Sun Belt Conference Softball: Weekend Preview
Four big softball series’ highlight the fifth full weekend of league play in Sun Belt Conference action this weekend.
Currently, 17th-ranked Louisiana is 11-1, while 18th-ranked South Alabama is 9-4, WKU is 8-4, Georgia St. is 7-5, ULM is 4-7, Texas St. is 4-8, and Troy and UT-Arlington are both 2-9.
Let’s take a look at the respective conference series’ schedule for this weekend:
#17 LOUISIANA (31-7-1, 11-1) at TROY (18-25-2, 2-9)
This one may not look appealing to some, but Troy is better than their record would indicate, and they seem to always play Louisiana well at home.
Louisiana ranks first in the league in hitting (.303), as well as first in runs scored (245), and home runs (62), and fourth in pitching (3.27).
UL, who has won 23 of their last 25, is led by freshman outfielder Hayley Hayden and sophomore catcher Lexie Elkins, who are tied for the conference-lead in home runs, with 13, along with senior second baseman Natalie Fernandez, who leads the conference in hitting (.464), on-base percentage (.556), and runs scored (49).
Christina Hamilton is currently 16-1 in the circle for the Cajuns, and sports a 1.48 ERA., which ranks fourth in the league.
Troy currently ranks eighth in the conference in hitting (.222), while ranking third in pitching, with a 3.12 team ERA.
Louisiana and Troy will play a doubleheader on Friday afternoon, beginning at 4 o’clock (cdt), and a single game on Saturday at noon.
GEORGIA ST. (23-21, 7-5) at #18 SOUTH ALABAMA (32-8, 9-4)
This series will feature two teams in the upper-division, and will likely have a major impact on seeding in the postseason tournament.
Georgia St. ranks second in the conference in hitting (.296) and seventh in ERA. (4.37).
South Alabama currently ranks sixth in the conference in hitting (.262), while leading the league in pitching, with a sparkling 1.16 team ERA.
South Alabama features Hannah Campbell and Farish Beard, who lead the league in individual ERA’s, at a 0.91 and an 0.95, respectively.
The two teams will play a doubleheader on Friday at 4 o’clock, and a single game on Saturday at noon.
WKU (28-14-1, 8-4) at TEXAS ST. (21-24, 4-8)
WKU, who currently ranks fourth in the league in hitting (.274) and second in pitching (2.67), travels to take on Texas St. this weekend.
Texas St. ranks fifth in hitting (.270), while ranking seventh in pitching (3.77 ERA.).
The Lady Toppers rank as the top fielding team in the league (.978), while the Bobcats rank second (.968)
The series is scheduled for a doubleheader on Friday at 4 pm, followed by a single game on Saturday at noon.
ULM (18-16, 4-7) at UT-ARLINGTON (17-24, 2-9)
UT-Arlington currently ranks seventh in the league in hitting (.242), and fifth in pitching (3.35 ERA.), while ULM is third in hitting (.279) and last in pitching (4.74).
A doubleheader between the two squads is scheduled for Friday at 5 o’clock, with a single game scheduled for Saturday at 1 pm.