Week 9: (3/27-4/2/2017)
Carson-Newman Eagles soaring high.
Carson-Newman is riding the 5th longest win streak in the nation and longest in the Southeast with 17 straight. This win streak includes a 10-0 start in the South Atlantic where they have taken a two game lead in the standings. One of the keys to their success is freshman southpaw Lacie Rinus who went 3-0 last week, not allowing any earned runs for a 0.00 ERA. Rinus threw 19.0 innings with 25 strikeouts and three walks while giving up only 9 hits. Rinus has not given up an earned run in her last 4 starts and leads the SAC in ERA (1.18), strikeouts (136), and strikeouts per 7 innings (8.00). Rinus is 2nd in the SAC with 16 wins and 5th with 119.0 innings pitched. While Rinus has been pitching well she is also helping the team in the batter’s box hitting .367, the third best on the team. Last week Rinus went 9-17 for a .529 batting average with 8 RBI and 4 runs. Rinus also hit an inside-the-park homerun against Brevard and had 2 doubles on the week. Carson-Newman plays two huge series this week facing Anderson on Tuesday and Coker on Saturday. Both Anderson and Coker are tied for 3rd in the SAC with a 7-3 record.
UNC Pembroke able to get back in the win column.
It hasn’t been an easy route for UNC Pembroke who started the season with great expectations. After a 17-4 start to the season the Braves spiraled down on a 18 game losing streak plummeting them in the standings. However the strong Braves team looked to return going 5-1, including a split with Francis Marion, on the week. Highlighting the winning week was the performance of junior Jamie Johnson. Johnson hit .579 on the week including going 6-7 in the split with Francis Marion. Hitting 2 homeruns and 3 doubles, Johnson logged a 1.053 slugging percentage while scoring 11 runs and hitting in 11 RBI. Johnson logged 6 walks to post a .680 on base percentage while going 6-6 in stolen bases. Currently Johnson is second in the PBC with batting average, second to only teammate Abbey Walters. Johnson is also ninth in slugging percentage and tenth in on base percentage. UNC Pembroke looks to stay on the win streak when they face Columbus State on Saturday for their senior day honoring lone senior Abbey Walters.
Limestone’s Leaders, leading the way.
Limestone just keeps clicking along, after falling twice in splits to SAC opponents Coker and Lincoln Memorial the Saints returned to the conference and continued winning keeping them tied with Pfeiffer at the top of the standings. Leading the offensive charge is senior Caroline Hill and defensively the Saints have leaned on go-to pitcher Josie Weber who is continuing to disrupt opponents lineups. Hill currently leads the Saints with a .362 batting average while hitting a team high 14 doubles, 8 homeruns, and 89 total bases for a .685 slugging percentage. Hill also has 35 RBI and 33 runs on the season. Weber has been the mainstay for Limestone over the past 2 seasons and continues this year leading the team in ERA (1.53), wins (17), appearances (19), complete games (14), innings pitched (114.1), and strikeouts (83). Weber also leads the Conference Carolinas in wins and is 3rd in ERA and 5th in strikeouts. Limestone will take on Erskine and Emmanuel in two conference series this week on Wednesday and Sunday respectively.
Young Harris Mountain Lions keep climbing.
Sitting with the 2nd longest win streak, Young Harris now has a 14 game win streak, they also have a 13 game win streak in the conference which has them now tied for 4th in the conference after starting 0-5. Using two dominant pitchers this past week junior arm Nikkie Kovalsky stepped up with a 2-0 record including a save. Throwing 13.2 innings Kovalsky allowed no earned runs pitching 2 complete game shutouts. Kovalsky had 8 strikeouts with only 1 walk while giving up 12 hits. Young Harris will put their win streak up against a tough non-conference West Georgia team on Tuesday before heading to the Battle of Blood Mountain with North Georgia in a key series for the PBC standings on Saturday.
Lenoir-Rhyne keeps hanging tough with their bats.
Currently the best team batting average in NCAA DII softball is held by the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne who post a .390 batting average. One of the biggest reasons is the bat of Erin Boone who posts a Southeast best and NCAA 5th best .500 batting average. Boone also leads the NCAA racking up 69 hits on the season. Boone who is currently on an 11 game hit streak went 8-16 this past week with 2 homeruns and a double while scoring 4 runs and hitting in 8 RBI. Boone currently has a .563 on base percentage with a .710 slugging percentage. Lenoir-Rhyne has 8 players hitting over .300 and is currently tied with Anderson and Coker for 3rd in the SAC standings. The Bears will take on Catawba and Anderson in conference series this week on Tuesday and Saturday respectively.
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
- Week 6 – Allie Jones, Lincoln Memorial
- Week 7 – Jordan Deep, North Georgia
- Week 8 – Taylor Scott, Carson-Newman
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
- Week 6 – Ally Marcano, Flagler
- Week 7 – Darby Demarest, Columbus State
- Week 8 – Courtney Smith, Limestone