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NFCA's "Featured Five" Games for April 24-27

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Throughout the 2014 softball season, the NFCA has been featuring some of the sport's highest-profile contests in our "Featured Five" Games of the Week segment.

Each weekly installment is released on Thursday, providing live stat links, official web sites, 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 are attempting 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 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.



#13 Georgia at #7 Alabama

Site: Rhoads Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Date/Game Time: Thurs., April 24, 8 p.m. ET; Fri., April 25, 7:30 p.m. ET; Sat., April 26, 12 p.m. ET

Radio/TV Coverage: ESPN (Game 1-Thurs.) | ESPNU (Game 3-Sat.) | Alabama Audio (PAY) (THURS.) | Georgia Audio (THURS.) (FRI.) (SAT.)

Follow them on Twitter: @UGASoftball, @AlabamaSB

Live Stats: #13 Georgia at #7 Alabama (GM-1) | (GM-2) | (GM-3)

Game Notes/Official Sites: Georgia Softball Official Site | Georgia Game Notes/Preview | Alabama Softball Official Site | Alabama Game Notes/Preview

All About #13 Georgia: The No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs (38-10, 11-7 Southeastern Conference) still hold on to hope in the race for the league crown, sitting four games behind SEC leader No. 7 Alabama in the standings venturing into this weekend’s important series. UGA currently ranks third in the conference in both batting average (.320) and ERA (2.28), boasting game-changing power as part of its offensive arsenal with an SEC-best 71 HR’s and .573 slugging mark while scoring 6.3 runs-per-game. Nine Bulldogs have reached double figures in the RBI category, led by SEC home run-leader Alex Hugo. The sophomore from Olathe, Kan., has blasted 19 big flies to go along with a .366 average, 44 runs scored, nine doubles and 52 RBIs. Paige Wilson (.391 avg., 38 runs, 12 doubles, 10 HR’s) and Tina Iosefa (.345 avg., 11 runs, 14 extra-base hits) head the rest of the pack with 43 and 33 RBIs, respectively. Chelsea Wilkinson, the SEC leader in both wins and strikeouts, has contributed a 24-6 mark with a 2.11 ERA and 214 K’s over 175.2 innings, while Geri Ann Glasco has added a 14-4 record, a 2.55 ERA and 100 strikeouts over 123.2 innings while batting .298 with 32 RBIs.

All About #7 Alabama: In possession of a three-game lead in the standings in the race for the Southeastern Conference regular season crown, No. 7 Alabama (40-8, 15-3 SEC) boasts a well-rounded squad that currently leads the league in team ERA (1.91) and rates second with a .330 batting average as 11 batters possess at least 10 RBIs. The Crimson Tide tops the SEC in hits (418) and sits fourth in both runs scored (321) and RBIs (294), scoring at a 6.7 run-per-contest clip. UA has lost it last three match-ups against conference competition, however, dropping the final two games of its series against Mississippi State (April 12-13) and a non-league contest against in-state rival Auburn (April 16). Sophomore NFCA All-American outfielder Haylie McCleney (54 runs scored, 19 extra-base hits, team-high 26 steals) rates No. 1 in the SEC with both a .474 batting average and a .597 on-base percentage. Fellow senior NFCA All-American infielder Kaila Hunt (.360 avg., 33 runs scored, 35 RBIs) tops the Tide’s power numbers with 11 HR’s. In the circle the “J-Train,” senior NFCA All-American Jaclyn Traina, has received the most time in the circle with a 17-2 record, a 1.67 ERA and 134 K’s over 138.1 innings. Junior Leslie Jury (14-5 record, 2.42 ERA, 90 K’s, 113 IP) and freshman Sydney Littlejohn (9-1 record, 1.52 ERA, 51 K’s, 60 IP) have provided impressive pitching support.


Some Additional Major Division I Games This Weekend:

#23 Texas A&M at #22 Auburn Auburn TV (PAY) (FRI.) (SAT.) (SUN.) | TX A&M Live Audio (ALL THREE GAMES) | Live Stats (FRI.) (SAT.) (SUN.) – Fri., April 25 at 7 p.m. ET; Sat., April 26 at 2 p.m. ET; Sun., April 27 at 2 p.m. ET

#15 Missouri at #3 FloridaFlorida Gatorvision Video (PAY) (ALL THREE GAMES) | Florida Audio (ALL THREE GAMES) | Live Stats (FRI.) (SAT.) (SUN.) – Fri., April 25 at 6 p.m. ET; Sat., April 26 at 1 p.m. ET; Sun., April 27 at 11 a.m. ET



#8 Tennessee at #9 Kentucky

Site: John Cropp Stadium, Lexington, Ky.

Dates/Game Times: Fri., April 25, 6 p.m. ET; Sat., April 26, 5 p.m. ET; Sun., April 27, 2 p.m. ET


Follow them on Twitter: @LadyVol_Sftball, @UKsoftball 

Live Stats: #8 Tennessee at #9 Kentucky (GM-1) | (GM-2) | (GM-3) 

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

All About #8 Tennessee: The (37-8) Lady Vols head into this battle of nationally-ranked second-place teams in the Southeastern Conference having won four of their last six, but alternating wins and losses over that span. Senior infielder Madison Shipman (.444 average, 11 doubles, 17 homers, 45 RBI, eight steals) tops a power-packed lineup that also includes freshman catcher Annie Aldrete (.381 average, 12 doubles, two triples, 11 homers, 45 RBI, 27 runs), freshman outfielder Shaliyah Geathers (.362 average, three doubles, eight RBI), sophomore outfielder Haley Tobler (.353 average, four doubles, two homers, 13 RBI) and senior outfielder/infielder Melissa Davin (.343 average, 11 doubles, 11 homers, 37 RBI). Senior Ellen Renfoe (23-5, 1.95 ERA, four saves, 194 strikeouts and 49 walks over 176.1 innings) highlights the pitching staff, which includes sophomores Rainey Gaffin (5-2, 1.57 ERA) and Erin Gabriel (5-0, 2.91 ERA, 52 strikeouts in 53 innings) and junior Cheyanne Tarango (4-1, 20 strikeouts in 27.2 innings).

All About #9 Kentucky: The (39-9) Wildcats head into their final regular-season home series having won 12 of their last 14 games. Two-way threat Lauren Cumbess (.338 average, eight doubles, seven homers, 32 RBI) helps pace the offense and the senior is also unbeaten (10-0) in the circle with an 1.75 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 84 innings. Senior Emily Gaines (.393 average, six doubles, five homers, 30 RBI), and fellow outfielder Sylver Samuel (.342 average, three doubles, 14 steals), a sophomore, plus junior catcher Griffin Joiner (.328 average, nine doubles, eight homers, 28 RBI) provide a formidable challenge for opposing pitchers. Sophomore Kelsey Nunley (20-4, 1.96 ERA, 129 strikeouts in 157.1 innings) has been a strong 1-2 punch with Cumbess, while freshmen Meagan Prince (7-3, 3.79 ERA, 61 innings) and Shannon Smith (2-2, 2.58 ERA in 11 appearances) have also contributed.



#7 Angelo State at #1 West Texas A&M – DIVISION II

Site: Schaeffer Park, Canyon, Texas

Dates/Game Times: Fri, April 25 at 6 & 8 p.m. ET (DH); Sat., April 26 at 2 & 4 p.m. ET (DH)

Radio/TV Coverage: West Texas A&M TV (ALL FOUR GAMES) | Angelo St. Audio (ALL FOUR GAMES)

Follow them on Twitter: @AngeloSports, @WTSoftball

Live Stats: #7 Angelo State at #1 West Texas A&M (FRI. GM-1) (FRI. GM-2) (SAT. GM-1) (SAT. GM-2)

Game Notes/Official Sites: Angelo State Preview/Notes | Angelo State Softball Official Site | West Texas A&M Preview/Notes | West Texas A&M Softball Official Site

All About #7 Angelo State: No. 7 Angelo State (37-10, 19-4 Lone Star Conference) enters this weekend’s battle for the LSC regular-season title deadlocked in the standings with its opponent, No. 1 West Texas A&M. The Rambelles have won 15 of their last 16 contests but dropped a 2-0 decision at Texas A&M-Kingsville during its most recent match-up (April 18). ASU boasts one of the nation’s most feared offensive attacks, currently rating second in NCAA Division II (as of April 20) in slugging percentage (.590) and third in both batting average (.373) and scoring (8.49 RPG). Leading that impressive attack are a pair of NFCA All-American outfielders in senior Morgan Spearman, who ranks third in the nation in average at a remarkable .511 to go along with a team-best 69 runs scored and 16 doubles, eight HR’s and 47 RBIs, and junior Micherie Koria (.447, 51 runs, nine doubles, 32 RBIs). That’s not even to mention sophomore infielder/outfielder Darian Dunn (.403 avg., 47 runs, 12 doubles, 13 HR’s), the NCAA Division II leader with a staggering 80 RBIs. From the circle freshman Kenedy Urbany (17-2 record, 3.23 ERA, 69 K’s, 123.2 IP), senior Mary Kate McKay (11-3 record, 2.58 ERA, 43 K’s, 97.2 IP) and senior Sandra Serna (9-5 record, 3.43 ERA, 59 K’s, 87.2 IP) have each worked more than 87 frames.

All About #1 West Texas A&M: Having topped the NFCA Division II poll for nine consecutive weeks, No. 1 West Texas A&M (46-4, 19-4 Lone Star Conference) recently achieved more history as the Lady Buffs stretched their winning streak to a program-record 19 straight games via a doubleheader sweep of UT-Permian Basin (April 22). WT A&M currently guides the league in team ERA at 1.96, well ahead of its weekend opponent in the fight for the LSC regular-season crown, second-ranked Angelo State (3.10). Rita Hokianga, a JC transfer from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, serves the role of staff ace with a 21-2 record to go along with a 1.86 ERA, seven solo shutouts and 213 strikeouts over 147 innings, while sophomore Hannah Newcomb has contributed a 16-2 mark with a 2.08 ERA and 67 strikeouts over 104.1 frames of solid support. The West Texas A&M offense is definitely no slouch either as the Lady Buffs currently rate second in scoring (8.7 RPG) and fifth in team batting average (.361) in all of NCAA Division II while leading the LSC in runs scored (428), slugging percentage (.658), on-base percentage (.473), doubles (104), triples (22), HR’s (80) and RBIs (384) in addition to 83 stolen bases. A staggering four different WT A&M hitters have crossed the 50-RBI mark: junior outfielder Renee Erwin (squad-best .476 avg., 60 runs and 17 doubles, 14 HR’s. 58 RBIs), senior infielder Jessica Sipe (.410 avg., 53 runs, 12 doubles, 15 HR’s, team-high 60 RBIs), junior infielder Allie Cranfill (.361 avg., 41 runs, 12 doubles, 15 HR’s, 59 RBIs) and junior utility Kaisha Dacosin (.351 avg., 49 runs, 15 doubles, nine HR’s, 50 RBIs).



#4 UMSL at #22 Truman State – DIVISION II

Site: Bulldog Softball Park, Kirksville, Mo.

Date/ Game Time: Fri., April 25 (DH) at 3 & 5 p.m. ET

Radio/TV Coverage: None 

Follow them on Twitter: @UMSLSoftball, @TrumanSoftball

Live Stats: #4 UMSL at #22 Truman State (BOTH GAMES)

Official Sites: UMSL Softball Official Site | Truman State Softball Official Site

All About #4 UMSL: Winners of eight consecutive contests, fourth-ranked UMSL (38-5, 23-3 GLVC) enters Friday’s doubleheader against No. 22 Truman State sitting mere percentage points ahead of the Bulldogs in the Great Lakes Valley Conference West Division standings. The Tritons currently rate fifth in the nation (as of April 20) and second in the league in ERA (1.31), second in both RBIs (219) and HR’s (47) and third in batting average (.295), while scoring at a 5.8 run-per-game clip. Leading the charge average-wise for head coach Brian Levin is freshman infielder Alex Stupak who owns a .387 batting mark with 32 runs scored, 18 extra-base hits, including nine HR’s and 36 RBIs. In all eight different Tritons have produced double-digit RBIs with junior infielder Brianna Butler (.342 avg., 26 runs, 11 doubles, team-high 10 HR’s, 36 RBIs), junior infielder Katie Wood (.336 avg., 26 runs, eight doubles, seven HR’s, 31 RBIs) and junior utility Jena Boudreau (.336 avg., 32 runs, team-leading 12 doubles, eight HR’s, 30 RBIs) combining with Stupak to top the RBI producers. Leading the charge from the circle is 2013 NFCA All-American Hannah Perryman. The sophomore hurler currently possesses a 21-4 record with a 0.98 ERA, six solo shutouts and 294 strikeouts over 150.1 innings. Certainly not deserving to be overshadowed is junior Brittni Chapman who has contributed a stellar 16-1 mark with a 1.54 ERA and 122 K’s over 132 frames.

All About #22 Truman State: Only one league foe could outshine No. 4 UMSL in team ERA and that’s No. 22 Truman State (37-8, 27-5 GLVC) as the Bulldog pitching staff, topped by a pair of sophomore 18-game winners, currently rates fourth in NCAA Division I (as of April 20) and first in the GLVC at 1.21. Kindra Henze leads the standout duo with a 19-4 record, a 0.71 ERA (second in NCAA Division II), 11 solo shutouts and 156 strikeouts over 147.1 innings, while Kelsea Dorsey has added a 18-4 mark with a 1.74 ERA, four solo blankings and 125 K’s in 145 frames. The major advantage the Bulldogs show statistically is in team batting average as TSU tops the league at .339 while scoring 6.0 tallies-per-contest. Truman State’s offense also leads the GLVC in hits (425), runs scored (269), on-base percentage (.408), slugging percentage (.494), doubles (82) and RBIs (232) while ranking third in HR’s (35) and having swiped 71 bases. Eight different Bulldog hitters possess 10-plus RBIs, guided by junior third baseman Cate Simon (.415 avg., 24 runs, nine doubles, nine HR’s, 34 RBIs), senior outfielder Kelsey Bollman (.397 avg., 31 runs, 11 doubles, five HR’s, 33 RBIs) and junior second baseman Andrea Klipsch (.382 avg., 36 runs, team-best 14 doubles and 41 RBIs). Senior outfielder Danielle Lewellen (.369 avg., team-high 38 runs, four doubles, eight RBIs) rates as the squad’s major speed threat, having swiped a staggering 38 bases in 44 attempts.


Some Additional Major Division II Games This Weekend:

#16 LIU Post at #RV New Haven – Live Video (BOTH GAMES) | Live Stats (BOTH GAMES) – Thurs., April 24 at 3 & 5 p.m. ET (Doubleheader)

#RV Bellarmine at #17 Indianapolis – Live Stats (BOTH GAMES) – Sat., April 26 at Noon & 2 p.m. ET (Doubleheader)



Louisiana College at #1 Texas-Tyler -- DIVISION III

Site: UT Tyler Softball Field, Tyler, Texas

Date/Game Time: Fri., April 25, 5 p.m. ET; Sat., April 26, 2 & 4 p.m. ET

Radio/TV Coverage: LIVE VIDEO

Follow them on Twitter: @LaColAthletics, @UTTylerPatriots

Live Stats: Louisiana College at #1 Texas-Tyler 

Game Notes/Official Sites: Louisiana College Softball Official Site | Texas-Tyler Softball Official Site

All About Louisiana College: The (20-11) Wildcats have hit a bit of a rough patch during the toughest part of their schedule. They’ve lost six straight, with three of those defeats coming last week to East Texas Baptist, which is the No. 7 team in this week’s NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll. Offense is where Louisiana College shines brightest, led by senior shortstop Meagan Pearson (.525 average, 11 doubles, five homers, 32 RBI), freshman outfielder Kimber Gruehl (.383 average, two doubles, three homers, 11 RBI), senior second baseman Stephanie Jaeger (.381 average, 32 runs, four doubles, three triples, five homers, 39 RBI, 11 steals), sophomore infielder Sandra Ouchley (.356 average, 13 doubles, 28 RBI) and junior catcher Courtney Ivey (.352 average, six doubles, six homers, 21 RBI). As a group, Louisiana College is batting .340. In the circle, sophomore Nancy Bunting (6-1, 20 games, 3.43 ERA in 63 innings) and freshman Taylor Leger (8-4, 4.94 ERA in 62 innings) have logged the most innings on the young four-person staff. Leger has at least double the starts (14) of the other three, with sophomore Abby Maillet (6-3, 3.22 ERA) second on the team with seven, and fellow sophomore Madison Vige (0-3, 2.45 ERA) and Bunting tied at five each.

All About #1 Texas-Tyler: The (35-2) Patriots moved into the top spot in the NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll for the first time this season earlier this week. They come into the American Southwest Conference series on a 15-game win streak and have captured 26 of their last 27. The potent lineup, batting .373 as a group, includes sophomore infielder Jackie Mendez (.435 average, 10 doubles, 10 homers, 34 RBI, .806 slugging percentage, .496 on-base average), senior outfielder Lauren Robenalt (.422 average, 35 runs, three doubles, 18 RBI, 21 steals), sophomore utility player Vanessa Carrizales (.416 average, 10 doubles, three homers, 31 RBI), junior utility player Whitney Burt (.386 average, 12 doubles, three triples, three homers, 32 RBI) and freshman infielder Mel Hirojosa (.385 average, 13 doubles, five homers, 31 RBI). The similarly powerful pitching staff, which allows just under four hits a game and boasts a collective 0.77 ERA, is headlined by sophomore Kelsie Batten (22-2, 0.65 ERA, 86 strikeouts over 139.1 innings) and freshman Alaina Kissinger (13-0, 0.50 ERA, 87 strikeouts and 10 walks over 83.1 innings) and also includes Carrizales (seven appearances) and junior Amanda Lopez (three appearances).

Some Additional Major Division III Games This Weekend:

#2 Tufts at Colby LIVE VIDEO (GM1)LIVE VIDEO (GM2)LIVE VIDEO (GM3) – at Waterville, Maine – Fri., April 25 at 3:30 & 5:30 p.m. ET; Sat., April 26 at noon ET

Rowan at #4 Montclair State LIVE STATS – at Montclair, N.J. – Sat., April 26, 1 & 2:30 p.m. ET

#6 Salisbury at Stevenson – at Owings Mills, Md. – Sun., April 27 at 1 & 3 p.m. ET

Sul Ross at #7 East Texas Baptist LIVE STATSLIVE VIDEO – at Marshall, Texas – Fri., April 25 at 6 & 8 p.m. ET; Sat., April 26 at 1 p.m. ET

Bridgewater State vs. #11 Virginia Wesleyan LIVE STATSLIVE VIDEO – ODAC Tournament at James Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va. – Fri., April 25 at noon ET

#17 North Central at #20 Augustana (Ill.) LIVE STATS – at Rock Island, Ill. – Sat., April 26 at 2 & 4 p.m. ET

Washington (Mo.) Univ. at #23 Fontbonne LIVE STATSLIVE VIDEO (GM1)LIVE VIDEO (GM2) – at St. Louis, Mo. – Fri., April 25 at 5 & 7 p.m. ET