JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Softball team will play its final tune up before Ohio Valley Conference play on Thursday, when the Gamecocks host Kennesaw State at 5 p.m. at University Field. Admission is free.
The Gamecocks (10-6) welcome the Owls (13-6) to JSU for a single game at University Field and look to build upon a doubleheader sweep of Samford on Tuesday. It will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this season, with the Gamecocks claiming an 11-1 mercy-rule win at KSU on March 1.
In Tuesday's twinbill sweep of the Bulldogs, the Gamecocks held Samford to just one hit over the two games while plating 15 runs over the 9-0 and 6-0 wins. Senior Amanda Crow went 4-for-6 with four RBI, while junior Kristin Graham's 4-for-4 afternoon resulted in two RBI. In the first game, senior Ashley Eliasson and freshman Savanna Hennings combined to one-hit Samford while, freshman Tiffany Harbin, Graham and sophomore Hilary Phillips combined for a five-inning no-hitter in the nightcap.
On the year, Crow leads the Gamecocks with a .327 batting average, while junior Abbey Stepp's four home runs are just ahead of Crow, Kaycee Crow and Graham's three apiece. Graham is batting .591 with 11 RBI, despite playing in just nine of the team's 16 games.
The Owls have won nine of their last 12 games, including the March 1 loss to JSU and a 2-1 defeat to Penn State on Tuesday. Sharon Swansey has been the key to the Owls' offense, boasting a .433 average, six home runs and 28 RBI. Jessica Cross leads them in the circle with a 7-2 record and a 2.25 earned run average.
The game will be JSU's final one before conference play begins on Saturday with a 12 p.m. CT doubleheader at Eastern Kentucky in Richmond, Ky. The twinbill will begin a three-game series that will wrap up with a single game on Sunday.