The Walk-Off: Upsets wreak havoc on the Top 25

Courtesy of Crash Kamon

If you were a ranked team on Saturday – outside of Oklahoma and Texas’ dominance – chances were you were in trouble.

Michigan 10, No. 16 Florida 2 F/5

After only scoring one run in the first four games of the Judi Garman, Michigan put up a four spot in the first and a six spot in the third before closing it out in the fifth. Florida’s struggles against Power Five pitching continued. Tara Henry has the full recap from California.

NC State 6, No. 9 Clemson 1
No. 9 Clemson 8, NC State 0 F/5

The Tigers took an early lead in this ACC opener, but it did not last long. NC State took advantage of Brooke McCubbin’s command in the second inning. A leadoff single and three walks led to the Wolfpack’s first run. Despite McCubbin’s exit in the second, NC State rattled off three straight singles to push the lead to 6-1. Aisha Weixlmann kept the Tigers off the board for six innings of relief, forcing 11 flyouts.

Clemson responded how you’d expect in the second game of the doubleheader. Valerie Cagle tossed a five-inning shutout. The Tigers came out the gate with three runs in the first. Alia Logoleo put the game in run-rule territory with a three-run blast in the fourth.

South Alabama 2, No. 10 Alabama 0
No. 10 Alabama 1, No. 15 Arizona 0

The pitching was good in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. Olivia Lackie did what she does best, leading South Alabama to a great win. The righty didn’t have a ton of strikeouts. Instead, Alabama had a ton of fly balls that they missed squaring up for potential home runs with the mix of Lackie’s riseball and screwball. The Jaguars only had two hits but made them count. Odalys Cordova and Sasha Willems each doubled in runners that reached on an error and a walk. Becky Clark earned her 700th career victory.

There was even less offense in the Tide’s second game. Marlie Giles homered off of Miranda Stoddard in the fourth inning and was the lone runner to cross the plate.

Meanwhile, the combination of Jaala Torrence, Alea Johnson and Kayla Beaver blanked the Arizona offense, limiting the Wildcats to three hits. Johnson did a great job in the sixth to keep the Wildcats off the board after allowing the first two runners on.

No. 22 Cal 7, No. 3 Georgia 2

Maybe the Bulldogs had their eyes on the battle against NiJaree Canady, which was rained out. Randi Roelling said there was another pretty good pitcher from the Bay Area. The freshman lefty allowed a two-run homer to Jaiden Fields in the second and responded with five straight scoreless innings with the help of a couple of groundball double plays. 

The Bears tagged both Madison Kerpics and Shelby Walters. The bottom of Cal’s order produced the offense outside of a two-run double from Acacia Anders. Tianna Bell homered off of Walters in the fourth.

South Dakota State 7, No. 18 Arkansas 3

The Razorbacks got by the Jackrabbits earlier in the week, but not Saturday. Kennedy Miller’s hot streak added a three-run blast against Tori Kniesche in the first inning. After that it was all South Dakota State. Kniesche worked around seven walks and seven hits with nine strikeouts as Arkansas went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. 

The Jackrabbits came back with a three-run second inning against Hannah Camenzind, who they couldn’t figure out on Thursday. South Dakota State took the lead against Robyn Herron with a two-out blooper from Emma Osmundson. Lindsey Culver’s two-run homer extended the lead to three the following at-bat. The seven runs were the most allowed by Arkansas’ staff this season.

Charlotte 4, No. 20 Kentucky 3

After Ally Hutchins hit a solo shot in the top of the seventh, it felt like Charlotte’s chances dwindled even more. The Niners had a tough time all night against Jaden Vickers and Sydney Langdon. Even on the toughest nights, all it takes is one.

Langdon hadn’t allowed a hit since coming into the circle and she started the seventh with her sixth K of the night. She sandwiched the second out with a pair of free passes, putting Arianna Rodi at the plate. The end result was a game of inches. Rodi lifted a ball through the wet weather to right field, Rylea Smith’s outstretched glove made it hard to tell where the ball was but her reaction said it all. Rodi’s three-run blast walked off the game.

Texas State 7, UTEP 0
No. 24 South Carolina 4, Bethune-Cookman 0

Texas State’s Jessica Mullins and South Carolina’s Jori Heard tossed perfect games Saturday. Mullins had the first seven-inning perfect game by a Bobcat since Katie Garnett versus Kansas City according to Texas State Assistant Director of Athletic Communications Megan Webb. Heard’s perfect game was the first for the Gamecocks since 2007.

No. 14 Virginia Tech 9, Notre Dame 1
No. 14 Virginia Tech 9, Notre Dame 3

The Hokies flexed their muscles to claim their ACC opening series. Emma Mazzarone, Emma Lemley and Cassie Grizzard limited the Irish to four runs and didn’t need the help of Lyndsey Grein. Virginia Tech hit six home runs between the two games, Bre Peck and Michelle Chatfield had one in each game. Mazzarone also homered. Cori McMillan had four RBIs in the first game without a long ball.

Auburn 1, Northwestern 0

The Wildcats were shut out earlier in the day against North Texas and facing Maddie Penta wasn’t exactly a remedy to fix the offense. Penta didn’t allow a run to Northwestern, striking out 10. In her last five outings, she’s thrown 34 innings, allowed one earned run, and struck out 49 batters with a no-hitter and a perfect game. Ashley Miller was dealt the loss despite allowing only two hits and striking out nine batters. But a fifth-inning error allowed a run to cross. Miller has also been pretty decent, allowing one earned run over the past 24.1 innings.

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