UL Softball Preview: UTSA
The 25th-ranked Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball team will take on the UTSA Roadrunners on Friday at 11 am, in their opening game of the Gulfport College Classic in Gulfport, Mississippi.
UTSA will head into the Gulfport College Classic with an overall record of 7-8, with three wins over Lamar, two wins against Bryant, along with single-game wins over Texas and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, with two losses to Omaha, and one loss apiece to Oklahoma St., Rutgers, Colorado St., Wichita St., and Texas St.
The Roadrunners are hitting a .251 as a team, with 19 homers, 69 RBI's, and 16 stolen bases.
Offensively, UTSA is led by junior catcher Megan Low, who is hitting an impressive .429, along with eight home runs, and 19 RBI's.
The 2012 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, as well as a first-team All-Southland Conference selection in 2012, Low has an early season slugging percentage of 1.071.
Senior outfielder Siera Sproul is hitting a .306, along with two homers, and three runs batted in, but the Roadrunners have only one other player (Courtney Buchman) that is hitting over a .200.
For the UL pitchers, it's very simple; keep away from allowing the bases-on-balls to the majority of the order, and keep Low and Sproul from hurting you.
Pitching-wise, UTSA brings in an overall team ERA. of 4.14 into the tournament.
Sophomore junior college transfer Kacy Freeze, a left-hander, and freshman Nicole Merrill, a right-hander, have logged the most innings for the Roadrunners in 2014, at 44.0, and 43.0, respectively.
Freeze is 4-4, with a 4.30 .ERA, and is more of the strikeout pitcher, with 43 in her 44 innings.
Merill, who was the winning pitcher in the UTSA win over Texas earlier in the year, allowing only two unearned runs, is 2-3, with a 3.26 .ERA, but also walked 27 batters over her 43 innings of work.
The Roadrunners, a member of Conference USA, have 8 freshmen and 7 sophomores on their roster this year, and like their pitching staff, probably aren't experienced enough to be consistent enough to be an NCAA Regional team this year, but as their win over Texas will attest, they're capable of beating anybody in the tournament, and anybody on their schedule.
Louisiana will play twice on Friday, against UTSA (11 am) and Baylor (5 pm), twice more on Saturday, against Chattanooga (2:30 pm) and Ohio (5:30 pm), and once on Sunday, against Memphis (10:30 am).
You can hear all of the UL games on Sports Radio ESPN 1420 & espn1420.com, beginning with the pre-game show 15 minutes prior to first-pitch for each game.