JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After an impressive undefeated 4-0 weekend hosting the Dolphin Invitational, Jacksonville University’s softball team hopes to continue that momentum this weekend during a five-game road swing at the 2017 Easton Crimson Classic, hosted by the University of Alabama.
The four-team field includes the Dolphins, the host Crimson Tide, Stanford, and Drake, with competition beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 3 through 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 5.
The Dolphins face Stanford Friday, March 3 at 2:30 p.m., followed by a 5:00 pm matchup with Alabama. All game times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.
2017 Easton Crimson Classic (JU Games)
|Friday, March 3|
|2:30 pm - Jacksonville vs. Stanford||LIVE STATS|
|5:00 pm - Jacksonville vs. Alabama||LIVE STATS | VIDEO|
|Saturday, March 4|
|12:00 pm - Jacksonville vs. Stanford||LIVE STATS|
|7:00 pm - Jacksonville vs. Drake||LIVE STATS|
|Sunday, March 5|
|2:30 pm - Jacksonville vs. Alabama||LIVE STATS | VIDEO|
* All times are EST
Last Outing at the Dolphin Invitational
The Dolphins went a perfect 4-0 last weekend while hosting the 2017 Dolphin Invitational, garnering a pair of one-run wins against North Carolina A&T and Akron on Saturday, followed by two offensively charged games on Sunday. JU was able to get two runs in during the bottom of the fifth to defeat N.C. A&T 3-2 and a walk-off home run from Bethany Kursch in the bottom of the 7th gave JU a 2-1 victory against Akron. The following day, Kamille Larrabee had the walk-off RBI in the sixth inning against Akron for a 9-1 Dolphin victory, and a huge 11-run first inning highlighted by two grand slams and a home run downed N.C. A&T 15-4 in five to close out the weekend.
By the Numbers …
- Jacksonville enters the Easton Crimson Classic 10-5 overall.
- The Dolphins are second in the ASUN Conference and 12th in the nation with 2.40 stolen bases per game.
- Five Dolphins are hitting above .250: Allie McCourt (.380, 19-for-50), Madison Ragan (.325, 13-for-40), Ciara Jones (.304, 7-for-23), Heather Roberts (.294, 10-for-34), and Makenzie Buss (.275, 10-for-34).
- With her 10 stolen bases, Allie McCourt is third in the ASUN and 37th nationally.
- McCourt is also the third toughest batter to strike out in the league.
- Bethany Kursch leads the team with three home runs, while Kristen Griffith has hit two.
- Griffith (16), Roberts (11), and Ragan (10) all have double-digit RBI.
- On the mound, Taylor Thorpe is 5-1 with a team-leading 13 strikeouts in 45.2 innings of work for a 1.69 ERA.
- Ragan is 2-1 in the circle and has allowed five earned runs in 17.2 innings of work for a 1.98 ERA.
Scouting the Opposition
Against Stanford (10-5) | 0-1 in the series
- Head Coach Rachel Hanson is in her third year at the helm of the Cardinal.
- Stanford finished 13-35 overall in 2016.
- The Cardinal finished 3-2 at last weekend’s Mary Nutter Classic with wins over Bethune-Cookman, St. Johns, and Purdue.
- Six Stanford players are hitting above .375: Teaghan Cowles (.547, 29-for-53), Bessie Noll (.444, 16-for-36), Alyssa Horeczko (.419, 13-for-31), Kylie Sorenson (.407, 22-for-54), Victoria Molina (.400, 2-for-5), and Lauren Bertoy (.390, 11-for-41).
- Cowles leads the nation with 29 hits and is 14th nationally with her .547 batting average.
- Bertoy, Whitney Burks, and Lauren Wegner all have two home runs for the Cardinal.
- Burks leads the team and is 13th in the nation with 19 RBI. Sorenson (16), Noll (14), Cowles (14), and Kristina Inouye (12) have also all driven in double-digit RBI.
- Horeczko (2-for-2) and Cowles (2-for-4) lead the Cardinal with two stolen bases each.
- Carolyn Lee (4-4) leads the Cardinal on the mound with five complete games and 35 strikeouts through 48.1 innings of work for a 2.61 ERA.
- Nikki Bauer (4-1) is close behind with nine strikeouts through 33.0 innings of work for a 4.03 ERA.
Against No. 9/11 Alabama (14-2) | 0-1 in the series
- Head Coach Patrick Murphy is in his 19th season leading the Crimson Tide.
- Alabama finished the 2016 season with a 51-14 record overall, including a trip to the Women’s College World Series, where it fell 6-4 to LSU in the opening round.
- The Crimson Tide rank 9th in the USA Softball/ESPN Poll and 11th in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ Poll this week.
- Six members of the Crimson Tide are batting above .350: Bailey Hemphill (.487, 19-for-39) Carrigan Fain (.467, 7-for-15), Merris Schroder (.429, 15-for-35), Demi Turner (.358, 19-for-53), Chandler Dare (.351, 13-for-37), and Caroline Hardy (.350, 7-for-20).
- Hemphill leads the Crimson Tide with four home runs and is second on the team with 15 RBI.
- Peyton Grantham leads the team with 18 RBI and five doubles.
- On the base paths, Elissa Brown is 11-for-13 in stolen base attempts, while Dare is 6-for-7.
- Right-handed pitcher Sydney Littlejohn ranks second in the SEC and ninth in the nation with a 0.20 ERA.
- Littlejohn is 5-0 on the mound with two complete games and has struck out 46 in 35.1 innings of work.
- RHP Alexis Orsorio, 7-1 in the circle with four complete games, leads the SEC and is second in the nation with 93 strikeouts.
- Orsorio leads the nation allowing just 2.22 hits per seven innings, and is second in both the SEC and nationally with 13.8 strikeouts per seven innings.
Against Drake (12-5) | First meeting
- Head Coach Rich Calvert is in his 15th season leading the Bulldogs.
- Drake finished the 2016 season 30-24 overall and 17-8 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
- The Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight games, with their only loss coming to No. 16 Louisiana on Feb. 23.
- Drake has four players hitting above .300: Sarah Maddox (.347, 17-for-49), Abby Buie (.333, 6-for-18), Tasha Alexander (.327, 16-for-50), and Megan Sowa (.320, 16-for-50).
- Maddox leads the MVC in both home runs (6, 7th nationally) and RBI (18, 15th nationally).
- Kailee Smith (.281, 5-for-32) is second on the team with three HR and 12 RBI.
- Alexander leads the Bulldogs on the bases with 8-for-9 stolen base attempts and Buie is 5-for-5.
- On the mound, right-handed pitcher Nicole Newman leads the nation with 94 strikeouts in 55.0 innings of work.
- Newman is 7-3 with five complete games with an opposing batting average of .143. She has allowed just 10 earned runs for a 1.27 ERA.
- In addition, RHP Smith is 4-2 on the mound for the Bulldogs with two complete games and 24 strikeouts. She has allowed 31 earned runs in 40.2 innings of work for a 5.34 ERA.
There will be five opportunities to watch Jacksonville live on ESPN3. Visit the Dolphins’ schedule page here for more details.
The Dolphins return home for a mid-week doubleheader with Delaware State on Wednesday, March 8. First pitches are scheduled for 2/4:30 p.m.