The four-game series between the East Central University softball team and Southern Nazarene has been moved up do to weather expected in the area over the weekend. The teams will now battle at Cypert Athletic Facility, Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29 in Bethany, Okla. Thursday’s games will start at 2 p.m. and Saturday’s at noon.
Fans who can’t be at the game can find links to live stats, live video (if available) on ECUTigers.com. Go to the softball schedule page.
Scouting Southern Nazarene
The Crimson Storm are 11-21 overall and 4-14 in the Great American Conference after losing two games to Southeastern last weekend and splitting a series with Oklahoma Christian earlier this week.
SNU has a strong team batting average (No. 2 in GAC) at .311, but is allowing its opponents to hit at a .306 pace. While the Crimson Storm has out-hit, including extra-base hits, their opponents 263-249 they have a 165-189 runs scored disadvantage. That is partly due to the fact that they have allowed more walks (97-88) and struck out fewer batters (91-126) than the opposition.
Kylie Lang is the player with the best batting average on the team (.419) and she has scored 20 runs, but recorded just six RBIs. Amy Madden is the team’s RBI leader, with 32, and she has a .353 batting average, with 31 hits, nine home runs and 20 runs scored.
The Crimson Storm have used six pitchers through the season, with three recording more than one inning of work and one standing farther out on the innings pitched column. Maci-Brooke Lambert has thrown 11 complete games, thrown 90.2 innings and has a 6-10 record. She has an ERA of 4.01, an opponent batting average of .282 and struck out 50 batters.
Gina Going the Distance
In the first game against Southern Arkansas, March 22, junior Gina Mengwasser came up big for the Lady Tigers. ECU was trailing 3-2 with two outs. Senior Ali Manship was walked and sophomore Lauren Bancroft had hit a single to right when Mengwasser stepped to the plate and hit a three-run game-winning home run off the top of the fence in center field.
Striking Out the Competition
In the six games that ECU played from March 12-16 the pitching staff combined for a 6-0 mark and 39 strikeouts. Sophomore Brianna Nunley started the strong week off with 10 K’s against Oklahoma Baptist (March 12) and freshman Lacey Paulk continued the run with 11 against Ouachita Baptist (March 15).
Simmons Earns Player of the Week Honors
ECU senior Shelby Simmons was named the GAC Player of the Week for March 19 after helping the Lady Tigers to a 6-0 record over the week.
The North Richland Hills, Texas, native hit .591 for the week, with 13 hits in 22 at-bats. Simmons scored five runs, added four RBIs, had a double and triple and a slugging percentage of .727.
Leah Leaping Forward
Freshman Leah Tigert had a standout weekend for the Tigers at Southwestern and earned GAC Player of the Week honors for her efforts. The Hennepin, Okla., native hit .636, with seven hits and six RBIs. Tigert came up big with a double and a game-winning double in the seventh inning of the fourth game with the Lady Bulldogs.
So far this season the Lady Tigers have played 32 games, winning 24. Of those 24 wins ECU has earned the victories at the end of the fifth inning in 10 games, with the run rule.
Home Run Fever
The Lady Tigers had a case of home run fever in the Tarleton State Tournament, with 12 total home runs, including seven in the second day.
Senior Ali Manship led the team with five home runs, junior Gina Mengwasser added three, and senior Shelby Simmons, sophomores Lauren Bancroft and Lacey Williams and freshman Jordynn VanPelt all garnered one.
Mengwasser Picking Up Recognition
Junior transfer Gina Mengwasser made an immediate impact for the Lady Tigers in her first games. The Edmond, Okla., native tallied four hits, including a home run and a grand slam. She tallied 10 RBIs and a .786 slugging percentage. For her efforts she was named to the 14-member St. Mary’s All-Tournament Team as the catcher.
Four members of the ECU softball team earned a spot on the 12-member Tarleton State All-Tournament team. Junior Gina Mengwasser, senior Shelby Simmons and sophomore Lacey Williams were named to the team as the catcher, short stop and outfielder, while senior Ali Manship was named the co-MVP of the tournament.
Mengwasser has a .385 batting average, with three home runs, four RBIs and a 1.077 slugging percentage. Simmons finished the four games with a .500 batting average, a double, home run and four RBIs. Williams tallied a .455 average, with a double and home run. She also added an RBI, .818 slugging percentage and 2-2 in stolen bases. Manship earned a win in the circle and recorded a batting average of .600. She tallied five home runs and nine RBIs, with a 1.600 slugging percentage.
Manship GAC Pitcher of the Week
Senior Ali Manship also had a strong showing in the opening weekend of action and was named the first Great American Conference Pitcher of the Week for the 2013 season. The honor is the first for the Harrah, Okla., native.
Manship picked up the win in all three of the Lady Tigers victories at the St. Mary’s Invitational. She threw a shutout and two complete games. She struck out seven and registered an ERA of 1.47 for the weekend. As a batter, she hit .429 (6-for-14) with four runs scored.
GAC Preseason Poll
The Lady Tigers were picked to finish third in the 2013 Great American Conference Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league’s head coaches. ECU received 35 points.
Arkansas-Monticello earned the top spot, with 43 points and four first-place votes. Southeastern was second, with 39 points and two first-place votes, with Southwestern and Southern Arkansas each earning the final first-place votes and finishing fourth (34 points) and fifth (30 points), respectively. Henderson State (17 points), Arkansas Tech (13) and Ouachita Baptist (13 points) round out the poll.
The Lady Tigers will remain on the road for six games next week. ECU will first play a double-header at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Tuesday, April 2 and then play a GAC series at Henderson State, April 5-6.