MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston softball team returns to action when it hosts No. 7 Tennessee in a single game at Patriots Point on Thursday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.
GLANCING AT THE COUGARS
CofC enters the game as winners of six straight after a weather-adjusted Cougar Classic at Patriots Point last weekend. The Cougars only got to play two games as part of the Classic and took a pair of wins from Wagner on Friday, Feb. 22 and Sunday, Feb. 24.
The Cougars provided early run support in Friday night’s 4-1 win over the Seahawks to earn Klicker her third complete-game victory in as many outings. Carly Corthell (Reno, Nev.) and Valerie Cassell (Edison, N.J.) were both good for three hits in the game. Cassell was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Kristy Giragosian (Charlotte, N.C.) added two RBIs as well. Chandler Frisbie (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was 2-for-3 and scored twice for the Cougars who produced a season-best 13 hits.
On Sunday, the Cougars fell behind early on a two-run homerun in the top of the first inning, but Saylors bore down to only surrender two hits and one walk the rest of the game. The Cougars sparked comeback rallies in the fourth and sixth innings to come away with the victory. The Cougar bats were paced by Kelsey Hodgson (Woodstock, Ga.) and Frisbie who were both 2-for-3 on the day with an RBI apiece. Rebecca Mueller (Fair Oaks, Calif.) provided an RBI as well.
Klicker was named the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week in going 2-0 in the circle in her two appearances last week, throwing complete games in both outings. The lefty recorded a 0.50 ERA after allowing just one run in 14 innings. Klicker allowed only seven hits and did not walk a single batter, while striking out 22. She did not allow an extra-base hit and held her opponents to a .143 batting average.
On the season, Frisbie has surged to the top of the Cougar offense after extending a four-game hit streak and boosting her average to .429 which currently sits third in the SoCon. She is one of three Cougars with six RBIs already on the season and hit her first collegiate homerun last week against South Carolina State.
Corthell has also been swinging a hot bat for the Cougars and has seven hits in the last four Cougar games. She is tied for second on the team with a .385 mark. Cassell is also hitting .385 on the year.
The Cougars have enjoyed production up and down the lineup this season as all nine regular hitters in the lineup have an RBI this season.
After allowing nine runs per game in their opening three losses, the Cougars have limited their opponents to 0.67 runs per game in the ensuing six game win streak. The pitching corps has gotten the team ERA back down to a manageable 2.75 after it ballooned in the first three games.
SCOUTING THE LADY VOLS
The Lady Vols slipped a few spots in the rankings this week after dropping their first games of the season last week at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. They had jumped out to a 12-0 start on the year and achieved the No. 4 ranking before falling to Northwestern and now-ranked No. 12 UCLA.
Tennessee has bounced back since then with wins over UC Santa Barbara and Lipscomb by 6-0 and 5-0 counts, respectively.
Raven Chavanne leads the Lady Vol offense as one of four every-day players batting over .400 this season. The junior is hitting .471 this season with two home runs and two doubles as well as 12 RBIs. She sits atop the Tennessee annals with the all-time highest career batting average (.445) and sits in third in career runs and seventh in career hits.
Also batting above .400 this season are senior Lauren Gibson (.435) and freshman Rainey Gaffin (.429). Chavanne’s 12 RBIs make her one of five Lady Vols with double-digit RBIs this season along with team-leading Cheyanne Tarango (16), Madison Shipman (15), Kat Dotson (14) and Melissa Brown (10).
As a unit, the team is hitting an imposing .363 with 104 RBIs while their opponents are held to .169 with only 15 RBIs.
Mostly responsible for the team’s defensive success are sister pitchers Ivy and Ellen Renfroe. The two have both thrown 36.0 innings and combine for 86 strikeouts this season.
Senior Ivy Renfroe has a 5-0 record in the circle with a 0.58 ERA in 10 appearances this season. She has only surrenedered three runs and 15 hits while striking out 39.
Sophomore Ellen Renfroe is 5-1 in the circle with a 0.91 ERA with 25 hits and five earned runs against 47 strikeouts.
MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE FOR THE MATCHUP
The production team will be back in action on Thursday with a full web-based broadcast of the game. The production will be available through CofCSports.com as well as live stats with animated play-by-play.
The webstream requires a subscription but offers a multiple-camera broadcast with play-by-play commentary and analysis. The live stats are available at no charge.
FOLLOW THE COUGARS
Another great way of keeping up with the CofC softball team is through the team's own Twitter account (@CofCSoftball). The account provides pictures, team activities, statuses when the team is on the road and in-game thoughts and updates.
The road doesn’t get easier for the Cougars who embark on their first road trip of the season which will take them to Kissimmee, Fla., where they’ll compete in the Citrus Classic.
Three of the five teams CofC will face in the Classic appear in this week’s USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll with votes-receiving James Madison, No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 13 Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Cougars will also see Georgetown and Hofstra in the Classic. Action begins for CofC on Friday, March 1 against James Madison at 5:45 p.m.