Week 3 (2/13-2/19/2017)
1. Would the real LR please stand up.
We would be lying to you if we said we weren’t worried about our picking of Lenoir-Rhyne softball to finish as the #2 team in the southeast, but luckily a week makes a difference. After watching what we thought to be a dominate team fall to much lesser competition in Chowan and UVA Wise we were a little concerned. That all changed when sophomore pitcher Brandi Parks stepped up this past weekend. Over the weekend Parks threw 3 complete games allowing 0 earned runs (1 unearned run to Mount Olive) and notched a no-hitter against Converse, allowing only a hit batter to get in the way of a perfect game. However what was most impressive was shutting out a strong Pfeiffer team who were only able to muster 4 hits on the day. Parks numbers on the weekend were 21.0 innings pitched, 9 hits, 0 earned runs, 1 run, 22 strikeouts, 7 walks and a 0.00 ERA which puts her at a 0.63 ERA for the season. In the SAC, Parks sits at first with 6 wins, tied for 2nd with 5 complete games, 3rd with 48 strikeouts, fourth with 44.1 innings pitched and fourth in ERA.
2. North Greenville has a new #1 in town.
North Greenville may sit at 9-7 on the season but this last week was a positive step forward. After splitting with Tusculum earlier in the week, North Greenville was able to hand Anderson their first loss of the season and then go on and sweep PBC member Lander. One of the key reasons for North Greenville’s recent success is the emergence of senior shortstop, Shayna Finley. In her last 5 games, Finley has a .563 batting average with 9 hits, 4 of which were homeruns. Finley also logged 7 RBI, 6 runs and hit 1 double while not striking out at all last week. Heading into this year, Finley’s highest batting average was a .289 and she had hit a total of 9 homeruns in her career. She is already at 6 homeruns this season, and tied with Hannah Reppert for first in the southeast. This turnaround is great after a disappointing junior season for Finley who has already logged the same number of hits, more runs, more RBI and total bases than all last year. Finley currently leads the CC in homeruns, runs (14), runs batted in (17), and slugging percentage (.907) while sitting at 7th with a .419 batting average.
3. Walk a Repp
Hannah Reppert with Armstrong State already leads the entire southeast with 6 homeruns after just playing in 10 games. However, what is more impressive is she has her 6 homeruns in only 23 at bats averaging a homerun every 2.3 at bats. Facing some of the best teams this past weekend they took a new approach, just walk her. On the weekend Reppert took a free ride 9 times, while only logging 7 at bats and oh yea in those 7 at bats she hit 3 homeruns. Sixteenth ranked St. Leo was able to give Armstrong 2 loses on the weekend, in these games Reppert only had 1 at bat, which was a solo homerun in a 5-1 loss. St Leo gave Reppert a free pass 5 times in those 2 games with Reppert only logging 1 run. It will be interesting to see what teams chose to do in the future especially in conference play because Reppert is a proven threat for the long ball in every at bat.
4. Flagler is looking to prove us wrong.
Flagler is sitting at 8-8 on the season which at face value looks average, but they way they are playing this season is not so average. After picking them to finish 12th in the 13 team PBC, Flagler is projecting themselves to be right in the middle of the pack and are proving to be good enough to possibly earn a PBC tournament spot. First thing we need to do is look at the losses, especially with 2 being to #16 ranked St. Leo who recently just swept #4 Armstrong State in 2 games. Other losses include losses to perennial powerhouses in DII softball Shorter, and Eckard. While sitting at .500 Flagler has still been able to hit better than their opponents hitting a team .263 to an opponent’s .239 Flagler has also seen the emergence of freshman pitcher Ally Marcano who won PBC pitcher of the week for this past week and was PBC freshman of the week in the previous week. In her last 3 games Marcano is 3-0 throwing 3 complete games and 2 shutouts while only allowing 2 runs. Marcano currently leads the entire southeast with 72 strikeouts while posting a 2.81 ERA. We said in the beginning of the season we had no idea what arms they would have, well Marcano and Flagler is proving us wrong, watch out for this team once conference play starts.
5. It’s Proving Week for Coker.
Coker has been able to real off an impressive 11-1 record posting the 2nd best win percentage in the southeast, but with a schedule that sees 2 NAIA teams and no teams posting a winning record (combined .258 win percentage), Coker still has a lot to prove. This upcoming week will be the real test as Coker will welcome in PBC members Lander for 3 games and one game against Columbus State. Coker will also play #9 ranked Charleston (WV) and Fairmont State who have yet to play games on the season. Coker has posted an impressive .355 batting average and a team ERA of 1.48 while outscoring their opponents 113-18 but we have yet to see if this is a product of a strong team or weak competition. We will have some more answers on Coker after this weekend.
Previous Down South Players of the Week:
Previous Down South Pitchers of the Week: