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Softball Coaching Bible


Cathi Aradi

NFCA's "Featured Five" Games for Weekend of Feb. 21-23

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Throughout the 2014 softball season, those of us at the NFCA hope to feature some of the sport's highest-profile contests in our "Featured Five" Games of the Week segment.

Each weekly installment will be released on Thursday, providing live stat links, game notes, returnee info, Twitter accounts and any available broadcast links in hopes of becoming another source for fans to visit during the season for information on some of collegiate softball's best games.

As the year continues, we will attempt to expand our focus to include match-ups throughout as many divisions as possible. This week's featured games come from NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III.

We may not be able to highlight every division or big game each week, but our hope is to provide a spotlight for as many different teams and games as possible throughout 2014.

Make sure you follow the NFCA on social media through Twitter (@NFCAorg) and on Facebook (NFCA) and let us know what you think of our new "Featured Five" segment.




Site: NFCA Leadoff Classic (Official Tournament Site) at Eddie C. Moore Complex, Clearwater, Fla.

Date/ Game Time: Sat., Feb. 22, 5 p.m. ET

Radio/TV Coverage: Louisiana Lafayette Radio Broadcast

Follow them on Twitter: @RaginCajunSB, @USFSoftball

Live Stats: #20 Louisiana Lafayette vs. #RV USF

Game Notes/Official Sites: Louisiana Lafayette Game Notes | Louisiana Lafayette Softball Official Site | USF Game Notes | USF Softball Official Site

All About #20 Louisiana Lafayette: Heading out on the road for the first time during the 2014 campaign by venturing to the annual NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic, No. 20 Louisiana Lafayette has earned a 6-3-1 record the hard way with major early-season tests already in its rearview mirror. The Ragin’ Cajuns already hold wins over then-No. 4 Michigan (8-6), perennial Atlantic Coast Conference stalwart North Carolina and upstart Northern Iowa (10-8), with a pair of losses to nationally-ranked Texas (7-10, 3-7) and a 15-1 (5 inn.) setback during a rematch with the fourth-ranked Wolverines. ULL is hitting .282 as a team and, as always, are a power-hitting force, owning 11 doubles and 21 HR’s through its opening 10 contests while slugging .536. Senior utility player Natalie Fernandez owns the team lead in batting average (.424), while freshman infielder Haley Hayden (.324 avg., five HR’s, 12 RBIs) and sophomore catcher Lexie Elkins (.379 avg., four HR’s, 10 RBIs) have proven to be the major RBI producers. Junior Christina Hamilton has led the way from the circle thus far in 2014 with a 3-0 record, a 1.57 ERA and 18 K’s over a team-best 22.1 innings, while fellow junior hurler Jordan Wallace, a 2012 NFCA All-Central Region choice, possesses a 3-1 record, a 2.67 ERA and 25 strikeouts over 21 frames.

All About #RV USF: USF won’t be playing at the friendly confines of its USF Softball Stadium for the first time in 2014, this weekend at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, but will instead visit nearby Clearwater, Fla. Much like ULL, the Bulls (4-4) have been battle-tested in several major contests during the opening two weeks of the 2014 campaign, having suffered a pair of one-run defeats to then-No. 1 Tennessee (2-3) and then-No. 4 Michigan (2-3) and a 10-3 loss to then-No. 4 Florida. USF is hitting at a .289 clip as a squad, while a stellar pitching staff, highlighted by two-time NFCA All-American senior Sara Nevins, has limited tough opposition to a .168 batting mark. Nevins owns a 3-2 record with 39 K’s and a 2.00 ERA over 28 innings, while sophomore Erica Nunn has added a 1-2 mark with a 0.78 ERA and 26 K’s over 18 frames. At the plate, standout senior shortstop Kourtney Salvarola, despite just a .240 early season average, owns team-highs in extra-base hits (three) and RBIs (six). Junior outfielder/infielder D’Anna Devine currently leads the team with a .417 batting average.


Some Additional Major Division I Games This Weekend:

#3 Washington vs. #25 TexasLIVE STATS – Fri., Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m. ET

#6 Oregon vs. #23 LSULIVE STATS – Fri., Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. ET

#11 Nebraska vs. #14 ArizonaLIVE STATS – Fri., Feb. 21 at 11 p.m. ET

#5 Kentucky vs. #7 MichiganLIVE STATS – Sat., Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. ET

#8 UCLA vs. #16 MissouriLIVE STATSLIVE AUDIO (UCLA) – Sat., Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. ET

#2 Tennessee vs. #11 NebraskaLIVE STATS – Sat., Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. ET

#13 Stanford vs. #15 BaylorLIVE STATSLIVE AUDIO (BAYLOR) – Fri., Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. ET

#17 Georgia vs. #19 South AlabamaLIVE STATSLIVE VIDEO (UGA) – Sun., Feb. 23 at Noon ET



#8 UCLA vs. #11 Nebraska

Site: Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Official Tournament Site), Big League Dreams Complex, Cathedral City, Calif.

Date/ Game Time: Sun., Feb. 23, 11:30 a.m. ET

Radio/TV Coverage: UCLA Radio Broadcast | Nebraska Radio Broadcast 

Follow them on Twitter: @UCLASoftball, @HuskerSoftball

Live Stats: #8 UCLA vs. #11 Nebraska

Game Notes/Official Sites: UCLA Game Notes | UCLA Softball Official Site | Nebraska Game Notes | Nebraska Softball Official Site

All About #8 UCLA: The eighth-ranked Bruins continue their unbeaten (11-0) start, facing their first three USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 teams in increasing order of ranking among their five Mary Nutter games this weekend: No. 18 Oklahoma (Friday), No. 16 Missouri (Saturday) and No. 11 Nebraska (Sunday). Junior Ally Carda is 5-0 in the circle so far, compiling a 0.22 ERA with 41 strikeouts, one run and nine hits allowed in 32 innings pitched.  Leadoff batter Carda, meanwhile, is hitting .406 at the plate, with 13 hits, a double, homer and eight runs batted in. Freshman Delaney Spaulding is the Bruins’ leading hitter over their first 11 contests, batting .484 (15-for-31) with 12 runs scored, four doubles, 10 RBI and a .610 on-base percentage, followed by fellow freshman Gabrielle Maurice (.429 average, six runs, four doubles, .643 slugging percentage).

All About #11 Nebraska: The No. 11-ranked Huskers will play four straight teams in the first 15 of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll (No. 12 Texas A&M, No. 14 Arizona, No. 2 Tennessee and No. 8 UCLA), who have a combined 38-3 record this season. Nebraska is 1-1 against ranked squads this season, having split a pair of games with then-No. 15 Florida (W 4-3, L 5-1) at the Hotel Encanto Invitational earlier this month. The Huskers have won four of their last five after starting the season 3-0 and have allowed just 11 runs over those nine games. Sophomore Emily Lockman is 4-1 in the circle, with a 1.14 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 37 innings, while senior Tatum Edwards is 3-1 in the circle with 20 strikeouts over 22 innings of action. Tatum’s twin sister and batterymate Taylor Edwards is the team’s leading hitter, with a .500 average (14-for-28), two doubles, and a team-best three homers, eight RBI and .893 slugging percentage. Sophomores Kiki Stokes (.429) and Hailey Decker (.414) are the other two players batting better than .400 on the squad.



#2 Tennessee vs. #13 Stanford

Site: Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Official Tournament Site), Big League Dreams Complex, Cathedral City, Calif.

Date/ Game Time: Sun., Feb. 23, 5 p.m. ET

Radio/TV Coverage: Tennessee Live Audio

Follow them on Twitter: @LadyVol_Sftball, @StanfordSBall

Live Stats: #2 Tennessee vs. #13 Stanford

Game Notes/Official Sites: Tennessee Game Notes | Tennessee Softball Official Site | Stanford Game Notes | Stanford Softball Official Site

All About #2 Tennessee: The second-ranked Lady Vols swapped places with Florida in the latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll — both garnering 15 first-place votes — and are rolling at 9-0, outscoring opponents by a 69-10 margin so far this season. Freshman Megan Geer tops Tennessee’s robust offense, batting .517 (11-for-29), with three triples, 11 runs scored and a .588 on-base percentage. Sophomore Haley Tobler (.471) and freshman Annie Aldrete (.444) have also been mainstays at the plate, while fellow freshman Taylor Koenig (.393, 11-for-28) and senior Melissa Davin (.345 average, two doubles, four homers) each have a team-high 10 RBI. NFCA All-American and senior Ellen Renfroe (4-0, 39 strikeouts in 26 innings) and sophomore Rainey Gaffin (2-0, 16 strikeouts in eight innings) have not allowed a run and surrendered just 13 hits while handling 34 of the Lady Vols’ 59 innings in the circle this season.

All About #13 Stanford: No. 13 Stanford has erupted out of the 2014 gate by registering a perfect 12-0 record while continuing its rapid climb up the national polls. The Cardinal face a major test this weekend, however, at the Mary Nutter Classic with match-ups scheduled against a trio of ranked teams including No. 2 Tennessee, No. 15 Baylor and No. 23 LSU. SU owns one of the top offenses in the nation as the Cardinal are currently hitting .380 as a team, outscoring its foes by an amazing 104-23 total and possess 36 extra-base hits with 26 stolen bases in 28 attempts. Freshman outfielder Bessie Noll is guiding the way with a staggering .548 batting average, while junior outfielder Cassandra Roulund leads the RBI race with 16 to go along with a .436 mark and nine extra-base hits. In the circle freshman pitcher Madi Schreyer has made a quick impression via a perfect 9-0 record with a 1.36 ERA and 41 strikeouts over 46.1 innings.



#8 Augustana (SD) vs. #25 Emporia State – DIVISION II

Site: Kelly Laas Memorial Invite Tournament (Official Tournament Website) in St. Cloud, Minn.

Date/ Game Time: Sun., Feb. 23, Noon ET

Radio/TV Coverage: None

Follow them on Twitter: @AugieSoftball, @ESUSports

Live Stats: #8 Augustana (SD) vs. #25 Emporia State

Game Notes: Augustana Notes | Augustana Softball Official Site | Emporia State Game Notes | Emporia State Softball Official Site

All About #8 Augustana (SD): Eighth-ranked Augustana (SD) (4-1 record) returns to action this weekend for the first time since its participation in the Desert Stinger Tournament over Feb. 7-8 in Las Vegas, Nev. The Vikings wasted no time making a national impression by taking down then-No. 1 and defending national champion Central Oklahoma in their season opener, 7-6. Augustana also owns victories over Adams State (7-3), Black Hills State (12-2 in 5 inn.) and Montana State-Billings (2-0) with its lone defeat coming in its most recent 2014 contest (Feb. 8) against Colorado-Colorado Springs, 3-4. The Vikings are out-hitting teams by a .323-.277 clip and have outscored its foes, 31-15. Powering the offense are junior outfielder Mackenzie Alstott (.500 avg., five runs scored, three stolen bases), senior infielder Lindsay Spanton (.500 avg., three doubles, one triple, one HR, 1.300 slugging percentage, four RBIs), freshman outfielder Sarah Kennedy (.467 avg., three RBIs) and junior utility player Erin Kempf (.400 avg., three doubles, five RBIs). Junior pitcher Jenelle Trautmann, a 2013 NFCA All-Region choice, leads the way from the circle with a 3-1 record to go along with a 3.36 ERA and 18 K’s over a team-leading 16.2 frames of work. Sophomore Carley Pickett has tossed 11.1 innings, posting a squad-best 1.85 ERA.

All About #25 Emporia State: No. 25 Emporia State has christened the 2014 campaign at 7-2 overall after going 2-1 at the Tarleton State Invitational (Feb 8-9) and 5-1 at the 8-State Arkansas-Monticello Tournament (Feb. 14-16). Included among the Vikings’ impressive victories thus far are a 2-0 shutout of then-No. 1 and defending national champion Central Oklahoma and an 8-6 win over Minnesota State-Mankato. ESU's most recent defeat came by a 5-1 count to No. 18 Missouri-St. Louis on Feb. 16th. The Hornets are actually being outhit as a team by a .277 to .274 clip, but have outscored the opposition, 46-35, while registering 27 extra-base hits and swiping an impressive 18 bases in 19 attempts. Senior infielder Tricia Vogel (.345 avg., four doubles, two HR’s, eight RBIs) and junior outfielder Laura Seemann (.345 avg., three doubles, one HR, six RBIs) have led the offensive attack. From the circle junior Kaitlyn Caston has guided the effort via a 5-1 record to go along with a 1.89 ERA and five complete games with 17 strikeouts in a team-high 40.2 frames.


Some Additional Major Division II Games This Weekend:

#1 Humboldt State vs. #RV UC Monterey Bay LIVE STATS (ALL FOUR GAMES) – Fri., Feb. 21 at 3 & 5 p.m. ET and Sat., Feb. 22 at 2 & 4 p.m. ET 

#4 Grand Valley State vs. #RV Winona State – NO LIVE STATS – Sat., Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. ET 

#RV St. Edward’s at #6 Texas Woman’s – NO LIVE STATS – Sat., Feb. 22 at 4 & 6 p.m. ET

#7 Tampa at #RV Florida TechLIVE STATS (ALL THREE GAMES) – Fri., Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. ET and Sat. Feb. 22 at Noon & 2 p.m. ET

#17 Wayne State (MI) vs. #RV Winona State – NO LIVE STATS – Sun., Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. ET



#17 Christopher Newport at #10 Virginia Wesleyan -- DIVISION III

Site: Marlins Field, Virginia Beach, Va.

Date/Game Time: Sun., Feb. 23, noon ET (doubleheader)

Follow them on Twitter: @CNUathletics, @VWCathletics

Live Stats: #17 Christopher Newport at #10 Virginia Wesleyan (Both Games)

Official Sites: Christopher Newport Softball Official Site | Virginia Wesleyan Softball Official Site

All About #17 Christopher Newport : The No. 17-ranked Captains return eight starters for their 2013 team that reached the NCAA tournament for the seventh straight year. Christopher Newport’s season debut comes against a fellow ranked team in the NFCA Division III Top 25 Preseason Poll. Two-time USA South Athletic Conference Player of the Year junior first baseman Sabrina Hill is one of the returning faces, ranking fourth on the school’s career home runs (20) and average (.403) list, and is also in the top ten in career RBI (113).  Seniors Taylor Dillow, Kelley Foate, Kristina McLaughlin and Candice Zollars all hit .329 or better last season. The Captains lost four pitchers from last year’s squad, so returning sophomores Hanah Marshall (six appearances, 1-0 record, 2.47 ERA) and Krista Lewis (DNP) and freshman Makayla Jenkins will be key factors in the team’s quest for continued success.

All About #10 Virginia Wesleyan: The No. 10 Marlins opened their season Sunday with a doubleheader sweep of North Carolina Wesleyan. Senior pitcher MacKenzie Creech had 12 strikeouts in a complete-game two-hitter, while junior Kristina Karagiorgis (3-for-3) and senior Lindsey Inzana (single, double, three RBI) provided the offense in the opener, a 5-2 victory. In the nightcap, Karagiorgis hit a three-run homer in an eight-run first inning of a 9-0 win and fanned eight in the circle over the first four innings of a five-inning combined no-hitter with sophomore Mary Shipp. Creech fanned three of the five batters she faced in the fifth. Freshman infielder Blake Henderson hit a solo blast in her first collegiate plate appearance to account for the other Marlins homer in the big first inning of game two.


Some Additional Major Division III Games This Weekend:

#5 Texas-Tyler vs. Hardin-SimmonsLIVE STATSLIVE VIDEO - Fri., Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. ET & Sat., Feb. 22 at 2 and 4 p.m. ET

#3 Salisbury (at William Peace Triangle Softball Classic, Raleigh, N.C.) vs. Neumann – Sat., Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. ET; vs. N.C. Wesleyan – Sat., Feb. 22 at noon ET; vs. Roanoke – Sun., Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. ET; at William Peace – Sun., Feb. 22 at noon ET.