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Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekend Roundup

NEWS:
  • Eight of the teams ranked in the top ten in the preseason poll suffered at least one loss in the first weekend of games; only the defending national and SEC champs, Florida and Auburn respectively, came out of the weekend unscathed.
  • Lamar's Jenna Holland set the school's new all-time RBI record.
  • Arkansas' Stephanie Canfield tied the Razorback all-time career triples record.
  • James Madison star Jailyn Ford became the program's new all-time home run queen with her 36th jack.
  • Congratulations to this week's members of the No-No Express- 
    • Megan Landry, Nicholls State (5.0 IP, 7 SO, vs. Mississippi Valley State)
    • Paige Porter, Louisiana-Monroe (5.0 IP, 4 SO vs. Grambling)
    • Brittany Gray, Georgia (5.0 IP, 11 SO vs. Winthrop)
    • Madison Morris, St. John's (5.0 IP, 3 SO vs. Valparaiso)
    • Julia DiMartino, Liberty (5.0 IP, 5 SO, vs. Stetson)
    • McKenna Bull, BYU (6.0 IP, 5 SO, vs. San Jose State)
    • Kylee Hanson, Florida Atlantic (7.0 IP, 6 SO, vs. Tulsa)
    • Marcy Harper/Rachael Walters, Auburn (5.0 IP, 5 SO, vs. Appalachian State)


KELSEY STEWART HIT TRACKER:
The Florida Gators' second baseman comes into this season 113 hits away from the career NCAA record. We will track her progress weekly.
Original photo: Tim Casey / Florida Communications

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Take a look at an incredible catch from the 2015 season by Florida's Kirsti Merritt here:

PERFORMANCES OF THE WEEK:
  • Lexie Elkins, Louisiana-Lafayette - In the midst of a stellar offensive performance by her entire squad, Elkins showed why she is one of the best players in the country and certainly in the top tier of the senior class. In a five-game, season-opening set, the veteran backstop hit .667 with five of her ten hits going over the fence. She walked four times, scored eight runs, and drove in fourteen; for history’s sake, it is worth noting that was very nearly ¼ of her team’s offense.
  • Shelby Pickett, Pittsburgh - The powerful Panther - from whom we predicted great things this season - got off to quite the start. Hitting from the leadoff spot in the batting order, she started her team's season by parking a pitch over the outfield fence. In the second game of a doubleheader later in the day, again leading off the game for her squad, Pickett parked another one over the fence. She ended up hitting an even .500 on the weekend, with three RBI and a pair of doubles to accompany her round-trippers.
  • Kelly Barnhill, Florida - The highly-touted freshman proved her gumption at the Division 1 level as her first career start came against Michigan, who were coming off a championship-defeat at the hands of the same Gators and theoretically would have been playing with a chip on their shoulder. Didn't matter to Barnhill though, as she spun a master of a game from the circle, shutting down the Wolverine offense and allowing only three hits en route to her team's 8-0 run-rule victory. 

Bits and pieces: Although against assuredly-lesser competition, Auburn impressively put up eighty-seven runs in their first five games of the season, including a twenty-eight run performance against Butler... Florida opened their season with three consecutive shutouts, becoming the first defending champs to do that since Arizona in 1992... Texas Tech freshman outfielder Karli Hamilton's 3-HR weekend just missed a mention above, but was certainly worthy of a note here...  Justin's World has added a new staff member, Angel Wilson, who will handle advertising and clerical administration for the site.

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