McNeese softball will open NCAA Regional Tournament play Friday, May 18 in College Station at 3:30 p.m. against Baylor at Davis Diamond. The game will be streamed on WatchESPN.
Tickets can be purchased by phone at 888-992-4443 or online at 12thman.com.tickets. The Davis Diamond box office will open at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18 and one hour prior to the first game of the day on both Saturday and Sunday.
McNeese (40-19) earned the Southland’s automatic berth after winning the Southland Conference Tournament last weekend, is making its sixth overall NCAA appearance including its third straight. It’s the second time McNeese is playing in the College Station Regional, the first coming in 2005.
Baylor (36-16) who earned an at-large berth is making its 13th overall NCAA Tournament appearance and sixth straight.
The matchup will be the fourth times the two teams will meet this season with Baylor holding a 2-1 edge. McNeese won the most recent game, 7-3 in Waco, Texas on April 11. Baylor picked up a 7-1 win in the first month of the season then a 10-2, five-inning win on April 10.
Senior Erika Piancastelli, the four-time Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year leads McNeese with 22 home runs, 59 RBI, 18 doubles, 60 walks, which ranks her second in the nation. Her 60 walks rank her second in the nation and her 22 home runs rank her eighth in the nation. She is also second on the team with a .384 batting average and 61 hits.
Junior Justyce McClain leads McNeese with a .405 batting average, 79 hits, 57 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. Her 79 hits rank her fifth in the nation.
Senior Morgan Catron has once again been swinging a hot bat, coming off a Southland Conference Tournament where she hit one home run in three of the four games the Cowgirls played, for that she was named the SLC Tournament MVP. Catron enters the Regional Tournament with a .317 batting average, is second on the team with 15 home runs, 55 RBI, 37 walks, and is third with 52 hits.
Sophomore designated player Alexandria Saldivar is batting .301 with 41 hits, 37 RBI, seven doubles and six home runs.
In the circle, the ball has gone to either sophomore Alexsandra Flores or freshman Caroline Settle. Flores is 18-9 on the season with a 2.91 ERA and has won five of her last seven outings including two wins and a save at the SLC tournament last weekend.
Settle is 10-6 on the season with a 3.85 ERA and has won her last four games. Like Flores, she won two games at the SLC Tournament last weekend.
Freshman Amber Coons (6-2) with a 3.75 ERA was the winning pitcher against Baylor on April 11. Coons has won her last two games and was last in the circle on March 21 in a 10-7 complete game win at Lamar.
Freshman Ashley Koncir (6-2) has a 3.86 ERA, started the season with four straight wins before dropping her first game to no. 22 UL-Lafayette. Her last outing was a 12-4, run-rule win over Southeastern Louisiana on May 4.
The winner of the College Station Regional faces the winner of the Gainesville Regional in Super Regionals. The Gainesville Regional features Florida, Ohio State, South Florida and Bethune-Cookman.
Baylor is led by Kyla Walker (.457), Jessie Scroggins (.449) and Goose McGlaun (14 HR) at the plate while Gia Rodoni (22-11), 2.11 ERA and 251 strikeouts is the Bears’ top pitcher in the circle. Regan Green (11-4) has appeared in 27 games with 17 starts. She has a 2.62 ERA with 66 strikeouts.
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