Big Weekend in SEC Softball, Standings Stay Tight

With roughly a month left of regular season play in NCAA Softball, SEC teams are constantly going head-to-head with conference foes. Through April 6-10, six SEC series took place, and Tennessee also hosted the Tennessee Invitational.

SEC Standings (As of April 9)

  1. Tennessee, 10-2 SEC, 30-5 overall
  2. Georgia, 11-3 SEC, 31-8 overall
  3. Arkansas, 9-6 SEC, 28-11 overall
  4. Auburn, 7-5 SEC, 29-12 overall
  5. Kentucky, 7-5 SEC, 24-10 overall
  6. Texas A&M, 7-7 SEC, 24-13 overall
  7. LSU, 6-6 SEC, 33-7 overall
  8. Florida, 6-6 SEC, 28-10 overall
  9. Alabama, 6-6 SEC, 28-12 overall
  10. South Carolina, 4-8 SEC, 27-11 overall
  11. Mississippi State, 3-7 SEC, 23-15 overall
  12. Ole Miss, 3-9 SEC, 23-18 overall
  13. Missouri, 3-12 SEC, 23-18 overall

The middle of the pack is extremely close in the conference, as six teams have either six or seven wins. With the SEC Tournament beginning May 9, squads stuck in the middle of the batch are trying to break away and get good placement for the tournament. And, with teams mostly playing series within the SEC, the standings will fluctuate leading up to the tournament.

Series (April 6-April 10)

National rankings are according to D1Softball rankings as of April 10.

  •  Auburn vs No. 23 Florida (Florida won series 2-1)

    • The Tigers traveled to Gainesville to face the Gators in a three-game series April 6-8. Florida’s Reagan Walsh hit a walk off single to give the Gators game one with a score of 3-2. In game two, Florida won by a commanding score of 6-3, and then Auburn fired back with a 7-0 victory over the Gators Saturday, scoring four runs in the first inning. Following the series, Auburn still holds a one-game SEC advantage over Florida.

  • South Carolina vs No. 15 Alabama (Alabama won series 2-1)

    • Alabama needed some SEC wins to boost themselves in the conference rankings, and they should be content following their series with South Carolina. The series was headlined by Alabama’s superstar pitcher Montana Fouts, a fifth-year senior. Bama took game one on Thursday with a score of 2-1 led by 15 strikeouts by Fouts and capped off by a walk off single by Kenleigh Cahalan. A cancelation of Friday’s game set up a doubleheader on Saturday. In game two, Fouts threw the fourth no-hitter of her career as Alabama easily beat the Gamecocks 4-0. The Tide fell in game three with a score of 3-1, but they still took the series over South Carolina.

  • No. 6 Georgia vs No. 12 Arkansas (Georgia won series 2-1)

    • Georgia and Arkansas are two talented, evenly matched teams who put up a fun series. In game one, Arkansas held a lead from the first inning until Georgia’s Jayda Kearney blasted a three-run homerun in the top of the seventh, and the Dawgs went on to win 4-3. Georgia dominated Arkansas in game two, as the Dawgs’ Shelby Walters pitched a two-hit shutout, leading Georgia to a 4-0 win. Georgia would give up game three 4-3, but left Fayetteville with an impressive series win and an 11-3 SEC record.
  • Missouri vs No. 11 LSU (LSU won series 2-1)

    • Missouri holds the worst record in the SEC, while LSU is one of the best teams in the nation. Still, Missouri fought hard against the other Tigers in Baton Rouge. Game one started with LSU holding a 5-1 lead at the end of the fourth, only for Missouri to score four in the top of the fifth inning. LSU retook the lead 6-5, but then Missouri fired back with a RBI single and stealing home, giving them the 8-6 win. However, LSU handled games two and three much better, beating Missouri 3-1 Friday and 9-1 Saturday. Despite a wild game one, LSU continued to prove that they are a scary team.
  • No. 19 Kentucky vs Ole Miss (Kentucky won series 2-1)

    • Kentucky, like LSU, was also given a relatively easy series as they faced off against the Ole Miss Rebels, who only hold 3 SEC wins. Friday’s game one saw Kennedy Sullivan pitch all seven innings for the Wildcats, and their defense recorded no errors, leading Kentucky to a 4-3 win. Game two was a bit more comfortable for Kentucky, as they were able to fend off a late game comeback by the Rebs to clinch the series with a 7-5 win. However, the Rebels struck back in game three as they scored seven runs in the second inning and would go on to win 9-3.
  • Mississippi State vs No. 14 Texas A&M (A&M leads series 2-0)

    • Texas A&M host Mississippi State in a three-game series, with the final game Monday night. The Aggies walloped the Bulldogs 9-1 in game one, and then squeaked out a late 2-1 victory in game two, clinching the series.

  • No. 7 Tennessee doubleheaders

    • The Volunteers hosted the Tennessee Invitational beginning Thursday. In their Thursday doubleheader, they smashed Mercer 11-0 and gave up no hits, but then fell to Baylor 1-0 later that afternoon. On Friday, they faced Baylor again and gave up eight runs in the second inning. Tennessee wasn’t able to catch up to the Bears, and Baylor handed Tennessee their first back-to-back loss of the season. No doubt the rest of the SEC looked at the vulnerability of Tennessee with excitement.

Upcoming series

Many teams branch out of conference April 10-12, but get back into SEC series that weekend. No games will be played Thursday, but plenty of teams begin three-game series starting Friday. Some upcoming series to keep on eye on are:

  • LSU vs Auburn
  • Georgia vs Florida
  • Tennessee vs Kentucky
  • Texas A&M vs South Carolina
  • Alabama vs Mississippi State

All are three-game series beginning Friday and ending Sunday. These series are particularly important for LSU, Florida and Alabama, as they try to escape the middle of the pack in the SEC. Also, Tennessee vs Kentucky is a very exciting matchup. The Volunteers are the second-highest-ranked SEC team in the nation, and Kentucky has a chance to prove that they can compete with the best.

About Alex Winn

Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida.

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