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NFCA's "Featured Five" Games for May 1-4

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.

This week's featured games come from NCAA Division I with a special focus on some selected conference tournaments going on in both NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III.

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.

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.

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#3 Arizona State at #1 Oregon

Site: Howe Field, Eugene, Ore.

Dates/Game Times: Fri., May 2, 8 p.m. ET; Sat., May 3, 7 p.m. ET; Sun., May 4, 5 p.m. ET

Radio/TV Coverage: Pac-12 Networks (Games 1 & 3) | LIVE VIDEO (GM2) | LIVE AUDIO (All Three Games) 

Follow them on Twitter: @ASUSoftball, @OregonSB

Live Stats: None Available as of May 1 

Game Notes/Official Sites: Arizona State Softball Official Site | Oregon Softball Official Site

All About #3 Arizona State: The (11-3 Pac-12, 42-7 overall) Sun Devils head into this Pac-12 battle having won 10 of their last 11 games. The prolific pitching duo of seniors Dallas Escobedo (20-6, 1.65 ERA, 273 strikeouts and 36 walks in 173.2 innings) and MacKenzie Popescue (20-1, 1.35 ERA, 72 strikeouts in 124 innings) have kept opposing batters in check for much of the season, with sophomores Jenna Makis (two games) and Alexis Cooper (five games) providing support in limited roles. At the plate, junior catcher Amber Freeman (.435 average, eight doubles, 10 homers, 40 RBI) headlines a talented lineup that includes junior third baseman Haley Steele (.387 average, 11 doubles, 11 homers, 47 RBI), freshman Chelsea Gonzales (.360 average, nine doubles, five homers, 35 RBI), junior outfielder Elizabeth Caporuscio (.352 average, 15 doubles, two homers, 31 RBI), senior shortstop Cheyanne Coyle (.316 average, 10 doubles, 10 homers, 39 RBI), junior first baseman Bethany Kemp (.311 average, seven doubles, 11 homers, 26 RBI) and senior outfielder Alix Johnson (.308 average, nine doubles, eight homers, 30 RBI).

All About #1 Oregon: The (17-1 Pac-12, 46-5 overall) Ducks are flying, having won their last 12 games in a row. Senior utility player Kailee Cuico (.313, four doubles, 49 RBI) and sophomore catcher Janelle Lindvall (.366 average, eight doubles, 39 RBI) headline a power-packed lineup with 13 and 10 homers, respectively, for a team that has 54 homers and a .347 average as a unit. Senior infielder Courtney Ceo (.487 average, seven doubles, three triples, three homers, 30 RBI, 14 steals) and junior outfielder Jamie Takeda (.403 average, nine doubles, seven triples, 25 RBI, 15 steals) are the most consistent hitters, with plenty of support from senior catcher Alexa Peterson (.373 average, 11 doubles, seven homers, 55 RBI), sophomore outfielder Alyssa Gillespie (.367 average, seven doubles, three homers, 22 RBI, eight steals) and sophomore utility player Koral Costa (.359 average, six doubles, two triples, seven homers, 25 RBI). In the circle, sophomores Cheridan Hawkins (28-3, 1.35 ERA, 251 strikeouts and two saves in 181.1 innings) and Jasmine Smithson-Willett (4-1, 2.62 ERA, 40 strikeouts and five walks over 45.1 innings) and junior Karissa Hovinga (14-1, 2.02 ERA, 68 strikeouts and 33 walks over 107.1 innings) split time.

 

Some Additional Major Division I Games This Weekend:

#10 Kentucky at #16 Georgia ESPNU SAT. | Georgia TV (FRI.) (SUN.) | Georgia Audio SAT. | Kentucky Audio (FRI.) (SAT.) (SUN.) | Live Stats (FRI.) (SAT.) (SUN.) – Fri., May 2 at 6 p.m. ET; Sat., May 3 at 4 p.m. ET; Sun., May 4 at 1:30 p.m. ET

#RV Wisconsin at #7 MichiganBIG TEN NETWORK SAT. | Michigan TV (PAY) (FRI.) (SUN.) | Michigan Audio (FRI.) (SAT.) | Live Stats (FRI.) (SAT.) (SUN.) – Fri., May 2 at 6 p.m. ET; Sat., May 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET; Sun., May 4 at 1 p.m. ET

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#6 Alabama at #13 Missouri

Site: University Field, Columbia, Mo.

Dates/Game Times: Thurs., May 1, 8 p.m. ET; Fri., May 2, 7:30 p.m. ET; Sat., May 3, 2 p.m. ET

Radio/TV Coverage: ESPN – THURS. | ESPNU – SAT. | Mizzou TV (PAY) (FRI.) | Mizzou Audio – THURS. | Alabama Audio – THURS.FRI.SAT. 

Follow them on Twitter: @AlabamaSB, @MizzouSoftball

Live Stats: #6 Alabama at #13 Missouri (THURS.) | (FRI.) | (SAT.)

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

All About #6 Alabama: Having clinched at least a tie for its fourth Southeastern Conference regular season title in the last five years, No. 6 Alabama (42-9, 17-4 SEC) needs just one victory, during this weekend’s series at No. 13 Missouri, to claim the outright crown. The Crimson Tide enters play against the Tigers in possession of the top team batting average (.326) and ERA (2.07) in the league, while rating second in hits (435) and fourth in runs scored (331), RBIs (303) and on-base percentage (.422). Overall, 11 different ‘Bama offensive players can boast double-digit RBI totals, topped by 39 from junior utility player Jadyn Spencer (.336 avg., 30 runs, nine HR’s). Sophomore NFCA All-American outfielder Haylie McCleney (56 runs scored, 20 extra-base hits, team-high 26 steals) currently leads the SEC with a .463 batting average. Fellow senior NFCA All-American infielder Kaila Hunt (.343 avg., 35 runs scored, 35 RBIs) heads 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 19-2 record, a 1.65 ERA and 151 K’s over 152.1 innings. Junior Leslie Jury (14-6 record, 2.89 ERA, 94 K’s, 118.2 IP) and freshman Sydney Littlejohn (9-1 record, 1.51 ERA, 51 K’s, 60.1 IP) have provided impressive pitching support.

All About #13 Missouri: The 13th-ranked Tigers (40-13, 14-7 SEC – tied for second) control their own destiny as a sweep of Alabama would earn UM a share of the SEC regular-season title. In fact, there still remains an outside shot of seeing a three-way tie for the crown between Alabama, Missouri and Tennessee at the top of the league standings if Mizzou were to sweep Alabama and the Lady Vols were to sweep Ole Miss. The Tigers venture into the high-profile set having won five of their last six games, including last weekend’s series triumph at No. 3 Florida. UM’s offense rates fourth in the SEC at .313, scoring at a 5.8 run-per-game clip, while the pitching staff sits seventh in ERA at 2.55. Offensively, redshirt sophomore outfielder Taylor Gadbois ranks fifth in the conference in batting average at .428, having totaled 49 runs, a league-best 44 stolen bases and a .473 on-base percentage. Redshirt sophomore shortstop Sami Fagan (.354 avg., eight doubles, 11 steals, 39 RBIs) and senior outfielder Mackenzie Sykes (.293 avg., 33 runs, 10 doubles, team-high eight HR’s, 51 RBIs) head a list of 10 Tiger hitters owning double-figure RBI totals. Freshman Tori Finucane, a top 25 finalist for the NFCA National Freshman of the Year award, rates among the conference leaders at 20-5 overall with a 1.66 ERA (third in the SEC) and 156 strikeouts over 168.2 innings. Freshman Casey Stangel has added a 14-8 mark with a 3.31 ERA and 72 K’s over 137.2 frames.

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#9 Arizona at #11 Washington

Site: Husky Softball Stadium, Seattle, Wash.

Dates/Game Times: Fri, May 2 at 10 p.m. ET; Sat., May 3 at 10 p.m. ET; Sun., May 4 at 3 p.m. ET

Radio/TV Coverage: PAC-12 NETWORK (FRI.) (SAT. & SUN.)

Follow them on Twitter: @UA_Softball, @UWSoftball

Live Stats: #9 Arizona at #11 Washington (FRI.) (SAT.) (SUN.)

Game Notes/Official Sites: Arizona Softball Official Site | Washington Softball Official Site

All About #9 Arizona: The ninth-ranked Wildcats (39-9, 12-6 Pac-12 Conference) prep to face No. 11 Washington sitting in fourth place in the current league standings, five games behind No. 1 Oregon in the loss column. Arizona has won its last six match-ups, including last weekend’s three-game conference sweep of Utah. UA boasts NCAA Division I’s top offensive attack, currently leading the country in batting average (.365 - as of April 27), scoring offense (8.08 runs-per-game) and home runs-per-game (1.92) while having blasted 92 round trippers. Remarkably, five Wildcats have contributed at least 10 HR’s, guided by 20 (second in NCAA Division I) from junior catcher Chelsea Goodacre (.336 avg., 34 runs, eight doubles, league-leading 67 RBIs) and 18 (sixth in the nation) from freshman third baseman and NFCA National Freshman of the Year top 25 finalist Katiyana Mauga (.404 avg., 11 doubles, 51 RBIs. Junior utility player Hallie Wilson (.421 avg., Pac-12-best 63 runs, 10 doubles, 12 HR’s, 51 RBIs) and junior shortstop Kellie Fox (.411 avg., 47 runs, 10 doubles, 14 HR’s, 57 RBIs) round out the contingent onwing 50-plus RBIs. Senior Estela Pinon (15-5, 1.92 ERA) guides the way in the circle with 109 strikeouts over 120.1 innings. Undefeated sophomore Nancy Bowling (7-0, 2.64 ERA, 62 strikeouts in 53 innings) and freshman Michelle Floyd (4-0, 0.98 ERA, 21.1 IP), plus redshirt senior Kenzie Fowler (8-4, 2.70 ERA, 62.1 IP) have all been similarly stingy in the runs department.

All About #11 Washington: The (8-8 Pac-12, 28-12 overall) Huskies have won seven of their last nine contests. Senior pitchers Bryana Walker (15-7, 1.71 ERA, 125 strikeouts and 41 walks over 118.2 innings) and Kaitlin Inglesby (11-4, 2.04 ERA, 91 strikeouts in 113.1 innings) comprise a formidable 1-2 punch in the circle. Senior outfielder Victoria Hayward (37 runs, eight doubles, 20 RBI, 24 steals) paces the offense with a .444 average, while junior infielder Kylee Lahners (.358 average, eight doubles, 49 RBI) is the power threat with 14 homers. Senior first baseman Hooch Fagaly (.350 average, five doubles, four homers, 22 RBI), junior infielder Kelli Suguro (.338 average, five doubles, 11 RBI), and freshman infielder Ali Aguilar (.336 average, six doubles, four homers, 25 RBI) are the other contributors in the lineup.

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Selected Division II Conference Tournaments


LONE STAR CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 2-3)

Site: Schaeffer Park – Canyon, Texas

Participants: West Texas A&M, Angelo State, Texas Woman’s, Midwestern State, Cameron, Tarleton State

Tournament Central | LIVE VIDEO (All Four First Round Games) (Saturday Championship) | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)


GLVC TOURNAMENT (May 2-4)

Site: EastSide Centre – East Peoria, Ill.

Participants: Indianapolis, UMSL, Truman State, Bellarmine, William Jewell, Lewis, Illinois Springfield, Rockhurst

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)


GULF SOUTH CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 1-3)

Site: Heritage Park – Cullman, Ala.

Participants: Alabama-Huntsville, Valdosta State, North Alabama, West Florida, Delta State, West Alabama, West Georgia, Christian Brothers

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)


HEARTLAND CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 1-3)

Site: Softball Stadium in The Park at St. Mary’s – San Antonio, Texas

Participants: St. Mary’s (TX), St. Edward’s, Texas A&M International, Texas-Permian Basin

Tournament Central | LIVE VIDEO – All Games | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)

 

CACC TOURNAMENT (May 2-4)

Site: Georgia Court Softball Field – Lakewood, N.J.

Participants: Caldwell, Georgia Court, Post, Holy Family, Wilmington, Dominican, Philadelphia, Bloomfield

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE VIDEO – Nine Selected Games | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)

 

MIAA TOURNAMENT (May 1-3)

Site: Blue Valley Recreation Complex – Overland Park, Kan.

Participants: Emporia State, Central Oklahoma, Missouri Western, Fort Hays State, Central Missouri, Northwest Missouri, Lindenwood, Northeastern State

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE STATS  (Available at School Sites)


PSAC TOURNAMENT (May 1-3)

Site: Veterans Park – Quakertown, Pa.

Participants: California (Pa.), Bloomsburg, Gannon, Edinboro, Mansfield, West Chester, IUP, Shippensburg

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)


ECC TOURNAMENT (May 2-4)

Site: LIU Post Softball Complex – Brookville, N.Y.

Participants: LIU Post, Molloy, Queens (NY), Dowling

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE AUDIO/VIDEO & LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)


NSIC TOURNAMENT (May 1-3)

Site: Sherman Park – Sioux Falls, S.D.

Participants: Minnesota State Mankato, Winona State, Augustana (SD), Wayne State, Siuox Falls, Minnesota Duluth, U-Mary, Minot State, Upper Iowa, Concordia-St. Paul

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)


MOUNTAIN EAST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 1-4)

Site: Moyer Sports Complex – Salem, Va.

Participants: West Virginia Wesleyan, UVa-Wise, Fairmont State, Charleston, Urbana, Notre Dame (OH), West Virginia State, Concord, Glenville State, Shepherd, Wheeling Jesuit, West Liberty

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)


GAC TOURNAMENT (May 1-3)

Site: Tiger Athletic Complex – Bentonville, Ark.

Participants: Southeastern Oklahoma State, Southern Arkansas, Henderson State, Harding, East Central, Arkansas Tech, Arkansas Monticello, Ouachita Baptist

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE VIDEO – All Games | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)


CCAA TOURNAMENT (May 2-4)

Site: Arnaiz Stadium – Stockton, Calif.

Participants: Cal State Monterey Bay, Humboldt State, UC San Diego, Sonoma State

Tournament Central | Bracket | LIVE STATS  (Available on Tournament Central Page)

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 Selected Division III Conference Tournaments


AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (April 30-May 4)

Site: Suddenlink Field – Tyler, Texas

Participants: Concordia (Texas), East Texas Baptist, Hardin-Simmons, LeTourneau, Louisiana College, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas-Dallas, Texas-Tyler

Tournament Central | LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATS


COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS AND WISCONSIN TOURNAMENT (May 2-3)

Site: IWU Softball Field – Bloomington, Ill.

Participants: Augustana, Carthage, Illinois Wesleyan, North Central

Tournament Central | LIVE STATS


COMMONWEALTH ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 2-4)

Sites: Angelica Park – Minneapolis, Minn.; Macalester College – St. Paul, Minn.

Participants: Alvernia, Arcadia, Lebanon Valley, Messiah, Widener

Tournament Central | LIVE STATS


FREEDOM CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 2-3)

Sites: Delaware Valley College Softball Field – Doylestown, Pa.

Participants: FDU-Florham, King’s, Manhattanville, Misericordia

Tournament Central | LIVE STATS


IOWA INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 3-4)

Site: Clark Field – Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Participants: Buena Vista, Central, Coe, Dubuque, Luther, Simpson

Tournament Central | LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATS


MICHIGAN INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION TOURNAMENT (May 1-2)

Site: Trine Softball Field – Angola, Ind.

Participants: Calvin, Hope, Olivet, Trine

Tournament Central | LIVE AUDIO (Trine Games) | LIVE STATS


MINNESOTA INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 2-3)

Sites: Augsburg College – Minneapolis, Minn.; Macalester College – St. Paul, Minn.

Participants: Bethel, Gustavus Adolphus, St. Benedict, St. Thomas

Tournament Central | LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATS


NEW ENGLAND SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 2-4)

Site: Cole Field – Williamstown, Mass.

Participants: Williams, Tufts, Bowdoin, Middlebury

Tournament Central | LIVE VIDEO (First-Day Games) | LIVE STATS (GM1: Williams vs. Bowdoin at 2:30 p.m. on 5/2) (GM2: Tufts vs. Middlebury at 5 p.m. on 5/2)

 

NEW JERSEY ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (April 29-May 4)

Site: Pioneer Softball Field – Wayne, N.J.

Participants: Kean, Montclair State, Richard Stockton, Rowan, Rutgers-Camden, William Paterson

Tournament Central | LIVE AUDIO (Selected Games) | LIVE STATS


STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT (May 1-4)

Sites: Red Dragon Softball Field – Oneonta, N.Y.

Participants: Brockport, Buffalo State, Cortland, Geneseo, New Paltz, Oneonta

Tournament Central | LIVE STATS