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Games 1-5: Sand Dollar Classic
Date: Friday, Feb. 8 - Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019
Location:Gulf Shores, Ala.
Venue: Gulf Shores Sportsplex
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Tournament Page: Sand Dollar Classic
Friday, Feb. 8
vs. Louisiana Tech - 11:00 a.m.
vs. #17 Auburn - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9
vs. South Alabama - 11:00 a.m.
vs. Western Kentucky - 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 10
vs. Florida A&M - 12:30 p.m.
Tennessee State opens the 2019 season with five contests at the Sand Dollar Classic. Second-year head coach Andrea Browning looks to improve on the 2018 season in which her squad finished 4-48. The Tigers return every statistical leader from a year ago, led by Sarah Snell who topped seven offensive categories and one defensive. The junior has started every game for the Tigers over the past two seasons and collected 40 hits, 20 runs, 30 walks, and 17 stolen bases, while batting .294 with a .427 on base percentage. The Big Blue enters the new season with 14 returners and nine newcomers. In the circle, freshman Raven Loveless will be tasked to step in for senior Lauren Powell, who will sit out the season after having Tommy John surgery. Junior Tori Hart will hold down her spot in the rotation, while Browning will rely on sophomore Katie Schneider, along with freshmen Jessina Espinoza and Kennedy McCurry to provide depth.
Top Returning Statistical Tigers:
Avg.: Sarah Snell - .294
Runs: Sarah Snell - 20
Hits: Sarah Snell - 40
Doubles: Katie Schneider - 9
Triples: Maddison Clark, Kierra Ware - 1
Home Runs: Maddison Clark, Erica O'Kane, Reese Weber - 2
RBI: Katie Schneider - 14
Stolen Bases: Sarah Snell - 17
Base On Balls: Sarah Snell - 30
ERA: Lauren Powell - 4.96
Wins: Lauren Powell - 2
Innings Pitched: Lauren Powell - 146.2
Strikeouts: Lauren Powell - 91
Louisiana Tech (0-0)
2018 Record: 34-23
The Techsters return three hitters who batted over .300 in 2018. Morgan Turkoly hit .409 and added 41 walks and was hit by eight pitches for a .545 on base percentage. Turkoly was a dual-threat stealing 18 bases and scoring 46 times, while also driving in 26 runners with 13 doubles, a triple and four home runs. Sloan Stewartson hit five long balls, drove in 29 while finishing with a .359 average. Kimmie Atienza rounds out the triple threat with a .313 average, 32 runs, six doubles, two triples, four home runs and 12 stolen bases. Jazlyn Crowder provides depth to the lineup after hitting .283 as a junior with eight doubles, three triples, two home runs, 25 RBI, 34 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. La Tech returns their top two arms from a year ago in Preslee Gallaway and Krystal De La Cruz. Gallaway was the workhorse, appearing in 43 contests, tossing 173.0 innings and posting a 2.43 ERA with 144 strikeouts, finishing with an 18-8 record and two saves. De La Cruz went 4-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 75.1 innings.
#17 Auburn (0-0)
2018 Record: 41-17
Mikayla Martin threw 134.0 innings for the Tigers last season in which she held opponents to a .202 batting average while posting a 1.36 ERA. Martin posted a 15-7 record with four shutouts and 95 strikeouts. Taylon Snow and Casey McCrackin are the top two returning bats in Auburn's lineup. Snow batted .325 with seven doubles, three triples, 26 runs scored and 23 RBI. McCrackin was second on the team with eight dingers, one behind Alyssa Rivera. McCrackin batted .313 while driving in 29 runs and crossing home plate 38 times.
South Alabama (0-0)
2018 Record: 29-27
Brittani and Alexis Reid come in as the top returning Jaguars offensively and in the circle, respectively. Brittani Reid finished third on the team a season ago with a .296 average with eight doubles, three triples, 27 runs, 28 RBI, and shared the top spot of eight home runs with sophomore Kamdyn Kvistad. Alexis Reid struck out 79 batters in 143.2 innings while compiling an 11-11 record with 1 3.07 ERA.
Western Kentucky (0-0)
2018 Record: 28-26
The Hilltoppers are a veteran unit, returning 12 of their top 13 hitters and every member of their pitching staff from last season. Paige Carter and Jordan Thomas paced an offensive unit which hit .278 with 73 doubles, 14 triples and 40 home runs. Carter led WKU hitting at a .327 clip with six doubles, two triples, five round-trippers and 11 swipes. Thomas topped Western Kentucky with 42 runs scored, 16 doubles and 40 base on balls. Thomas batted .317 with a .454 on base percentage. Shelby Nunn and Kelsey Aikey tossed a majority of the total innings in 2018 and combined for 27 of the teams 28 victories. Nunn finished 15-15 with a 3.55 ERA and struck out 104 batters in 177.1 innings. Aikey fanned 108 batters in 142.0 frames and went 12-9 with a 3.15 ERA. Both hurlers recorded three saves apiece.
Florida A&M (0-0)
2018 Record: 23-29
The Rattlers return eight of nine batters who recorded over 100 plate appearances. Tyra Bowers topped FAMU with 55 hits, 20 stolen bases, and a .362 batting average. Bowers scored 28 runs, one behind team leader, Jamesia Stoudemire who batted .293 with four home runs and 11 stolen bases. The Rattlers ace from a season ago returns in the form of Kyaira Brown, who finished 16-12 with a save, a 3.07 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 198.2 innings of work.