NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a strong start on the road to open the 2018 campaign, Belmont Softball (3-2) eagerly returns to Nashville for its first turn on its home field, E.S. Rose Park, this weekend. The Bruins share hosting duties with its crosstown rival for the Belmont/TSU Winter Warmup, February 23-25. Competing in the three-day tournament are Cleveland State (7-2), Fort Wayne (4-6), North Dakota (3-7) while Tennessee State's (0-9) Tiger Field will serve as the other field of play.
Cleveland State comes to Nashville on a seven-game win streak to the tune of a 7-2 record. The Vikings are led at the plate by Macy Kaisk, who is batting .455 with 10 hits, two doubles and two homeruns.
Mackenzie Joecken has racked up the most wins inside the circle for CSU, sporting a 4-0 record after 14.0 innings with 15 strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA. The Viking have a deep bullpen with eight so far taking a turn at the rubber.
Belmont and Cleveland State have only met twice before, with the last meeting coming in 2011. The Vikings won 4-1 at a neutral site tournament.
North Dakota will be looking to snap a five-game skid when it comes to Nashville this weekend. The Fighting Hawks stand at 3-7 overall. Angel Love leads UND at the plate, batting .379 with 11 hits, one double, two triples and a pair of homeruns.
Work inside the circle is nearly being split even by Kaylin VanDomelen and Hannah Bergh. VanDomelen has tossed 29.0 innings with 31 strikeouts to the tune of a 1-4 record and a 5.55 ERA while Bergh has seen action in 24.1 innings, recording 14 strikeouts en route to a 2-3 record and a 5.75 ERA.
This marks the first meeting between Belmont and North Dakota.
Fort Wayne looks to get back on the winning side after dropping three of their last four outings before heading to Nashville. The Mastodons stand at 4-6 overall. Stephanie Hanic leads the Mastodons at the plate, batting .323 with 10 hits, two doubles and a homerun.
Inside the circle, Bailey Benefiel leads the hurlers with a 0.64 ERA after throwing 33.0 innings and recording 24 strikeouts.
This marks the first meeting between Belmont and Fort Wayne.
BU enters the weekend fresh off its first road trip of the season to compete at the SELA Lion Classic in Hammond, La. The Bruins went 3-2 on their opening weekend of the season, including an impressive 8-0 shutout of Nebraska Omaha.
Senior Jess Andree (Darien, Ill.) leads Belmont at the plate, batting .450 with a pair of homeruns, seven RBI and seven runs scored. Classmate Lexi Rouse (Macon, Ga.) wrapped opening weekend, batting .438 and finished with three doubles, a triple and four RBI.
Inside the circle, sophomore Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) has seen action in 21.2 innings, recording a whopping 32 strikeouts to the tune of a 0.98 ERA.
Friday's first game is set for 3:30 p.m. against Cleveland State and 5:45 is the approximate start time versus North Dakota. Both of Friday's contests can be seen live on the OVC Digital Network. Live stats will be available for all contests during the three-day tournament.