NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont Softball opens the final portion of the regular season on the road this week. The Bruins (22-22, 3-13 OVC) travel for a makeup doubleheader at Eastern Kentucky (33-14, 15-1 OVC) on Wednesday afternoon.
EKU has won its last 11 consecutive contests coming into this midweek duel. The Colonels are led at the plate by Paige Murphy, who is batting .464 with 65 hits, 12 doubles, one triple, 17 homeruns and 48 RBI.
Inside the circle, Mollie Paulick has done the lion's share of work, tossing 128.1 innings to the tune of a 2.18 ERA with 123 strikeouts and a 14-5 record.
The Colonels lead the all-time series, 13-3. The teams split the doubleheader one year ago in Nashville.
Belmont is led at the plate by senior Lexi Rouse (Macon, Ga.), batting .328 with eight homeruns, 38 hits, 10 doubles, a triple and 26 RBI. Classmate Jess Andree (Darien, Ill.) follows, sporting a .321 batting average with 43 hits, six doubles, one triple, eight homeruns and 27 RBI.
Inside the circle, sophomore Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) remains the Bruins' ace, tossing 160.2 innings, recording a whopping 196 strikeouts to the tune of a 1.92 ERA and a 12-11 record with eight shutouts. Freshman Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) has thrown 82.0 innings to the tune of a 3.50 ERA, a 4-8 record and 65 strikeouts. Rouse sports a 6-3 record and a 3.57 ERA after tossing 51.0 innings with 19 strikeouts.
Several players have distinguished themselves near the tops of national statistical categories, including Lee, who is No. 14 in shutouts and 26th in strikeouts. Juniors Hayley Baker (Rockwall, Texas) and Chelsea Thomas (Hot Springs, Ark.) are both ranked 25th in sacrifice flies while sophomore Bailey Sims (Flowery Branch, Ga.) is ranked the 120th hardest player to strikeout in all of NCAA Division I.
Wednesday's first pitch at Eastern Kentucky is slated for 2 p.m. CT. Live stats will be available and can be seen live on the OVC Digital Network.