Sun Belt Conference Softball: Weekend Preview
All of the eight Sun Belt Conference teams are at, or above the .550 mark, as the fifth weekend of the 2014 college softball season draws near.
14th-ranked South Alabama is 15-2, while 23rd-ranked Louisiana is 14-5-1, to lead the way in non-conference play in the standings.
Following the two ranked teams are ULM (13-7), Georgia St. (11-6), WKU (11-6-1), Texas St. (13-8), UT-Arlington (11-8), and Troy (9-9-2).
Louisiana, who ranks fourth in the league in hitting (.272) and seventh in pitching (3.96), is idle this weekend.
South Alabama, who currently ranks seventh in the league in hitting (.255) and first in pitching (1.04), plays in a tournament in Boca Raton, Florida this weekend, taking on Marshall, Virginia Tech, Illinois, and FAU. The Jaguars feature the individual league leaders in ERA., with junior right-hander Farish Beard (0.15) and senior left-hander Hannah Campbell (0.75).
ULM, who is idle this weekend, has arguably been the most surprising team in the conference throughout the first month, leading the league in runs scored (143), while ranking second in hitting (.323) and sixth in pitching (3.77).
Georgia St. will be on the road to take on Presbyterian in a doubleheader on Sunday. The Panthers currently lead the league in hitting (.324), but rank at the bottom in pitching (4.20).
WKU will be in Knoxville, Tennessee this weekend to take on Holy Cross, Campbell, Tennessee, Georgia Southern, and the College of Charleston in tournament play. The Lady Toppers, who feature the league's leading hitter in Olivia Watkins (.516), currently rank third in the conference in both hitting (.280) and ERA. (2.64).
Texas St. who leads the conference in fielding (.979), is idle this weekend. The Bobcats are hitting a .257, which ranks seventh in the league, and have an overall team ERA. of 2.75, which ranks fourth.
UT-Arlington will take part in the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic in Lubbock, Texas this weekend, playing the likes of New Mexico St., Northern Colorado, Abilene Christian, and Texas Tech. The Mavericks currently rank fifth in the conference in both hitting (.271) and pitching (2.86).
Troy will be in Orlando, Florida this weekend, to take part in the UCF Knights Spring Fling, where they will face Bowling Green, Penn, UT-Martin, Western Carolina, and UCF. The Trojans are currently tenth in the league in hitting (.213), but second in pitching (2.00).
Sun Belt Conference play begins on March 15, when ULM travels to take on Texas St.