Coach Ron Faubion’s LadyStorm softballers are scheduled to host the University of Arkansas-Monticello in doubleheaders starting at 1 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.
It’s not too often that preseason polls are worth their weight in fire ants. It does happen, however, and this is one of those rare years.
Southeastern is ranked seventh in the first South Central poll of the season. Wednesday’s release listed the LadyStorm as the only Great American Conference team in the Top 10. One representative from the GAC and one from the Rocky Mountain Athletics Conference did not vote in the initial rankings. The GAC rep’s failure to vote hurt Southeastern a bit and contributed to the No. seven position.
Tarleton State (25-13) is in sixth place ahead of SE’s 29-12 record, adjusted for a win over Southern Nazarene, a provisional member of NCAA Division II. Southeastern and Tarleton State have played twice this year with the LadyStorm posting a 2-1 win in the first game of the season in San Antonio and knocking off the TexAnns 3-1 eight days later in Kingsville.
One moment, please. Upon further review, this does not compute.
Team A, which for clarification purposes, will be Southeastern, has an overall record of 29-12 against South Central competition while Team B, for more clarification purposes, will be Tarleton State, has a 25-13 overall record. It would appear at a glance that Team has a 4-game edge in the win column and a 1-game edge in the loss column.
Since the two teams have played two games and Team A won both, how is it that Team B is ahead of Team A in the poll?
Please, please, please let us not be going back to the old Dunkel Diddle.
The top eight teams in each of the eight regions will advance to the NCAA National Tournament – unless they don’t.
Meanwhile …… the Lady Storm and the Cotton Blossoms were co-favorites to win the inaugural Great American Conference softball championship.
Fans will be treated to a true championship series at the Southeastern softball field on N. 1st Avenue.
The eight-team GAC works out to 28 conference games, weather permitting. Southeastern is on track for the full 28 if the weekend series plays out as planned.
Monticello will come up two games shy of 28, given this weekend and another 4-game set against Southwestern. The Cotton Blossoms were later getting into the conference schedule and had two games rained out against East Central.
Going into this weekend, Monticello is atop the conference standings by percentage points.
The Blossoms are 16-2 in league play (0.889) and Southeastern is 20-4 (.833). It’s a two-horse race at this point with the only other winning team (Southwestern) checking in at 13-11 after last weekend’s Storm sweep of the Lady Bulldogs at Weatherford.
Check it out:
Southeastern is 30-12 overall, Monticello 30-10.
SE is riding a 15-game win streak, UAM is at 17 in a row after Tuesday’s twinbill sweep over non-conference Delta State.
Team Hitting – SE, .323; UAM .318.
ERA – SE, 2.70; UAM 2.47.
Fielding – SE, .972 (leads GAC), UAM, .963.
Individual Hitting Average – SE, senior Katie Campbell, .421, senior Lindsey Lacy .372, junior Paige Priest .354; UAM, senior Kayla Jackson, .373.
Hits – SE, Campbell, 53 (leads GAC), Lacy, 51, Priest, 45; UAM, Jackson, 44.
Runs – SE, Campbell, 30, Lacy, 28, senior Sam Vrska, 27; UAM, none in top 10.
Home runs – SE, Vrska, 7; UAM, Jackson, 7, senior Jennifer Hickman, 6.
Doubles – SE, Campbell, 14 (leads GAC), Vrska, 10; UAM, none in top 10.
Triples – SE, none in top 10; UAM, sophomore Beth Johnson, 2.
RBIs – SE, junior Courtney Moore, 33 (leads GAC), Vrska, 26, senior Christa Johnson, 25; UAM, Jackson, 32.
Stolen Bases – SE, Lacy, 21 (leads GAC), senior Courtne St. Claire, 10; UAM, Hickman, 8.
Total bases – SE, Campbell, 75, Vrska, 74; UAM, Jackson, 74, Hickman, 65. Walks – SE, Campbell 20 (tied for lead in GAC), Priest, 17; UAM, none in top 10.
On-base percentage – SE, Campbell, .500, Lacy, .434, Priest, .432; UAM, freshman Sara Matthews, .441, Jackson, .437, sophomore Brittany Eitel, .434.
Slugging percentage – SE, Campbell, .595, Johnson, .565, Vrska, .556; UAM, Jackson, .627, Hickman, .570.
Pitching Leaders — SE, Audra Rhudy, 19-8, four saves, 2.04, 163 innings, 92 strikeouts; Kelsey Reding, 8-1, 3.30, 71 innings, 25 strikeouts; UAM, Jackson, 19-4, three saves, 1.69, 143 innings, 122 strikeouts.
Wins – SE, Rhudy, 19; UAM, Jackson, 19, freshman Katie Slaughter, 9. (Rhudy, Jackson tied for GAC lead).
Innings pitched – SE Rhudy, 163; UAM, Jackson, 154.
Strikeouts – SE, Rhudy, 92; UAM, Jackson, 122.
Appearances – SE, Rhudy, 35; UAM, Jackson, 28.
Starts – SE, Rhudy, 19; UAM, Jackson, 14.
Saves – SE, Rhudy, 4 (leads GAC); UAM, Jackson, 3. Games started – SE, Rhudy, 19; UAM, Slaughter, 23.
Shutouts – SE, Rhudy, 7 (leads GAC), Reding, 2; UAM, Jackson 5, Slaughter, 4.
Complete games – SE, Rhudy, 15; UAM, Jackson, 14.
Opponent batting average – SE, Rhudy, .229, Reding, .272; UAM, Jackson, .187, Slaughter, .247.
DINNER IS SERVED, fans.
This four-game series Saturday and Sunday includes appetizer, main course and dessert.
Part of the dessert will be the celebration of Senior Day for the LadyStorm.
Eight seniors will dress out for their final home game in Sunday’s nightcap.
Weather permitting, of course.
In numerical order:
Lindsey Lacy, second baseman (.372, GAC-high 21 stolen bases).
Christa Johnson, first baseman (.294, seven home runs, 25 RBIs).
Kelsey Reding, pitcher (8-1 record, 2.56 ERA).
Katie Campbell, shortstop (.421, GAC-high 14 doubles, .595 slugging percentage).
Sam Vrska, third baseman (.323, seven home runs, 26 RBIs).
Courtne St. Claire, left fielder (.333, nine doubles, 10 stolen bases).
Lyndi Davidson, right fielder/utility/left-handed pitcher (.333, four appearances in the circle, 0-0, 0.00 earned-run average).
Audra Rhudy, pitcher (19-8, 1.59, 92 strikeouts, GAC-high 35 appearances and 163 innings pitched).
Saturday’s first game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start. Sunday’s action will begin about 10:45 with Senior Day activity and first pitch set for 11 a.m.