NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont Softball returns to Ohio Valley Conference action with a pair of doubleheaders this weekend. The Bruins (21-13) host Morehead State (19-11, 2-4 OVC) on Friday before traveling to Eastern Kentucky (23-14, 5-1 OVC) for games on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles have gone .500 in their last six outings to move to 19-11 overall and 2-4 in conference play. MSU is led at the plate by a pair of players batting .320 - Taylor Wheeler, who has recorded 32 hits, three doubles, one triple, four homeruns and 12 RBI and Ellen Barrett, who has tallied 24 hits, four doubles, three homeruns and eight RBI.
Inside the circle, Chelsea McManaway has doe the lion's share of work, logging 114.2 innings to the tune of a 1.89 ERA with 158 strikeouts and a 13-4 record. Allison Rager has thrown 75.0 innings with 43 strikeouts, with a 2.99 ERA and a 5-6 record.
Morehead State leads the all-time series, 13-6. One year ago, the teams split in Morehead, Ky., including playing a 13 inning marathon.
The Colonels have won three of their last five outings to stand at 23-14 overall and 5-1 in league play. EKU is led at the plate by Paige Murphy, who is batting .432 with 48 hits, nine doubles, one triple, 12 homeruns and 35 RBI.
Mollie Paulick leads the pitching corps, tossing 89.0 innings with 87 strikeouts, and a 2.52 ERA with a 9-5 record. Murphy McRoberts and Samantha Reynoso follow, pitching 51.1 and 47.0 innings respectively. McRoberts has a 3.41 ERA with 22 strikeouts while Reynoso has a 3.57 ERA with 21 strikeouts.
EKU leads the all-time series, 13-3. The teams split one year ago in Nashville, with the win handing Brian Levin his 275th career victory.
Belmont has four batters hitting over .300, led by senior Lexi Rouse (Macon, Ga.), batting .376 with eight homeruns, 35 hits, nine doubles, a triple and 24 RBI. Classmate Jess Andree (Darien, Ill.) follows, sporting a .333 batting average with 35 hits, four doubles, one triple, six home runs and 19 RBI. Junior Taylor Hargrove (Greenbrier, Tenn.) is right behind them both, batting .321 with 17 hits and a pair of RBI.
Inside the circle, sophomore Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) remains the Bruins' ace, tossing 129.1 innings, recording a whopping 155 strikeouts to the tune of a 1.52 ERA and an 11-6 record with eight shutouts. Rouse sports a 6-1 record and a 2.80 ERA after tossing 45.0 innings with 18 strikeouts. Freshman Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) rounds out the pitching corps, throwing 54.1 innings to the tune of a 2.83 ERA, a 4-6 record and 39 strikeouts.
Friday's first pitch against Morehead State is slated for 2 p.m. while Sunday's games at Eastern Kentucky are set for an 11a.m. CT start. Live stats will be available for both. Friday's games can be seen live on the OVC Digital Network.