Top Performances From College Softball (March 2)
The Redhawks earned the first win over a top-25 team in program history as they took down No. 22 Illinois 5-2 at the OSU/Tulsa Invitational in Tulsa, OK. Sophomore outfielder Ally Choate and junior outfielder Cherise Silvan had three hits each to power a 15-hit attack for SU, while sophomore lefty Carley Nance held the high-powered Illini offense to just five hits and two runs (one earned) in a complete-game effort, tying a season-low offensive output for Illinois.
The Badgers had a huge day to earn a pair of top-25 victories at the Sun Devil Classic in Tempe, AZ. No. 21 Wisconsin outlasted surging No. 8 Texas 3-1 in nine innings as Haley Hestekin, Maddie Schwartz and Kaitlyn Menz combined to allow just a single unearned run in nine innings against one of the best offenses in the country. Hestekin and Menz then came back to combine on a three-hitter as UW knocked off host No. 20 Arizona State 5-1. It marked the first day with two top-25 wins for Wisconsin in 18 years, and the first time that the Badgers have ever defeated the Sun Devils.
Several third-year Dukes starred as No. 14 James Madison swept a doubleheader at the Wildcat Classic in Tucson, AZ. Catcher Kierstin Roadcap had a pair of hits, punctuated by the game-ending two-run shot to enforce run-rule in an 8-0 win over Drake in game one. Pitcher/first baseman Odicci Alexander drove in two runs in each game and earned the win in the nightcap as JMU knocked off Kent State 8-1. Second baseman Madison Naujokas reached base nearly every time to the plate, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a walk, a stolen base, and four runs scored. Left fielder Kate Gordon had three hits and drove in three, including a two-run homer against the Golden Flashes.
The 2018 A-10 Pitcher of the Year tossed nine shutout innings en route to a win and a save at the Purple and Gold Invitational in Greenville, NC. The sophomore righty held down a 2-1 lead with two innings of hitless relief to earn her third save of the year against Winthrop, earning her third save of the season to tie the UMass single-season record. She then tossed a complete game three-hit shutout in the nightcap, as the Minutewomen silenced host East Carolina 5-0. Oliver carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, then induced back-to-back fielder's choices to get out of a big jam in the sixth.
Nevada's right fielder had a big day offensively as the Wolfpack won twice at the Wooo Pig Classic in Fayetteville, AR. The junior went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in Nevada's 8-0 win over Omaha in the opener, then built on that with a 3-for-4 game with two doubles and two runs scored against Northwestern State, including the walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to secure the 4-3 win over the Demons.
The Bobcats were the comeback queens on Saturday, earning three wins including an upset of Mississippi State with late offense at the Duke/NC State Invitational in Raleigh, NC. Trailing 6-1 after six innings against Campbell, Ohio piled up eight runs in the seventh as they rallied for a 9-6 win. Game two against Charleston Southern was tied 1-1 after the first inning all the way to extras, but a three-run eighth powered by back-to-back homers from senior designated player Morgan Geno and freshman second baseman Charlee Pond stood up in a 4-3 eight-inning win. The big result came in a game resumed from Friday night, as the Bobcats once again rallied with their backs against the wall. Pond hit a solo homer in the sixth to draw within a run at 4-3 before Geno hit a walk-off two-run blast in the seventh to knock off the Bulldogs 5-4.
The sophomore righty carried a no-hit bid to the final out in a one-hit shutout as Boise State secured the best 15-game start in program history with a doubleheader sweep at the San Diego Classic in San Diego, CA. Mancha struck out six in the 8-0, five-inning shutout of Illinois-Chicago in the opener. Combined with a five-run rally in the seventh inning of game two to beat FGCU, the 2019 Broncos are off to the best start ever and have tied their longest winning streak ever with 12, matching Feb. 25 to March 13, 2011.
Brianna Jones pitched the fourth perfect game in Southern Illinois history on Saturday. The Salukis scored 10 runs in support of the first perfect game since 2009. Jones struck out three Saint Louis batters, induced nine fly outs and three groundouts. The win improves her record to 8-2 on the year.
The Redbirds got their fifth win of the season by upsetting No. 10 Indiana 3-0 on Saturday in Baton Rouge. Morgan Day pitched a complete game, only surrendering three hits and one walk. She struck out seven and improved to 2-4. Andrea Coursey gave ISU a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and Alyssa Wiebel provided the insurance later in the inning with two RBIs.