The Lineup: Heavyweight bout for the Sun Belt, Bubble battles in the Big Ten, ACC

Courtesy of Louisiana Athletics

There are plenty of postseason implications in this week’s series whether it be about hosting a regional or simply getting a spot at the table in the tournament. Here is this week’s lineup:


1. No. 1 Duke @ No. 25 Clemson

Where: Clemson, S.C.
When: April 12-14
What’s it on: Fri: ESPN2, Sat: ACCNX, Sun: ACCN

What do we want to see: Can the Tigers show fight against the ACC frontrunner? They might be without Valerie Cagle again as John Rittman said she’s in concussion protocol after crashing into the outfield wall last weekend. Meanwhile, Duke will want to bounce back after being upset by Campbell on Wednesday.

2. No. 10 Texas A&M @ No. 15 Alabama

Where: Tuscaloosa, Ala. 
When: April 13-15
What’s it on: Sat & Sun: ESPN2, Mon: SECN

What do we want to see: This is all about the Texas A&M bats against Alabama’s pitching staff. The Aggies offense hasn’t been as consistent in true road games this season outside of a pair of games in Starkville. They’ll need their best at-bats to beat Kayla Beaver, Jocelyn Briski and rest of the deep staff.

3. No. 17 Louisiana @ No. 19 Texas State – Softball America Series of the Week

Where: San Marcos, Texas
When: April 12-14
What’s it on: ESPN+

What do we want to see: If Texas State wants a host and the Sun Belt, it is right here for the taking. Louisiana had a slow start to the season but has won 19 of its last 20 games since beating Oklahoma. The Ragin’ Cajuns have won early conference game this season and still hold its 85 Sun Belt series win streak. The Bobcats have their work cut out, but this series can greatly benefit Louisiana’s hosting chances.

4. No. 5 Tennessee @ No. 11 Mississippi State

Where: Starkville, Miss. 
When: April 12-14
What’s it on: Fri & Sun: SECN+ & Sat: SECN

What do we want to see: Talk about iron sharpening iron. Karlyn Pickens and Payton Gottshall lead Tennessee’s top-ranked ERA (1.35) in the SEC play. Potential SEC Player of the Year Madisyn Kennedy, who has the home runs and RBIs during the conference slate, headlines a very good Mississippi State offense. We want to see the best versus the best perform.

5. No. 8 Florida @ No. 18 Missouri

Where: Columbia, Mo. 
When: April 12-14
What’s it on: Fri & Sun: SECN+ & Sat: SECN

What do we want to see: The Gators appeared to be on track to join the elite tier of teams this season until falling to a solid USF team during the week. Can the freshmen pitching staff forget the rough outing on the road? That will be a big test for them especially with a Missouri team coming off a series loss.

6. Oregon @ Arizona

Where: Tucson, Ariz. 
When: April 12-14
What’s it on: Pac-12 Networks

What do we want to see: Oregon has won every Pac-12 series except its visit to UCLA this season. The Ducks have done it with their offense and face the shorthanded Arizona staff trying to support its own offense. There should be a lot of runs in Tucson and should make for a fun series with the winner potentially entering our latest Top 25.

7. NC State @ No. 24 Virginia 

Where: Charlottesville, Va. 
When: April 12-14
What’s it on: Fri: ACCN, Sat & Sun: ACCNX

What do we want to see: Virginia keeps finding ways to win ACC series. Will the Woos continue to do so against NC State? Despite being in last place in the conference, NC State has picked up solid wins throughout the year. If Virginia wants to break its postseason drought, it’ll have to come ready to play.

8. Minnesota @ Indiana 

Where: Bloomington, Ind. 
When: April 12-14
What’s it on: Fri: Big Ten Network, Sat & Sun: B1G+

What do we want to see: Both these teams were on the wrong side of the bubble in our latest bracketology. That’s what makes this series so crucial. These offenses rank toward the top of the Big Ten, whatever team gets a quality pitching outing might be the one that comes out on top.

9. Louisville @ Georgia Tech

Where: Atlanta, Ga. 
When: April 12-14
What’s it on: ACCNX

What do we want to see: Louisville is another bubble team that needs as many wins as possible. Alyssa Zabala will have a big part in trying to keep Georiga Tech’s powerful lineup quiet. If she doesn’t, the Cardinals might have a hard time pulling out this road series.

10. FGCU @ North Florida 

Where: Jacksonville, Fla.
When: April 13-14
What’s it on: ESPN+

What do we want to see: These two teams are chasing Eastern Kentucky in the ASUN. FGCU wins with speed and average with a deep pitching staff led by Angelina Bonilla and her 1.13 ERA. On the flipside, Allison Benning does everything for the Osprey. She is the workhorse in the circle with a 1.70 ERA and 16 wins. Then leads the team in average (.355), home runs (10) and RBI (32). It’ll be the battle of a deep roster versus star power.









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