Week 6 (3/6-12/2017)
1. Lincoln Memorial could be peaking at the right time.
Heading into this weekend Lincoln Memorial was giving us a hot/cold vibe on the season. Never really getting a feel on how good this team was but looking back now, this team may be figuring it out at the right time. Going 5-2 this past week, 2 losses by only 1 run, they were able to outscore opponents 69-14. One of the big swings is the play of sophomore Allie Jones. Jones who came into last week only hitting .175 will head into this week with a .276 batting average helped by a .500 batting average including 3 homeruns and a double. What was bigger was her impact on the game by scoring 9 runs while hitting in 10 RBI. The Railsplitters are peaking as they head into conference play hosting Wingate this weekend. They will need to keep the offense going as they are hitting .324 as a team and are outscoring opponents 149-61 on the season. The pitching staff will also need to stay on their upward trend as Brianna Taylor was 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA this past week including 15 strikeouts. Lincoln Memorial will host Trevecca on Wednesday before heading into conference play with Wingate on Saturday.
2. Flagler is still rolling behind their freshman ace.
While last week may have not been the most taxing for Flagler, their ace Ally Marcano kept showing why she currently leads the PBC wins (15), strikeouts (131), innings pitched (114.2), complete games (13) and is 7th with a 1.65 ERA. Going 4-0 last week she gave up only 4 runs in 24.2 innings pitched while logging a 4-0 record and throwing a 3 hit shutout against Erskine. Marcano also posted 28 strikeouts. If Marcano keeps this up Flagler is going to be poised to stay at the top of the PBC after already sweeping Young Harris in their first conference series. This week however will be the test playing 4 conference series with at USC Aiken this Tuesday, North Georgia at home on Thursday and then finishing up with back to back doubleheaders on the road with Lander and Armstrong State, now that is some tough scheduling for Saints who will need Marcano to be at her best.
3. Can someone please stream the Limestone at Pfeiffer games?
If there is any place to be in the softball world this weekend it is going to be at Jack Ingram field on Pfeiffer’s campus. Quite possibly the two hottest teams are taking on each other on Sunday for a battle that could easily decide the regular season champion in Conference Carolinas. Limestone is currently on an 11 game win streak and is 15-1 in the last 16. In contrast Pfeiffer is on a 6 game win streak and is 18-1 in the last 19. Pfeiffer is hitting .337 as a team while the Saints are hitting .295. The Saints pitching staff posts a 1.91 ERA and the Falcons are a 1.98 team ERA. Pfeiffer’s offense will be led by Makenzie Pennell who leads the team with a .420 batting average, 34 hits, 4 homeruns, 24 RBI, and a .654 slugging percentage. The Saints have Sydney Turner who leads the team with a .369 batting average, and a .692 slugging percentage while hitting 4 homeruns, 2 triples and 17 RBI. On the mound two aces will be facing off with the Saints Josie Weber being the premier name. Weber has a 9-1 record with a 1.40 ERA and 50 strikeouts in her 60.0 innings of work. Caitlin Christian will be the Falcons main arm as she posts a 1.71 ERA in her team high 65.2 innings pitched while throwing 75 strikeouts. Limestone will take on Lenoir-Rhyne in a doubleheader on Thursday while Pfeiffer will have 3 double headers including conference matchup with Converse on Saturday. So just one more shot, can anyone live stream these games, we have a feeling they are going to be amazing.
4. North Greenville’s Finley leads DII in homeruns.
We talked earlier in the season about the rise of North Greenville’s senior Shayna Finley who is posting her career best in every category for the Crusaders. Second on her team with a .353 batting average she has been able to crush the ball with a .776 slugging percentage, in help to her NCAA DII leading 11 homeruns. Finley was able to drive out 3 homeruns in 4 games this past week and now will look to continue her slugging ways as the Crusaders start the heart of the conference schedule this week. After sweeping Emmanuel early on the Crusaders will look to stay undefeated in the conference with back to back home conference doubleheaders against Mount Olive and Barton. We would love to see Finley continue her story book senior season and we know her North Greenville teammates are ready to do some more homeplate celebrations.
5. Cherish Armstrong Softball this season.
Armstrong is playing their 20th and last season of the programs history. Earlier last week it was announced that in the merger with Georgia Southern that the Armstrong State campus will no longer sponsor athletics. This is a sad day for DII southeast softball and PBC softball. In the past 19 years of the program Armstrong has played in the NCAA regionals 14 times and has advanced to the College World Series in 3 of the last 4 years with the 2016 year being the best finish falling in the semifinals. This season after starting out as the #4 team in the nation Armstrong played some tough games against some of the best programs in the nation going 10-5 with 3 of their losses being in extra innings. However since then Armstrong is 5-1 in conference play including a split with North Georgia. Three underclassmen are currently hitting over .340 and junior Autumn Parish is tied for the lead in the PBC with homeruns (8). The 5 seniors went into this season knowing it was their last but now the 16 man roster, including 8 underclassmen are all relishing in their last chance to be Armstrong Pirates. So while it may be the last time we get to watch this powerhouse southeast program play at least we can cherish this program at its prime and who knows maybe we can end it like a hollywood script. Go Pirates, we know we are going to enjoy being a fan for one more season.
Previous Down South Players of the Week:
- Week 1 – Hannah Reppert; Armstrong State
- Week 2 – Abbey Walters, UNC Pembroke
- Week 3 – Shayna Finley, North Greenville
- Week 4 – Sam Chiudina, Francis Marion
- Week 5 – Hannah Riddle; King University
Previous Down South Pitchers of the Week:
- Week 1 – Sierra Hearp; Barton College
- Week 2 – Christine Carver, Coker
- Week 3 – Brandi Parks, Lenoir-Rhyne
- Week 4 – Kylee Smith, North Georgia
- Week 5 – Jane Trzaska; Armstrong State