Top Performances From College Softball March 9
The senior pitcher/utility player had a win, a save, three extra-base hits, and a bomb heard around the softball world as No. 20 Oklahoma State won twice to finish a three-game sweep of Oregon in Eugene. Show closed out both games in the circle, stopping a late Ducks' rally in game one to earn her second save, then throwing three hitless innings to get the win in the finale. She also hit a double in each game, but it was the light-tower blast in the fifth off Oregon ace Jordan Dail -- and the subsequent A-plus bat flip -- that marked the Cowgirls final day in Oregon.
No. 12 Arizona never let up on the gas as the Wildcats thumped top-ranked Florida State 11-3 in five innings, evening the three-game series at one win apiece in Tucson, Ariz. Junior catcher Dejah Mulipola got the offense cranked up early with two-run homers in each of the first two innings. Junior center fielder Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza made a pair of fantastic plays in the outfield, each of them helping snuff out Seminole rallies, and hit the game-winning two-run double. Fifth-year senior Gina Snyder helped slow down the nation's best scoring offense in the highest-profile game of her career, holding the 'Noles to just four hits in her five-inning complete-game win. Win No. 17 over a top-ranked foe by Arizona was the first time the Wildcats ever run-ruled the No. 1 team.
The Phoenix pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year so far, stunning host No. 8 Georgia 5-4 while sweeping a doubleheader at the UGA Classic in Athens, Ga. Redshirt junior pitcher/outfielder Elise Walton had her best outing in the circle this season, holding the Bulldogs scoreless into the sixth inning. Freshman second baseman Lauryn Clarke had two clutch two-run singles as her career-high four RBI helped take down Georgia. Elon then scored all six of their runs via home run as they defeated Western Illinois 6-3 to finish a 3-1 stay in Athens.
The junior center fielder tied the Jacksonville State school record with three homers in a game as JSU rolled over Northern Colorado at the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic in Lubbock, Texas. Beshears led the Gamecocks offense to their second-highest run total of the season as she went 4-for-4 with three home runs, six RBIs, and four runs scored.
The Coyotes swept a pair of games including a win over one of the few teams with multiple top-10 wins at the ASU Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. The 6-4 win over Michigan, followed by the 4-3 takedown of New Mexico State marked a sweet homecoming for a pair of seniors. Utility player Dustie Durham got a huge two-inning save to secure the upset of the Wolverines, while Alyssa Fernandez's two-run homer in the third provided all the offense the USD pitchers would need. Durham and Fernandez are from Phoenix suburbs (Buckeye and Mesa, respectively), each less than an hour from Farrington Stadium.
The first career multi-hit game for the JMU sophomore was much more than that, as Newton hit her first two career extra-base hits -- both of them homers -- in a 12-3 win over Lehigh in five innings at the ASU Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. Her first career long ball was a three-run shot to stretch the Dukes' lead to 6-0 in the third, then she hit a two-run blast an inning later to get the game to a run-rule margin at 12-3.
The No. 11 Tigers pounded a dominant road win for the second day in a row, rolling over Texas A&M 7-0 to clinch their SEC-opening series in College Station, Texas. Seniors Elyse Thornhill and Amanda Sanchez each had multiple hits including a home run for the second consecutive day as LSU has racked up 24 runs in 12 innings against the Aggies. Junior center fielder Aliyah Andrews had three hits, two stolen bases and two runs. Shelbi Sunseri threw a complete-game shutout, allowing just three singles and two walks.
The freshman kept Amanda Lorenz from scoring after a leadoff triple in the first, then cruised the rest of the way as No. 6 Tennessee secured a series win to open conference play at rival No. 5 Florida in Gainesville. Rogers got help with solo homers from Haley Bearden, Gracie Osbron and Aubrey Leach as she tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout of the Gators. With two wins already under their belt this weekend, it's the first time the Vols have won a series in Gainesville since 2007.
The freshman threw her first career no-hitter as N.C. State shut out host College of Charleston 2-0 at the College of Charleston Tournament in Charleston, S.C. Nester walked four and struck out a career-high 15 batters. It marked the most strikeouts in a single game by a Wolfpack pitcher since Emily Weiman fanned 18 against Lipscomb on March 13, 2015.