Schedule: Friday, Feb. 9 vs. Valparaiso - 11:30 a.m. at Troy - 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 vs. Valparaiso - 9:30 a.m. vs. Alabama State - 12:00 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11 at Troy - 12:30 p.m.
Tigers (0-0) 2017: 12-37 Tennessee State will open the 2018 season with five contests at the Troy Classic. The Tigers look to improve on the 2017 season in which they finished 12-37. TSU is under the direction of first year head coach Andrea Browning, who served as an assistant coach a year ago. The squad of 21 is led by Sarah Snell who is the top returner in hitting with 31 hits, eight doubles and 16 runs, while batting .233. The sophomore is one of 14 members from the 2017 season and will be joined by seven newcomers. In the circle, Lauren Powell enters as the top hurler, finishing with five wins, a 5.25 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 106.2 innings pitched. The junior will be joined be veterans Amanda Cabrera, Erica O’Kane and Tori Hart.
Top Returning Statistical Tigers: Avg.: Sarah Snell - .233 Runs: Sarah Snell - 16 Hits: Sarah Snell - 31 Doubles: Sarah Snell - 8 Triples: Abi Stephens - 1 Home Runs: Megan Huppee, Whitney Ennis, Erica O'Kane - 1 RBI: Patton Akers - 13 Stolen Bases: Sarah Snell, Patton Akers - 7 ERA: Lauren Powell - 5.25 Wins: Lauren Powell - 5 Innings Pitched: Lauren Powell - 106.2 Strikeouts: Lauren Powell - 72
Valparaiso (0-0) 2017 Record: 29-23
The Crusaders return 16 players including Carly Trepanier who finished second on the 2017 team with a .358 batting average (62-of-173). Trepanier scored 31 runs, hit nine doubles, four triples, a home run, while driving in 10 runners, and stole 15 bases. Jaymee Lawton returns in support batting .246 (34-of-138) a year ago with 21 runs, eight doubles, two triples, five home runs and 23 RBI. The duo was two of three Crusaders to start all 51 games last season. In the circle, Mackenzie Grossman returns as the ace of the pitching staff, finishing 20-12 with three saves and a 3.05 ERA. Grossman struck out 120 batters in 165.0 innings. Ashlyn Montgomery returns as a solid number two working 90.1 innings and collecting a 3.25 ERA while posting a 6-6 record with a save.
Troy (0-0) 2017 Record: 20-34
The Trojans welcome eight newcomers to join 11 returners, including two pitchers, for the 2018 season. Claire Graves enters the season as the top returning hurler, tallying an 8-11 record with a 3.18 ERA in 152.0 innings of work. Graves held opponents to a .259 batting average. Offensively, Stephanie Snyder and Madeline Porter return as the top hitters from last season. Snyder batted .277 (48-for-173) with 19 runs, 11 doubles, three home runs and 23 RBI. Porter added 23 runs, nine doubles and 20 RBI while hitting .267 (36-of-135). Porter also earned 18 walks and was hit by pitch 14 times for a .407 on base percentage.
Alabama State (0-0) 2017 Record: 22-35
The Hornets add eight newcomers to a squad of nine returners from a year ago. Kaylee Davis is the top returning hitter at .331 (39-of-118) with 26 runs, six RBI and 13 stolen bases. Taylor Rosser batted .348 in limited action (16-of-46), scoring seven runs and driving in seven. Vanessa Bradford worked as the teams’ ace in 2017 going 12-14 with a 4.24 ERA and fanning 68 batters in 165.0 innings. Charlene Castro compiled a 2-7 record a season ago, striking out 26 batters in 51.1 innings pitched.