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No. 20 Softball Travels To Tempe

Feb. 28, 2013

March 1-3 | Tempe, Ariz. | Farrington Stadium

North Carolina enteres the tournament with a 11-5 mark on the year, including a 1-3 record against ranked opponents. The Tar Heels, winners of six-straight, are hitting .292 as a team and hold a 2.24 ERA, including Lori Spingola’s 1.60 ERA. The 2012 ACC Pitcher of the Year is 4-3 and has 66 strikeouts in 60 innings of work.

North Dakota will enter the tournament with a 2-4 record, not having played a game since falling 8-0 to Iowa State on Feb. 10. UND is hitting .183 as a team and have a 9.00 ERA.

East Carolina is 6-7 on the season after falling in each of the final four contests at the Pirate Invitational last weekend. Kristi Oshiro leads the offense with a .474 batting average and on-base percentage of .523. Sophomore Sarah Christian has won five of the team's six games and leads the staff with a 2.52 ERA.

Binghamton (1-3) has played just four games on the year, last playing on Feb. 17. The Bearcats are hitting .184 as a squad, but the pitching staff has come through with a 2.30 ERA.

Arizona State (16-0) enters the tournament with an unblemished mark and ranked third in the country. The Sun Devils have nine players with at least 10 at-bats who are hitting over .300, batting .355 as a team. Holding a 1.06 team ERA, Dallas Escobedo leads the staff with a 9-0 mark, 1.33 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 63.1 innings pitched.

The Lady Bears won their third-consecutive tournament of the season last weekend, taking home the Texas Shootout with a 5-0 mark. Baylor hit .336, while swiping a 15 bases to go with a 1.48 team ERA.

Baylor enters the weekend on a 14-game winning streak, which ties the 2011 squad for the best in program history. During the stretch, BU has hit .336 with an on-base percentage of .404. In the circle, the staff has held opponent to a .110 average and maintained a 0.74 ERA.

The Lady Bears’ underclassmen have been a vital part of the team’s offensive success in 2013. Of the squad’s 67 RBI on the year, 44 have come from underclassmen, with 25 coming from freshmen. Freshmen have also accounted for five of the team’s eight home runs.

The Lady Bears pitching staff returns three players with considerable pitching experience. Combined, Whitney Canion (76), Courtney Repka (48) and Liz Paul (19) have combined for 143 wins during their careers. Combined with Heather Stearns (3-1, 0.85 ERA), the staff has a 1.10 ERA with a .137 opponent batting average to go along with 134 strikeouts in 114.2 innings of work.

Canion returned to the circle for the Lady Bears after pitching just eight games in 2012 before tearing the ACL in her left knee. The redshirt junior is 8-1 with a 1.22 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 51.2 innings of work.

Baylor’s pitching staff has been one of the Big 12’s best so far. In 12 of Baylor’s 15 games this season, its pitchers have allowed one run or less. In the Lady Bears’ other three victories, they have allowed no more than three runs.

After opening 2013 with 12-straight home games, the Lady Bears are playing 17 of its next 20 games away from Getterman Stadium.

Freshman Sarah Smith enters the weekend on an eight-game hitting streak and 13-game on-base streak. The third baseman leads the team in average (.537), home runs (2), slugging percentage (.780), and on-base percentage (.604).

Freshman Heather Stearns has made a great impression early for BU. Making just her second start, Stearns threw a complete-game no-hitter in a 1-0 win over Northern Illinois on Feb. 9. The performance was just the 16th no-hitter all-time at Baylor and the ninth in 7.0 or more innings. Stearns became the sixth BU freshman to throw a no-hitter. Additionally, she hit a walk-off home run, the first hit of her career, on the first pitch of the seventh to defeat Southern Miss on Feb. 12.



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