Top Performances From College Softball April 5
Fa Leilua homered twice to back up a stellar outing from Emily Williams as the Bulldogs stunned No. 6 LSU 6-0 in Starkville, Miss. Prior to Friday, the Tigers had scored at least five runs in each of their past seven games, going 6-1 in that stretch. Williams scattered seven hits and three walks in a complete-game shutout, striking out four. Not only does that mark the first time LSU has been shut out this season, but it is also the first time the Bulldogs have ever shut out LSU.
Records fell left and right as the Lions put up 36 runs in a doubleheader sweep of Incarnate Word in San Antonio. Sophomore right fielder Madisen Blackford homered among her six hits and drove in eight, tying a school record with three doubles in the opener. Senior first baseman Rebecca Skains had seven hits and six RBIs, setting a career high and tying the school record with a 5-for-6 game in the nightcap. As a team, SLU set school-records for runs in both a single game (21) and in a doubleheader, run-ruling the Cardinals 15-3 in six innings in the opener, then winning a wild slugfest 21-15 to finish the sweep.
The junior shortstop had her first career four-hit day, notching four singles and scoring three runs as No. 8 Washington cruised past Cal 8-0 in six innings in Berkeley, Calif. Bates has reached base at least twice and scored at least once in each of the Huskies' last seven games, batting .684 (13-for-19) in that stretch.
The reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week tossed her third straight complete-game shutout, fanning 10 as No. 25 Northwestern knocked off Nebraska 8-0 in Lincoln, Neb. In 39 innings of work against Big Ten opponents, the freshman lefty has allowed a single run on 11 hits, good for a 0.18 ERA. Williams also helped her own cause at the plate, hitting a double as well as a sacrifice fly that gave the Wildcats the lead for good in the fourth.
Cal State Northridge
The Matadors won their second-straight road game against a Big West front-runner, putting together a complete effort for a 5-2 upset win over Cal State Fullerton. Sophomore Jillian James gave up two runs on five hits, striking out nine Titans to record her second-straight big win, having led CSUN to a 2-1 win at UC Davis last Sunday. Junior right fielder Megan Stevens reached base all three times including the go-ahead two-run blast that gave the Matadors the lead for good in the third. The win broke an eight-game losing streak in the head-to-head series for CSUN, dating back to 2016.
The senior catcher had a career-high four hits to spark the Wildcat offense as No. 16 Kentucky jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and held on for an 11-4 win over No. 10 Ole Miss in Lexington. It's the first time Schaper had recorded more than two hits in a game since going 3-for-4 in a season-opening loss to Illinois on Feb. 8. She drove in two and scored twice to help the Wildcats snap an extremely rare four-game home losing streak.
The Badger offense got hot in the fifth and sixth to put a cap on a great day from Kaitlyn Menz as No. 21 Wisconsin run-ruled rival Iowa 8-0 in six innings in Madison, Wis. Junior first baseman Kayla Konwent went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, recording her fifth-straight multi-hit game. She's hit six doubles in her last sixteen at-bats and has brought her season batting average up to .500. Menz, a junior, allowed just three hits over six scoreless innings to earn her fourth complete-game shutout of the season.
The senior catcher had five hits and drove in six as North Dakota State swept a non-conference doubleheader from Seattle U in Seattle. In a matchup featuring two of the strongest mid-major teams in the country this season, the Bison jumped all over Redhawks pitching for 17 runs, winning by scores of 8-1 and 9-7 to increase their winning streak to 16 games. Hansen opened the scoring in both games, hitting a two-run single in the third inning of game one and an RBI-single in the first of game two, but the big blow was a three-run bomb an inning later to help NDSU hold off the SU charge in the nightcap.
The freshman first baseman set a career-high in hits and then nearly matched it as Georgia Southern split a doubleheader against UL-Monroe in Monroe, La. Shirley started her day by going 4-for-5 and scoring three times to fuel a furious comeback attempt, then went 3-for-3 with a homer to help the Eagles finish game two quickly. In danger of being run-ruled, the Eagles rallied from nine runs down after four innings to tie ULM in the opener but came up just short in a 14-13 loss, then carried that momentum into a decisive 9-1, five-inning win to even the series.