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Softball Prepares for Citrus Classic Over Weekend

February 21, 2014


FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The IPFW softball team will face its fourth ranked opponent in the last five games, as the team faces off against 19th ranked South Alabama to lead off the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla.

IPFW comes into their weekend in Florida after a 3-2 record at the Texas Classic, including topping then-15th ranked Texas in the second game of the opening day.

Larissa Franklin is batting .538 to lead the squad, and has scored 11 runs in nine games with one home run, five RBI's, and five stolen bases. Kayti Hanson (.333) and Dani Pugh (.300) each have nine hits on the year, whle Hanson and Alex Bousquet have scored seven times. Pugh leads the team with 11 RBI's, while Hanson and Ashleigh Bousquet each have three doubles.

Miranda Kramer, the two-time Summit League Pitcher of the Week, has a 0.72 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 37.2 innings of work to go with her 5-1 record. Megan Flenniken is 2-1 in the circle, and are limiting opponents to a .231 batting average with a deceivingly-high 5.03 ERA.

Opponent: #19 South Alabama Jaguars (7-1)
When: Friday, February 21 | 1:15 p.m.
Where: Orlando, Fla. | ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
All-Time Series: First Meeting

South Alabama comes into the game with a 7-1 overall record, with wins over UAB (twice), Syracuse (twice), and LSU. The team's only loss came at the hands of Northwestern University on a 2-1 score on the 15th.

The strength of the Jaguar squad has been their pitching, as the team has allowed opponents to bat just .173 against them, with a 0.53 ERA and six total runs allowed - four earned. Farish Beard has yet to allow an earned run in 21.1 innings of work, striking out 43 for a 4-1 record. Hannah Campbell has a 0.84 ERA in 25 innings, and a perfect 2-0 record to go with 31 strikeouts.

At the plate Stephanie Pilkington has a .400 batting average with 10 hits in 25 at-bats, scoring five times for the Jaguars. Chloe Rathburn (.320) and Emily Messer (.300) are each batting at or above .300 on the year. Alex Breeden has a team-best three home runs, while Pilkington also leads the team with eight RBI's, and two triples.

Opponent: Northern Illinois Huskies (2-3)
When: Friday, February 21 | 3:30 p.m.
Where: Orlando, Fla. | ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
All-Time Series: First Meeting

Northern Illinois is 2-3 after an opening weekend in Boca Raton, Fla., falling to No. 22 Tulsa, Ohio State, and Louisville (receiving votes) while beating St. John's and Florida Atlantic.

Nicole Gremillion leads the team with a .375 batting average with six hits in 16 at-bats, scoring three times and driving in two runs. Ashley Knopp is also hitting above .300 at .308, as the Huskies have hit one home run, and have scored 15 runs in five games on the year.

Jessica Sturm leads the pitching staff with a 2-1 record and 1.78 ERA with five strikeouts in 19.2 innings of work, holding opponents to a .200 batting average. 

Opponent: Fairfield Stags
When: Saturday, February 22 | 3:30 p.m.
Where: Orlando, Fla. | ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
All-Time Series: Tied 1-1

The games at the Citrus Classic are the first of the season for Fairfield, who went 29-21 a season ago.

Among the key returnees for the Stags is senior Lauren Liseth who batted .389 last season with 40 runs scored, 15 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, and 36 RBI's - all team-highs. Kristin and Lauren Filicia also return, as the speedy sisters had 19 and 12 stolen bases last season, respectively.

Rae Ball returns after finishing last season with a 14-10 record and a 1.77 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 158 innings, with Rebecca Trott also back after a 13-6 record and 2.78 ERA a year ago.

Opponent: Lamar Cardinals
When: Saturday, February 22 | 5:45 p.m.
Where: Orlando, Fla. | ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
All-Time Series: First Meeting

Lamar comes into the weekend after dropping a trio of games at Texas-San Antonio by scores of 8-6, 17-2, and 10-9.

Beverly Corry leads the team with a .556 batting average, as the Cardinals have a team batting average of .300 on the season. Corry and Ashley McDowell (.444 average) each have two home runs, as McDowell leads the team with five RBI's. Stephanie Meeuwsen has a team-best four runs scored this year.

Tina Schulz has seen the most time in the circle this year - 10.1 innings - and is 0-1 with an 8.13 ERA. She has struck out six and walked seven. Shannon Millman is 0-2 with a 9.88 ERA, striking out five in 5.2 innings of work.

Opponent: North Carolina State Wolfpack
When: Sunday, February 23 | 10 a.m.
Where: Orlando, Fla. | ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
All-Time Series: First Meeting

NC State opened the season 1-5; howe3ver, the losses came to  No. 4 Arizona State, No. 6 Oregon, No. 13 Stanford, Fresno State, and Oregon State.

The Wolfpack has struggled at the plate, and is batting just .188 as a team; however, the squad is led by Lana Van Dyken who is hitting .429 with six hits, while Kirsty Grant (.375) and Molly Hutchison (.313) each hit over .300 on the year. Hutchison leads the team with two home runs and three RBI's, while she, Grant, and Scout Albertson have each scored twice.

Emily Weiman has been in circle for 25 of the team's 37 innings, and has a 1-4 record with a 5.32 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 25 innings of work. Courtney Mirabella is 0-1 with a 4.32 ERA in 11.1 innings, striking out eight.

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