First-Place Spartans Return From Bye Week on Hot Streak

First-Place Spartans Return From Bye Week on Hot Streak

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa softball team returns from their bye week with a double-header on Thursday evening and a single game on Friday against Palm Beach Atlantic. During the weekend, Rollins College dropped two games to Embry-Riddle which gave UT sole possesion of first-place in the Sunshine State Conference. 

The Matchup: University of Tampa Spartans (28-9, 18-6 SSC) vs. Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish (26-19, 14-10 SSC)

Date/Time: Thursday, April 18 - 5 p.m. / 7 p.m. (DH) || Friday, April 19 - TBA (Weather)

Location: Naimoli Family Softball Field || Tampa, Fla.

Series History: The Spartans lead the series, 14-12; Tampa swept the Saturday double-header last year at PBA, out-scoring the Sailfish 9-4. 

Last Time Out: Tampa swept Barry University on Saturday, April 6. In game two of the series, the Spartans blanked the Buccaneers, 8-0, in five innings. Tampa logged four doubles, the most in game this year. In game three, the contest went 11 innings but UT took the 2-1 victory in extras. Makaleigh Dooley went all 16 innings on Saturday, including three complete games in the series. Dooley earned SSC Player of the Week following her 27 strikeout showing, allowing only one run and one walk in 23 innings. In game three, Emalee Jansen tied her career-high with three hits, which she accomplished for the third time this season. Stephanie Balmer extended her hitting streak to seven games, including a hit in 10 of the last 11.

About the Spartans: The 2019 Spartans have tied a school record with 18 straight victories and sit atop the SSC. During the 18-game winning streak, Tampa has out-scored their opponents 86-23. In the last 18 games, UT has gone to extra-innings in three contests (9, 11, and 13 innings), they've won by mercy-rule in three games, and the Spartans have logged nine shut-outs: six of which belong to DooleyDooley has earned the last eight decisions, while the senior leads the conference in wins (22), ERA (1.09), strikeouts (176), and fewest walks allowed (13). The right-hander ranks second in the SSC with 180.0 innings pitched and a .173 opponent batting average. Maddie Farrell leads the team with 31 hits, sporting a .298 batting average along with the second-most walks (12) on the team. Sam Worrell continues to shine in the power category, leading the team with 10 extra-base hits (six doubles, four HR's), 23 RBI, and 15 walks.

About the Sailfish: Palm Beach Atlantic is coming off a three-game sweep over Florida Southern in which they out-scored the Moccasins, 17-5. Abbey Busby leads the way in the circle for PBA, trailing Dooley by one win. Busby's registered a 21-10 record with a 1.53 ERA in 36 appearances (28 starts). The sophomore has recorded 121 strikeouts in 178.1 innings pitched, while going the distance in 13 games. Outfielder Magnolia West has recorded a .377/.425/.483 slash line, leading the team with 57 hits and five triples. Three other Sailfish have greater than a .300 batting average with at least 100 at-bats.

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