Scouting UL Softball Opponents: The Louisiana Classics Field
So, who is the second best team that will take part in the 33rd Annual Louisiana Classics, set for this weekend at Lamson Park?
I doubt anyone would object to me saying that 13th-ranked Louisiana, who is off to a perfect 6-0 start, should be considered the best team in the 4-team field.
Who would be next on the list?
Well, you could probably throw out Jackson St. first.
The Tigers are 0-7, and were outscored, 49-17, against the likes of Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist, Tennessee Tech, Southern Miss, and Belhaven last weekend.
Jackson St. looks as though they have a couple of girls that can swing the bat, but their pitching, or lack of, makes them the first team that I eliminate.
That leaves Austin Peay and Stephen F. Austin.
Austin Peay is interesting to me, after going 3-2 in the UAB Tournament last weekend.
The Governors recorded impressive wins over ULM (10-0), UAB (18-4), and Wright St. (8-3).
The problem is that they also suffered losses to ULM (5-3) and UAB (11-6), making them look very inconsistent.
Like Jackson St., it looks like Austin Peay will compete at the plate, with four hitters currently batting a .500 or better, but they also look like they'll have issues getting the opposition out, at least at times.
Still, Austin Peay is a program that won 39 games last season, and have shown some flashes this year, so they shouldn't be slept on.
I'm going to place them third, in terms of my own power rankings, in this weekend's field.
That leaves Stephen F. Austin, who had a very impressive opening weekend.
The Ladyjacks went 4-1 in the Bulldog Classic, including a split with 24th-ranked Mississippi St., losing the first game, 3-0, before capturing a 1-0 upset win in the second game.
Stephen F. Austin won 31 games in 2018, and features a solid pitching staff, including Kassidy Wilbur, who pitched a 7-inning, two-hit shutout against Mississippi St., while tossing 22 innings without allowing an earned run last weekend.
The Ladyjacks don't have a lot of power on offense, but their pitching separates them, in my mind, from Austin Peay and Jackson St., making them the second best team in the field.
As they showed last weekend against Mississippi St., Stephen F. Austin can be dangerous, and should be taken seriously.
It should be a fun weekend. Let's just hope Louisiana can record five more wins.