Top Performances From College Softball March 22-24
The Tigers brought surging No. 10 Kentucky to an emphatic halt, piling up 29 runs in a stunning sweep in Lexington. Sophomore third baseman Kim Wert had four extra-base hits including a pair of homers and drove in nine runs. Freshman shortstop Jazmyn Rollin reached base eight times and scored five runs. It's the first time Kentucky has been swept at home since April 2017, and the first time in the entire 12-year tenure of head coach Rachel Lawson that UK has allowed eight or more runs in three straight games.
The freshman designated player had a fantastic debut in Big 12 play, hitting three homers among her six hits as No. 2 Oklahoma picked up a statement sweep of No. 13 Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. After a pair of hits in the opener, Green led the charge on Saturday with a 3-for-4, two-homer showing. She then hit a grand slam to help finish the sweep on Sunday as the Sooners outscored the Red Raiders 26-5 in the series.
The sophomore second baseman piled up seven hits as Drexel swept Delaware in Philadelphia, the first CAA sweep for the Dragons in eight years. Woulfe picked up at least two hits in each game with a pair of doubles and four runs scored. Junior shortstop Linda Rush helped form a fearsome 1-2 punch atop the lineup, as Rush homered three times among her four hits on the weekend. With the three-game sweep of the Blue Hens, the Dragons have already matched their conference win total from all of last year, and the 3-0 start is their best CAA start since 2008.
No. 21 Arizona State scored 45 runs, nine of them in an epic seventh-inning comeback in game three, as the Sun Devils swept Utah in Tempe. Junior twins Kindra and Maddi Hackbarth both had massive weekends. Kindra went 7-for-11 with three homers, two doubles, eight RBIs and six runs, while catcher Maddi homered five times in just nine at-bats and drove in nine runs. Senior left fielder Skylar McCarty had the best Pac-12 series of her career, extending her career-long hit streak to 12 games while reaching base at a .769 clip and scoring seven runs. After run-rule wins in games one and two, the Sun Devils needed every run they could get on Sunday. Utah led 17-9 heading into the bottom of the seventh, and still led 17-10 with two outs and the bases loaded. The next seven Devils all reached base, capped by a walk-off three-run triple from junior Alli Tatnall to win it 18-17.
The freshman lefty held Rutgers to three hits over 11 innings of work, earning two wins and a save as Northwestern swept Rutgers to open Big Ten play in Evanston, Ill. The Wildcats' ace threw a five-inning two-hit shutout and a five-inning one-hitter sandwiched around a perfect seventh inning to earn the save in game two. She fanned 14 and walked two. The two-way threat also helped herself out at the plate, reaching base twice and scoring a run in game one and hitting a solo homer in the finale.
In a matchup of the top two teams in the Big South, the Lancers rode outstanding pitching and big hits in the clutch to a sweep of USC Upstate in Farmville, Va. Freshman third baseman Alexis Wayland was stellar in the opener with a career-high five RBIs, hitting a game-tying grand slam in the fifth and scoring the walk-off run in the 6-5 win. Senior Sydney Gay and sophomore Sydney Backstrom combined to hold the Upstate offense to just seven hits and one run in the 15-inning marathon in the finale. Senior catcher Kaylynn Batten was the hero with two walk-off hits, driving in Wayland with an RBI single to win game one and ending the longest game in Longwood's Division I history with a solo homer off Spartans ace Christina Biggerstaff in the 15th.
The junior shortstop homered four times and drove in ten runs as No. 11 Arizona continued its perfect start to Pac-12 play with a sweep of Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. Harper put game two out of reach with a grand slam, then added her only non-homer in the sixth, an RBI triple. With her four this weekend, Harper is just one home run off the national lead of Georgia's Alyssa DiCarlo with 17. Her first-inning solo shot on Sunday would be all Wildcats starter Alyssa Denham would need, as the junior righty threw her first career no-hitter on her 21st birthday to seal the sweep with a 4-0 win.
The sophomore pitcher led with her bat and helped out with her arm to lead No. 6 LSU to a big sweep of No. 17 Georgia in Athens as the Tigers won their third straight SEC series. Sunseri went 6-for-9 with a homer, three doubles and eight RBIs. The homer helped her own cause tremendously on Saturday, as it helped start a rally after UGA took an early lead. In the circle, she settled down nicely after a three-run first to go five innings with no more damage and earn the win on Saturday, then came in and slammed the door with a scoreless seventh for her second save to clinch the sweep.
The senior catcher had seven hits including three homers to lead Nicholls State to a sweep of Abilene Christian in Abilene, Texas. She had her first multi-homer game of the season in a 12-4 win in the opener, then went deep again as part of a three-hit day in the series finale. Combined with other results around the league, the 3-0 weekend pushed the Colonels into sole possession of first place in the Southland Conference.