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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Softball

Lumberjacks game washed out as Cougars prep for Tulsa


Coming off a historic weekend, the Cougars Tuesday contest against SFA was rained out. | Justin Cross/The Cougar

After missing opportunities in their last few games, the Cougars got back on track, sweeping UConn over the weekend. With the match up against SFA rained out, this sets them up perfectly as they head to Tulsa on Friday.

The Cougars were scheduled to travel to Nacogdoches Tuesday for a midweek contest against SFA, but the rain in the area nixed that. The Lumberjacks were seen as a tune-up for the Cougars, before they traveled to face the Golden Hurricane.

The Lumberjacks haven’t had the best season, holding a record of 13-25 and having lost three of their last four games. Neither their team batting average or ERA rank in the NCAA Top 200, and they rank only sixth in the Southland Conference.

After going 1-1 against lowly Lamar last Tuesday, the Cougar offense erupted against the Huskies. They easily secured a series win, outscoring them 12-4 in the first two games. But in dominating fashion, the Cougars swept the series with a 22-0 win, sending the Huskies home early in the fifth inning.

Sophomore pitcher Savannah Heebner, in addition to earning two of the three wins, led the team offensively. Hitting in the middle of the order, she totaled nine RBIs off four hits with two home runs. In addition, she struck out seven batters in her two games and dropped her earned run average to a team-low 2.16.

But the most important thing about the sweep is that it has put the Cougars in a spot to contend. After all the early season troubles and struggles to find wins, they are tied for first place in the American Conference with the Golden Hurricane.

While Tulsa’s record of 26-12 is not going to wow anybody, the team has faced nationally ranked competition in Arkansas and Oklahoma. In addition they boast a team ERA of 1.99, No. 26 in the NCAA. In comparison, the Cougars only rank No. 67 with a 2.64 team ERA.

However, the two fare more closely with their batting averages. The Cougars .295 BA ranked No. 73 and Tulsa’s ranks No. 93 with a .288 BA.

Tulsa is easily their toughest conference opponent by far and the Cougars will need to figure out how to find hits if they are to beat them.

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