HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats will face one of the Southland Conference’s top teams this weekend in the final home series of the season when they take on Abilene Christian at the Bearkat Softball Complex.
The series will kick off with a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 3 p.m., followed by a single game on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Both games of Friday’s doubleheader can be watched on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app with Matt Pedersen and Megan Trammel on the call. All games can also be followed via live stats or by following @BearkatsSB on Twitter.
Saturday’s series finale will also serve as Senior Day for the Bearkats’ five-member senior class of Tayler Atkinson, Tori Koerselman, Hannah Marino, Ashley Kopps and Casey Sax.
The Wildcats enter the weekend as winners of their last six games and sit second in the league with a 15-3 mark. They are in their final transition year from Division II, rendering them ineligible for the league tournament.
They feature one of the top arms in the league in freshman Sidney Holman who comes into the series with a 17-4 record and sporting a 1.83 ERA and a league-best 136 strikeouts in 157.0 innings of work. As a team, ACU carries a 2.42 ERA as Holman and teammate Hannah Null have combined to pitch 286 of ACU’s 295 innings to date.
In addition to Holman in the circle, ACU also sports one of the league’s top bats in Peyton Hedrick. The junior ranks fifth in the Southland Conference with a .383 average and seventh with a .431 on-base percentage but leads the league in runs scored (42), RBI (46), triples (5) and home runs (13) while also ranking second in total hits (54).
Meanwhile, the Bearkats are coming off a series win over the weekend against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, holding the Islanders to just three runs in the series. That series win evened the Kats’ league mark at 9-9 and has them in a tie with Southeastern Louisiana for fifth in the league.
Sophomore Lindsey McLeod had a stellar weekend in the circle, making a pair of appearances and earning the victory in both Bearkat wins. She punched out 19 hitters in just 12 innings of work without a walk or a run allowed, earning her second Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week honor of the season on Monday.
She currently leads the league with a .183 opponent’s batting average, and is joined by Atkinson in the top 10 in ERA, making Sam Houston one of just three teams to have a pair of pitchers among the league’s top 10 in that category.
Offensively the Bearkats still sit fourth in the Southland with a .271 batting average and 18 home runs, while boasting a lineup that features a trio of hitters at the top of the lineup carrying an average of .311 or better.
Freshman Megan Crosby continues to lead Sam Houston in homers (5) and slugging percentage (.486), while Tori Koerselman has paced the team all season in batting average (.342), on-base percentage (.406), hits (41) and stolen bases (13).
SERIES vs ABILENE CHRISTIAN
The Bearkats own a 5-4 record all-time against the Wildcats with all games coming since ACU joined the Southland Conference for the 2014 season. Sam Houston won two of three games in each of the first two series between the programs before ACU claimed its first series win a year ago, taking two of three in Abilene.