Rollins (28-22, 10-11 SSC) vs. No. 14 Saint Leo (35-12, 15-6 SSC)
University Softball Stadium – Saint Leo, Fla.
Thursday, April 27, 2017 – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, April 28, 2017 – 6:00 p.m. (DH)
The Tars are coming off their second consecutive Sunshine State Conference series win, besting the Barry Buccaneers in two out of three high scoring contests. Rollins ran away with game one, downing Barry 13-3. Rollins and Barry squared off in a doubleheader to conclude the three game set. Barry took the first game of the second day 13-12 in 12 innings, but the Tars responded in the rubber match, earning a 10-5 victory. Rollins now heads into their final series of the year, as they travel to No. 14, conference leading, Saint Leo. The Tars will look for a series win which would continue the Tars 16-year streak of breaking the 30-win barrier.
TRACKING THE TARS:
The Tars team batting average has inflated to .296, still the second highest in the SSC, while Rollins is now slugging a conference best .428. Hailee Keisling leads the Tars in hitting with a .348 average, while fellow senior Chelsea Reed is racing up the list, now batting .342 on the year. The Tars lead the SSC with 36 homeruns on the year, and the team is paced by Brianne Lint, who is third in the conference with eight long balls. Chandler Middlebrook has blasted six four-base hits in 15 games since returning from injury. Reed and Lint sit one-two on the Tars, and three-four in the SSC, in RBI, sending in 37 and 36 respectively. Freshman Sarah Harrison is leading the Tars on the bases, having swiped 23 bags on the season, while Reed is a perfect 15-15 on her steal attempts.
The Tars' pitching staff has combined for a 3.11 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 337.2 innings of work. Grace Street leads Rollins with a 2.74 ERA, while fanning 94 batters. Freshman Sarah Piening leads the Tars in wins, registering 15, a total good enough for fifth in the SSC.
TRACKING THE LIONS:
Saint Leo had reached as high as fourth in nation, but a recent string of losses has seen them fall out of the top-five, to No. 14. The Lions were swept by then No. 25 Tampa, and dropped two of three against Palm Beach Atlantic.
The Lions offence has been powerful this year, Saint Leo leads the SSC with an average of .317, 21 points ahead of second place Rollins. Three of the top five averages in the conference reside in Saint Leo with Kacie Kelly leading the way with a .436. The freshman also leads the Lions with 12 doubles, a .521 slugging percentage, and .495 on base percentage. Danielle Bottley ranks fourth in the SSC, batting .368, in 38 appearances for the Lions. Ciera Schumaker has maintain a .355 average, leading Saint Leo with 15 extra base hits. Senior Samantha Ohmie is pacing the Lions with seven homeruns. Rachel Heath has stolen 34 bases, and only been caught twice on the year.
Saint Leo's offensive power is complemented by their pitching staff, who have combined for a SSC best 1.51 ERA. Stephanie Adkins leads the conference with 19 wins and a 1.19 ERA in 28 appearances, including 18 starts and 15 complete games. Alison Mitts has amassed a 1.75 ERA in 24 trips to the circle, while Sara Neuman is 6-1 in nine starts to round out the pitching rotation.
· Last year Rollins took two of three from the then No. 7 Lions, in a hotly contested series, in Winter Park.
· Senior Hailee Keisling is just three hits away from moving into third all-time on the Rollins hit list, while Chelsea Reed is just six hits away from becoming only the sixth Tar to reach 200 career hits.
· The Tars offense has been on fire, this marks the first time since March 2009 that Rollins has tallied ten or more runs in four straight games, the Tars are 3-1 in the stretch.
· Chandler Middlebrook has hit safely in her last nine games for Rollins.
· Michelle Frew is 769-323-1, in her 22nd season at the helm of the Rollins softball program.
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