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Softball Preview: LSU Invitational

Tigers host five non-conference games before SEC play begins next weekend.

The Tigers complete their last non-conference weekend series with the LSU Invitational, featuring Memphis, Tennesse Tech, Liberty and Louisiana Tech

Schedule & Opponents

Memphis (6-10) - Friday 5 PM

Players to Know: Lindsay Crowdus ( .306 AVG, .571 SLG), Bayleigh Wisher (3.05 ERA, 24 K), Molly Smith (3.55 ERA, 24 K)

It was a pretty awful start for the Tigers dropping nine out of ten. The main culprit in the early season struggles was the offense which failed to eclipse three runs in eight of those ten early season losses. Some solid pitching and a bit of offensive resurgence has the Tigers playing better of late having won six of the last seven.

Tennessee Tech (3-10) - Friday 7:30 PM, Sunday 12 PM

Players to Know: Hannah Weaver (4.01 ERA, 2.78 K/G), Courtney Fry ( 2 HR, .429 SLG), Sabrie Neeb (.386 OBP, .351 SLG)

The Golden Eagles are simply a bad team, entering the weekend on an eight-game losing streak. Offensively, Tech has a team average of .210. The pitching isn't any better with a staff ERA of 6.20.

Liberty (6-9) - Saturday 5 PM

Players to Know: Jaclyn Amader ( .327 AVG, .442 SLG), Julia Dimartino (2.67 ERA, .214 OBP BA, 36 K), Chase Cassady (37 K, 3.82 ERA)

Liberty enters this series with a quality pitching staff that has kept the Flames competitive despite a losing record. The offense might not be great, but they have only been outscored 60-58 this season. Liberty’s out of conference schedule has been tough with games against UCF, Alabama and Baylor, although only the Alabama game ended in a run-rule.

Louisiana Tech (13-3) - Saturday 7:30 PM

Players to Know: Anna Cross (.375 AVG, 5 HR, 17 RBI), Bailey Allen ( 2.02 ERA, 19 K), Preslee Gallaway (2.50 ERA, 19 K)

On paper the Bulldogs look are the best team over this weekend. The offense has outscored its opponents 89-35, the pitching staff ERA is just over two, and are one of several quality teams at the top of the Conference USA standings. However, the Bulldogs have had a pretty uninteresting non-conference slate. The toughest opponent Tech has faced this year was No.6 ULL, which the Ragin’ Cajuns won 8-2.

Stat for the Weekend

Constance Quinn’s .515 average ranks third in the SEC.

What to Watch For

Error Free

The Tigers played a rare, error-free game on Tuesday against ULM. Ideally that can extend that to two or more games. So far the lack of quality defense has not killed the Tigers but with SEC play looming the defense needs to be a non issue for the most important games of the season.

Finishing Touches

This marks the final weekend of out of conference opponents and Alabama starting next weekend. The weekend Beth Torina’s chance to have any more experiments with the lineup. Another strong outing from Sydney Smith this weekend likely guarantees her as the third starter throughout SEC play.

Estimated Outcome

It would be a disappointment if the Tigers didn't win four or five victories this weekend, with one or two  of those coming by run rule. The Tigers seem to have found their stride entering this series with ten straight wins. It’s hard to see the Tigers getting derailed by any team in this group. Perhaps with the exception of Louisiana Tech, none of these squads on paper compare with the Tiger offense or defense. The next five games provide the Tigers with a chance to pad the win total and work out any last issues before SEC play.