TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa softball team look to continue their winning ways in an SSC showdown as the third-placed Spartans welcome the top-ranked Sharks to Naimoli Family Field.
The Matchup: University of Tampa Spartans (19-9, 9-6 SSC) vs. Nova Southeastern University Sharks (20-12, 9-3 SSC)
Date/Time: Friday, March 22 - 6 p.m. || Saturday, March 23 - 12 p.m. / 2 p.m. (DH)
Location: Naimoli Family Softball Field || Tampa, Fla.
Series History: The Spartans lead the series 29-21; At Naimoli, Tampa owns a 16-8 record against Nova Southeastern.
Last Time Out: Tampa competed in "The Spring Games" in Kissimmee, Fla. and swept their double-header against Saint Michael's and Minnesota-Crookston. Bailey Phillips and Maddie Farrell connected on home-runs and the Spartans recorded two shut-outs at the Osceola Softball Complex. Sam Worrell earned her first win as a Spartan in the circle and Makaleigh Dooley logged her 15th complete game of the year. With a 5-0 victory over SMC and a 4-0 win against UMC, Tampa's shut-out the last four opponents which included two conference games against Lynn University.
About the Spartans: UT's riding a nine-game winning streak dating back to March 9 as the Spartans upset then-ranked No. 10 Florida Tech. Tampa's ace in the circle, Dooley, earned SSC Pitcher of the Week after a three-game sweep at Lynn University last weekend. The senior leads the conference in strikeouts (134), and ranks second in wins (14) and ERA (1.06). The right-hander from Wharton HS has allowed only 11 walks in 125.1 innings. The Spartans have had the fortune of multiple new-comers this season; Worrell, a senior transfer from USF, is tied for the team-lead in hits (22) and leads the team in 2Bs (5), HRs (3), RBI (18) and extra-base hits (8). Lexie Chevalier, a freshman outfielder, has 19 hits this year including two home-runs and nine RBI. Corynn Miner has returned for UT after a red-shirt season, the right-hander has made 12 appearances in the circle and owns a 4-2 record with four complete games and 33 strikeouts in 41.2 innings. The red-shirt sophomore sits behind Worrell and Farrell with 21 hits, seven extra-base hits, and 13 RBI.
About the Sharks: Nova Southeastern sits atop the conference with a 9-3 conference record, and the Sharks are coming off back-to-back victories after dropping game one to Saint Leo last weekend. NSU was scheduled to play Flagler College on Tuesday, March 19 but the double-header was cancelled due to inclement weather. Nova lost to then-ranked No 22 Valdosta State, 3-2, on February 2, a mutual opponent of the Spartans. NSU's Suka Van Gurp leads the team and ranks second in the SSC with a .433 batting average in 97 at-bats. The Willemstad, Curacao native also leads the team in 2Bs (10), 3Bs (3), HRs (8), and RBI (38). Tia Williams has registered 32 hits, five doubles, and 18 RBI; ranking second on the team in every category, trailing Van Gurp.
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