SHREVEPORT, La. – The University of Dallas softball team qualified for its seventh straight Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Tournament, which will be played at Centenary College on Friday, April 26 – April 28. The Crusaders earned the No. 6 Seed for the second year in a row and will face the No. 3 Seed Centenary College.
First pitch for the second game on the day is slated for 1:30 p.m.
The host team took all four games (9-2, 3-1, 9-2, 10-1) from the regular season series versus the Crusaders in Irving, Texas. Dallas enters the tournament 7-31 overall and went 2-20 in league play on the season. The Crusaders dropped two neutral site games this season. They have lost six in a row, closing the regular season last week at LeTourneau University and No. 23 Southwestern University.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Julie Duenas (Houston, Texas) has been a force in the third-spot of the batting order for the Crusaders this season. The third baseman has mashed 50 hits (3rd for UD all-time) in a season. Her .450 batting average is third in the league. She adds seven doubles, a team-high four home runs, and team-high 24 RBI.
- Liz Cordova (Oklahoma City, Okla.) is hitting .263 and has 30 hits to round out a trio of players that have eclipsed that mark overall. Her 10 doubles lead the squad, and 16 doubles place her second on the leaderboard.
- Caitlyn Stevenson (Henderson, Nev.) has totaled 39 hits, which matches her total from the freshman campaign. The short stop projects to lead-off in the batting order. She has five games with three or more hits and is on an active five-game hitting streak.
- Karina Campo (Georgetown, Texas) has thrown 76 innings to lead the staff this season. She has made 17 appearances (14 starts) in the pitching circle. Paige Rasmussen (El Campo, Texas) pitched 1.2 innings of relief last Saturday after missing time the past month.
- Torres has collected 27 hits, while Mackenzie Tano (Wylie, Texas) has garnered 22. The corner outfielders have combined for seven doubles with three and four, respectively.
- A trio of players follow the top two UD players in runs-batted-in with double figures (10). Stevenson, Campo, and Torres make up the unit.
- 1st Year Head Coach Caitlynn Dykes is coaching her first tournament but played with fellow SCAC member Trinity University from 2012-15. She was an assistant in 2016 with the Tigers, who went 10-10 during her time as a player and coach. They reached the SCAC Championship Game and finished as the runners-up each year, too.
- The Dallas roster features eight freshmen that are experiencing their first conference tournament. This includes potential starters: Brianna Hale (Austin, Texas), Madison Coutts (Tampa, Fla.), Torres, Blyss Johnson (Wells, Texas), Rasmussen, and Campo.
- UD also brings returners that played in past tournaments: Katelyn Lazarek (Seattle, Wash.) Tano, Stevenson, Cordova, Maggie Watts (Arcadia, La.), Mel Savala (Bryan, Texas), Tera Espinosa (Caldwell, Texas), and Duenas.
- Savala ranks 10th all-time in base hits with 118. She has a home run from the 2016 conference tournament, which saw UD advance the furthest in SCAC history to a fourth game (2nd elimination game).
A LOOK AT THE LADIES
- Centenary earns the highest seed in the tournament since 2013, after going 15-21 overall. However, it played above .500 in SCAC play for the first time in history with a 12-10 mark.
- Prior to a pair of setbacks to top-seeded and nationally ranked TLU, the Ladies won three in a row to claim a series win at Trinity.
- The Ladies are 4-7 at the Centenary Softball Complex.
- Centenary has totaled 144, 263 hits, 46 extra-base hits, and 73 stolen bases.
- Among at bat qualifiers, Wendy Gillet is hitting the highest batting average at .369. She is the leader for the Maroon and White In hits (38), doubles (12) and RBI (28).
- Sydney Hurley is hitting .323 to go with 21 ribbies. Cassie Gonzalez and Margeaux Smith are hitting .311 to complete to top quartet of .300 batting averages with at least 10 at bats.
- In the circle, look for Amberlee Nix (85.1 IP) or Hannah Scoggin (71 IP) to make the start. Both have nearly identical ERAs under 3.50 and are about the same in strikeouts with 28 for Nix and 27 for Scoggin.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The winner advances to take on second-seeded and No. 22 Southwestern University at 6:30 p.m., which is the fourth scheduled game of the day. The loser will play the loser of the No. 4 Seed and No. 5 Seed game on Saturday in an elimination game.
The Ladies are 2-1 in the SCAC tournament versus UD, having eliminated them in 2016 and 2018. Dallas won its lone postseason matchup in an upset during the 2013 SCAC Tournament in Irving.
THE NUMBERS FOR THE FIELD