts. Sophomore third baseman Kim Wert launched a two-run homer to push her season total to 16, leaving her just four behind the Mizzou single-season record.
The junior lefty shut down the red-hot Hokies, allowing just three hits as No. 25 North Carolina opened a crucial series between the top two teams in the ACC Coastal with a 3-0 win over No. 17 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. She allowed just three hits and a walk, fanning six to snap VT’s six-game winning streak in which they had outscored opponents 45-1. The Tar Heels’ third top-25 win in the past week is also the seventh wins over a ranked opponent this season, setting a program single-season record.
The No. 23 Wolverines scored four runs after being down to their last strike, then held off a comeback in the bottom of the seventh for a 9-8 win to clinch a series win against Illinois in Champaign, Ill. Senior second baseman Faith Canfield had a pair of doubles, including the clutch two-out, two-run double to cap the four-run rally by the Wolverines in the top of the seventh. Junior third baseman Madison Uden reached base all four trips to the plate, with a solo homer, two singles, and a key walk in the seventh, as she ended up scoring the tying run. Sophomore lefty Meghan Beaubien got the win in relief, recording back-to-back strikeouts to slam the door after Illinois put the potential tying and winning runs on base with one out.
Cal State Fullerton
The Titans won twice to finish a sweep of Hawaii and seize control of the Big West in Fullerton, Calif. Sophomore shortstop Sam Kennedy clinched the Titans’ eighth walk-off win this season and the second of her career with a two-run shot to win game one 9-8. Freshman righty Dani Martinez earned both wins, tossing a clean seventh inning in game one and coming up one strike short of a no-hitter in the finale, finishing with a one-hit shutout in the 8-0 win. Third baseman Deshea had three hits and drove in two in the opener, hit a solo shot in game two, and also made a fantastic diving catch on a bunt.
The sophomore first baseman went a career-best 5-for-5 and hit her second home run of the season as Boise State routed New Mexico 22-10 to claim the series in Albuquerque, N.M. Seng had four hits in a game twice as a freshman, but Saturday was her first game with three or more hits this season. Her five RBI also marked a career-high as the Broncos set a season-high for runs and scored 10 or more runs for the fifth time in their last six games.
The Fighting Irish completed a rare one-day series sweep, rallying from a six-run deficit to win a suspended game from Friday before taking winning two scheduled games against Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. Sophomore Sarah Genz finished the marathon opener with a bang, blasting a pinch-hit grand slam in the top of the ninth for a 14-10, nine-inning victory. Senior pitcher/designated player Cait Brooks reached base nine times, with an RBI single and a game-tying two-run homer helping force extras to give Genz a chance to win it. Freshman right fielder Emma Clark recorded three straight multi-hit games for the first time in her career, going a combined 6-for-11 with five runs scored.