Sun Belt Conference Softball: Weekend Preview
All of the eight Sun Belt Conference teams are above the .500 mark, as the sixth weekend of the 2014 college softball season draws near.
14th-ranked South Alabama is 19-3, while 23rd-ranked Louisiana is 15-5-1, to lead the way in non-conference play in the standings.
Following the two ranked teams are WKU (15-7-1), ULM (13-7), Texas St. (13-9), Georgia St. (11-8), Troy (13-10-2), and UT-Arlington (13-11).
Louisiana, who ranks third in the league in hitting (.286) and seventh in pitching (3.94), will host the Oklahoma Sooners, the defending national champions, in a three-game, weekend, non-conference series this weekend, with a single game on Friday night, and a doubleheader on Saturday. UL freshman outfielder Hayley Hayden currently leads the league in both homers (9) and RBI's (25).
South Alabama, who currently ranks seventh in the league in hitting (.250) and first in pitching (1.03), plays in the Cowgirl Classic in Stillwater, Oklahoma this weekend, taking on New Mexico and Oklahoma St. The Jaguars feature the individual league leaders in ERA., with junior right-hander Farish Beard (0.30) and senior left-hander Hannah Campbell (0.91).
ULM will travel to San Marcos, Texas this weekend, in the first Sun Belt Conference series of the year. The Warhawks have arguably been the most surprising team in the conference so far, leading the league in both hitting (.323) and runs scored (143), while Texas St. ranks second in fielding, at a .975.
Georgia St. will be in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this weekend, to take part in the Chanticleer Showdown, where they will face Minnesota, Coastal Carolina, Fordham, and the College of Charleston. The Panthers currently rank second in the league in hitting (.315), but rank at the bottom in pitching (4.36).
WKU is idle this weekend. The Lady Toppers, who have won five of their last six games, feature the league’s leading hitter in Olivia Watkins (.500), and currently rank fourth in the conference in hitting (.278) and third in ERA. (2.44).
UT-Arlington will take part in a tournament in San Diego, California this weekend, playing the likes of Long Beach St., San Diego St., and Harvard. The Mavericks currently rank fifth in the conference in both hitting (.275) and pitching (3.05).
Troy will be in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this weekend, to take part in the Chanticleer Showdown, where they will face Coastal Carolina, Fordham, and Minnesota. The Trojans are currently tenth in the league in hitting (.229), but second in pitching (2.06).