SCAC Tournament Preview: Dallas Opens Against Host Southwestern

Crusaders begin tournament play on Friday.
Crusaders begin tournament play on Friday.

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FIRST PITCH

The University of Dallas softball team travels to Georgetown, Texas, where the 2018 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Tournament is being played. The No. 6-seeded Crusaders (8-30, 2-18 SCAC) take on host school No. 3-seeded Southwestern University (20-15, 9-11 SCAC) at a scheduled 1:30 p.m. game on Friday, April 27th. The contest is the second on the ledger that day, as No. 4-seeded Centenary College and No. 5-seeded Trinity University play prior.

Printable Bracket

Dallas and Southwestern will be familiar with each other as the programs play a fifth straight meetings. The pair matched up for the last regular season series in Irving last weekend. The Crusaders dropped the series going 1-3. A comeback sixth inning lifted UD to an 8-5 final in its lone triumph last Sunday. The Pirates run-ruled the doubleheader on Friday, and then rallied for two run in the seventh for a 7-6 final. That win also secured the three-seed.


UDCRUSADER HEADLINES

- Alicia Enciso (Corona, Calif.) leads the team in batting average (.361), total hits (43), doubles (10), runs scored (23), and walks (17). She went 11-for-19 over six games last week, including the four conference matchups. Her first collegiate homer was against the Pirates.

- Gabbie Underwood (La Verne, Calif.) has contributed a .339 batting average (2nd on UD), 40 hits (2nd), and 25 RBI (Team-high).

- Liz Cordova (Oklahoma City, Okla.) his batting .330, with 35 hits, six doubles, and a team-leading three home runs. All three of her round-trippers have come on the road against league opponents.

- Julie Duenas (Houston, Texas) rounds out the quartet of batting averages above .300 with a .315-clip. She is tied with Cordova in doubles and has driven in 16. Caitlyn Stevenson (Henderson, Nev.) rounds out the top three Crusaders in total hits (37), and is the lone player in double-digits for steals (11).

- Maggie Watts (Arcadia, La.) leads the team in innings pitched (124.2) and appearances (27). 18 of her outings in the circle have been starts. Lauren Galvan (Bryan, Texas) is the other arm to log over 100 innings with 107. She has made 19 starts and appeared in 22 games.


YOUTHFUL ROSTER

- Dallas boasts a regular projected lineup that features six first-year players. This sextet includes: Enciso, Stevenson, Duenas, Underwood, Cordova, and Haley Golden (Lake Dallas, Texas). These six filled out the top of the lineup card both games against Southwestern on Sunday.

- Mel Savala (Bryan, Texas) and Tera Espinosa (Caldwell, Texas) are the veteran class on the roster. Savala has played in the most tournament games (6).

- Mackenzie Tano (Wylie, Texas) and Galvan both appeared in two postseason games in 2017.


BY THE NUMBERS

- UD Season Stats

- Southwestern Season Stats

- Dallas has played the Pirates three times (2014-16) in conference tournament meetings.

- Southwestern won the first two, before the Crusaders won a by a 9-1 final (F/5) in 2016. Savala smacked a three-run blast to cap a 4-0 advantage in the first inning.

- Both setbacks were decided by a combined three runs.


A LOOK AT OPPONENT

- Southwestern is 6-6 at Taylor-Sanders field this year.

- The Pirates are bating .350 as a team and pitchers have spun a 3.96 ERA.

- Sydney Scott leads the team with 48 hits and has slashed a .381/.414/.587.

- Kaitlyn Copher on the year is the other player above 40 base knocks with 42. She matches Grace Phelps for the team-lead in doubles with 10.

- Taylor Curtis performed well against the Crusaders last weekend, as she earned SCAC Offensive Player of the Week.

- Three pitchers have thrown at least 50 innings in the circle for Southwestern. Bailey Meyer paces the group with 83 and has won 11 decisions. Nadia Netek (56.2) and Lindsey Longuet (50) are the other starters.


UP NEXT

A Dallas win advances the team to face No. 2-seeded Schreiner University later that evening at a scheduled 6:30 p.m. start. A setback moves the team to an elimination game versus the loser of the game 3 matchup on the day that would featured top-seeded Texas Lutheran University and the winner of game 1.