NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont Softball hits the road for its final non-conference tournament of the season this weekend. The Bruins (9-5) make a trip west to play in the UofM Softball Tournament, hosted by the University of Memphis, March 8-10. Also competing in the three-day tournament are DePaul (15-4), Indiana State (7-7), IUPUI (5-14) and host-Memphis (9-9).
First-time opponent DePaul will be looking to snap a three-game skid with its trip to Memphis this weekend. The Blue Demons stand at 15-4 overall. DU is led at the plate by Jessica Cothern, who is batting .361 with 22 hits, seven doubles, three homeruns and 20 RBI. Work inside the circle is split between two pitchers. Natalie Halvorson has amassed an 8-1 record with a 2.54 ERA after 67.1 innings tossed with 38 strikeouts. Krista Dalgarn has tallied a 3.60 ERA with a 7-3 record after throwing 60 innings and fanning 35 batters.
IUPUI is battling through a rough patch, picking up two wins in its last seven outings to stand at 5-14 overall. The Jaguars are led at the plate by Jaida Speth, who is batting .378 with 14 hits, a pair of doubles and six RBI. Inside the circle, Lexi Lucas has done the lion's share of work, tossing 66.1 innings. She also has a total of 29 strikeouts with a 4-6 record.
Indiana State will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak when it travels to the Blues City. The Sycamores stand at 7-7 overall and are led at the plate by Bailey Martin, who is batting .480 with 24 hits, three doubles, one triple and two homeruns with 13 RBI. Two pitchers are leading the charge for ISU, led by Gabbi Schnaiter, who has notched 31 strikeouts over 34.2 innings of work to the tune of a 1.62 ERA and a 3-5 record. Arielle Blankenship has thrown 28.1 innings and recorded 14 strikeouts for a 3-2 record and a 2.47 ERA.
Memphis, hosting its second home tournament of the season, stands at 9-9 on the season after collecting its fourths straight win this week. The Tigers are led at the plate by Baylee Smith, who is batting .438 with 21 hits, six doubles, three triples, four homeruns and 19 RBI. Inside the circle, three pitchers have seen work, led by Mariah Nichols, who has thrown 50.1 innings, tallied 30 strikeouts, earned a pair of saves, a 2.64 ERA and a 3-4 record. Bayleigh Wisher has a 3.13 ERA over 31.1 innings of work with 14 strikeouts, two saves and a 3-1 record while Karli Perque has seen action in 22 innings, fanned 22 batters, has an ERA of 3.18 and a 2-3 record.
BU stands at 9-5 overall after hosting the Bruin Classic last weekend. The Bruins' are led at the plate by sophomore Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.), who is batting .457, pushed by a slugging percentage of .857, with two doubles, four homeruns and 20 RBI. Senior Hayley Baker (Rockwall, Texas) is batting .356 with 16 hits, a team-leading five doubles, three homeruns and 14 RBI.
Inside the circle, junior Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) continues to lead the Bruin pitching corps. She has an ERA of 1.83 with 42 strikeouts over 42 innings of work for a 4-2 record with a save and two shutouts. Double-threat Veltri has posted a 2.39 ERA with 46 strikeouts over 38 innings for a 5-2 record.
Belmont begins play at the UofM Softball Tournament on Friday at 11 a.m., taking on Indiana State before facing off against IUPUI at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, BU plays host-Memphis at 5:45 p.m. The tournament concludes with the Bruins facing off against IUPUI and DePaul on Sunday at 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. All games will have live stats available.