March 7, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. – Winners of four in a row and 8-of-10 overall, the University of Pittsburgh softball team (9-6) heads west this weekend to play in the Diamond Devil Classic hosted by No. 3 Arizona State.
Pitt will open the tournament with New Mexico State, and will then alternate playing ASU and UC Davis twice. Notre Dame will also be at the tournament but the two Big East foes will not face each other until the weekend of April 20th when the Panthers host the Fighting Irish for a three game series.
BATS GET HOT IN ORLANDO:
The Panthers put together their second-consecutive 4-1 weekend, powered by the offense that racked up 49 hits in five games at the Citrus Classic. Of those 49 hits, 27 of them came on Saturday in two - five inning run-rule victories (13-5 vs. LIU Brooklyn; 13-0 vs. Fordham).
Tori Nirschl led the charge at the plate as she batted .562 (9-for-16) and scored nine runs en route to earning her first career Big East Weekly Honor Roll selection. The freshman leadoff hitter is tops on the team in at bats (51), hits (18), runs (17), triples (2) and is tied for the team-high in home runs (3).
Four different players tallied seven hits each, while freshman first baseman Taylor Henry compiled a team-high nine RBI. Her two most important runs batted in came on a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning against James Madison, giving Pitt a 3-2 victory.
Savannah King is becoming one of the best dual threats in the Big East as she is 5-4 with a 3.27 ERA in the circle, and also leads the team in batting average at .464. In 28 at bats, King has 13 hits with one home run, eight RBI and three doubles. She tallied a career-high five RBI against LIU Brooklyn last weekend.
SCOUTING THE FIELD:
No. 3 Arizona State (21-1): The Sun Devils bring a 21-1 record in the weekend with their only loss coming against No. 20/17 Baylor. Arizona State is two years removed from the NCAA National Championship title, and made a return trip to the College World Series last year. All-American Dallas Escobedo has an 11-1 record with a 1.90 ERA, while Elizabeth Caporuscio and Cheyenne Coyle both bat over .425 and lead the team with 26 and 24 hits, respectively.
New Mexico State (14-7): The Aggies have won four in a row after two wins apiece against UNLV and Weber State. Seven players bat over .300, led by Teresa Conrad with a .396 average. Amber Olive has a team-best 28 hits, while slugger Staci Rodriguez has seven home runs, which is tops on the team.
UC Davis (9-11): The other Aggies in the tournament field, UC Davis enters with an overall record of 9-11 and is 4-6 in their last 10 contests. Collectively, UC Davis has a .241 batting average, led by Jasmine Lee who is hitting .281. The Aggies have yet to hit a home run this season.
Live stats will be available for all games this weekend, while a free radio stream can be heard for the two games against Arizona State. Per usual, fans can also receive updates via Twitter by following @PittSoftball.