Feb. 21, 2013
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The University of Pittsburgh softball team (1-4) heads to Western Kentucky this weekend to participate in the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic. The tournament is scheduled to run from Friday, February 24th through Sunday, February 26th.
The Panthers open the tournament with games against South Dakota State (1 p.m.) and Dayton (3:30 p.m.) on Friday afternoon. Saturday’s contests feature Western Michigan (10:30 a.m.) and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Valparaiso (1 p.m.). Pitt concludes the tournament on Sunday with a game against the host WKU Hilltoppers. First pitch set for 1 p.m.
RECAPPING THE AGGIE CLASSIC:
Pitt finished 1-4 at the Aggie Classic hosted by Texas A&M, and suffered three tough losses to nationally-ranked opponents.
The Panthers hung tough with No. 11/10 A&M in the first of two games with the Aggies, but ultimately gave up three late runs and lost 7-3. In the rematch, Pitt scored three runs in the fifth inning to cut A&M’s lead to 8-5, but could not complete the comeback as the Aggies won 9-5.
In the tournament finale, No. 23/rv North Carolina scored the first four runs of the game, but Pitt cut the deficit in half with two runs in the sixth. There would be no seventh inning rally as UNC won 4-2.
In Pitt’s 1-0 victory against Stephen F. Austin, sophomore pitcher Alexa Larkin threw one of the best game of her career as she struck out a career-high 10 batters and only allowed four hits.
Sophomore second baseman Maggie Sevilla was named to the Aggie Classic All-Tournament Team for leading the Panthers offensively. Sevilla batted .429 at College Station with six hits, two RBI, two doubles and three runs scored. She also added three walks and a stolen base while slugging .571.
SCOUTING THE FIELD:
Dayton (0-5): The flyers are winless after last weekend’s Lovelace Invitational in Denton, Texas. Dayton suffered losses to Iowa, Nebraska-Omaha (twice), Oklahoma State and North Texas. Kathleen Maloof hit .417 with two round-trippers and four RBI. She was named to the All-Tournament Team.
South Dakota State (4-6): The Jackrabbits enter the Hilltopper Classic with the most games under their belt of any team in the field as this is their third tournament. Elyse Eitel is leading the team with a .438 batting average. She has two homers and 12 RBI on the season. In the circle, Kori Seidlitz has a team-high 28 strikeouts.
Valparaiso (2-1): The Crusaders participated in the Belmont Spring Kickoff last weekend and registered wins against Jackson State and Central Arkansas, while enduring a 2-1 loss to the host Bruins. Pitchers Amanda Bolton and Sierra Pico are both 1-0 with ERA’s below three.
Western Michigan (1-5): The Broncos had a very difficult schedule to open the season as they traveled to Arizona State and lost to Oregon, Kentucky, San Diego State, ASU and Cal State Northridge. Its lone win came against Cal Poly. Sophomore Mackenzie Shepeck batted .308 with a homer and two doubles in Tempe.
Western Kentucky (2-2): The Hilltoppers are coming off a 2-2 weekend at the Mississippi State Bulldog Battle with wins over Lipscomb and Murray St., and losses to Northwestern State and MSU. Kellie Quarles is hitting .400 with four RBI to lead WKU.
Fans can access live stats all weekend by visiting the Tournament Central Page. Live Twitter updates will be available as well by following @PittSoftball.