TSU Visits #3/4 Florida, Third Straight SEC Venue
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee State softball team will hit the road again before returning for a 14-game home stand. The Tigers will embark on a trip to visit an SEC venue for the third consecutive time. The sights this week are on Gainesville, Fla., to compete in the Lipton Invitational. They will square off twice against Campbell and Gardner-Webb, as well as a single game against the #3/4 team in the country, and last years National Runner-up, the Florida Gators.

This weekend will mark the first contests for TSU against all three opponents. Eastern Michigan will also participate in the Lipton Invitational, but will not play against the Tigers due to Gardner-Webb and Campbell both being from the Big South Conference. EMU and TSU faced each other in 2009, with the Eagles winning a 10-9 slugfest.

Last Week: The Tigers are coming off a 2-3 weekend at the University of Arkansas tournament. The Tigers finished pool play 2-1 with wins over Jackson State, 5-4, and Northwestern State, 4-1. TSU dropped both games of bracket played and fell to 4-5 on the season. Tedra Alford leads the offense hitting .296 with three doubles and a triple. Jennifer Givens has a team high five stolen bases to go along with a .286 batting average. Shea Morris spearheads the pitching staff at 3-2 with a 1.65 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 34.0 innings of work.


Campbell (7-8)
2011 Record: 32-28
Conference: Big South
2011 Finish: 11-9 (Atlantic Sun)
Series Record: 0-0
Last Time Played: First Meeting
Last Win: N/A
The Camels are batting .313 as a team and are paced by Ericka Nesbitt, who is hitting .404 with eight runs scored and five stolen bases, and Stephanie Jones, with six doubles and a .400 average while stealing six bases, scoring eight times and a team high 13 RBI. Campbell has hit 12 home runs on the season and is led by Raven Lee (.361) with four. Christina Melton and Brittany Arnn carry most of the load in the circle for the Camels. Both pitchers have three wins early in the campaign with Melton boasting a 3.79 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 48.0 innings. Arnn has already posted a shutout and has a 4.27 ERA.

Gardner-Webb (7-7)
2011 Record: 18-28
Conference: Big South
2011 Finish: 6-12
Series Record: 0-0
Last Time Played: First Meeting
Last Win: N/A
The Bulldogs have used five pitchers this season which have combined for a 2.82 ERA. Cindy Boomhower is 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA in six appearances. Alyssa Gutierrez (2-2, 2.36) is tops for GWU with 17 strikeouts and 29.2 innings pitched. Samantha Meenaghan is off to a hot start after a season where she was selected as the Big South Freshman of the year in 2011. The sophomore has collected 19 hits, one triple and one homer, in 44 at bats for a .432 average. McKenzie Morenus is hitting a slight .240, but has made her hits count with a double, two dingers and 11 RBI.

Florida (13-1)
2011 Record: 56-13
Conference: SEC
2011 Finish: 21-7
Series Record: 0-0
Last Time Played: First Meeting
Last Win: N/A
The Gators are one currently ranked No. 3/4 in the two major polls. Sami Fagan is hitting .500 (23-for-46) with two doubles and a triple and has crossed home plate 17 times. Brittany Schutte has scored 16 runs on 18 hits, three doubles and two home runs, and has driven in 17 while batting is hitting .486. Michelle Moultrie is tops in the speed game for Florida with 11 stolen bases in 13 attempts. Hannah Rogers has stepped up to be the ace of the staff with an 8-0 record to go along with a 0.63 ERA. She has struck out 49 in 44.2 innings pitch and has already recorded four shutouts. In six starts, Lauren Haeger is 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 36 strikeouts, opposed to 15 walks, in 32.1 innings.