NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont Softball will wrap its five-game homestand hosting crosstown rival Tennessee State (8-17, 4-13 OVC) for a doubleheader. The Bruins (8-18, 4-13 OVC) return to the friendly confines of E.S. Rose Park for the games on Wednesday.
The Lady Tigers will be looking to extend their win streak after picking up a pair of wins over Morehead State in Nashville last week. TSU stands at 8-17 overall and 4-13 in league play.
Anayah Baker-Rowell leads the team at the plate, batting .333 with 12 runs scored, five doubles, three triples, two homeruns and 12 RBI. Bri Vire follows, batting .329 with seven runs, four doubles, a triple, and eight RBI.
The workhorse of TSU's pitching staff is Raven Loveless, who has thrown 74.1 innings and tallied 41 strikeouts, a 2-9 record and a 2.07 ERA. Francys King sports the best ERA at 1.37, after retiring 29 batters and posting a 3-1 record after 35.2 innings inside the circle. Lauren Powell has a record of 3-7 after 56.0 innings of work with a team-high 46 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.50.
BU leads the all-time series, 32-15, and won the last two games earlier this season at Tiger Field.
BU will be looking to rebound after its recent losses over the weekend. Senior Cheyenne Cavanaugh (Spring, Texas) leads the team at the plate, batting .361 with eight runs scored on 30 hits, four doubles, a pair of triples and 13 RBI. Sophomore Kailey Brown (San Antonio, Texas), batting .266 with four runs scored, 17 hits, a pair of doubles, and five RBI, follows her.
Inside the circle, Belmont has looked to senior Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) to lead the pitching staff. She has tossed a team-leading 61.0 innings, fanning 48 batters. She has a record of 4-8 and an ERA of 4.36. Classmate Autumn McDanel (Moravia, Iowa) sports a 3-2 record with a 3.28 ERA after throwing 47.0 innings and notching 29 strikeouts. Freshman Alex Clesi (Mandeville, La.) has thrown 40.0 innings, tallied 16 strikeouts and has an ERA of 5.25 and a record of 1-7.
In NCAA national rankings, the Bruins have a pair of players who have risen through the ranks to stand near the top of some national statistics, as of April 5. Cavanaugh makes appearances in a pair of categories – 66th in sacrifice flies, and 74th toughest player to strikeout among all NCAA D1 players. Sophomore MyKayla Spurlin (Madisonville, Ky.) is ranked 56th in walks per game.
Wednesday's doubleheader is set to begin at 2 p.m. Both contests will be broadcast on ESPN+ and the ESPN app. Live stats will be available for the entire series. All of the games can be viewed live on ESPN+ or the ESPN app. Fans may follow the team's Twitter account (@BelmontSoftball) for live, in-game updates.