JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville State softball team will kick off a busy week of home games on Tuesday, when the Gamecocks host Tennessee State at 4 p.m. in the first of five games to be played at University Field this week.
The Gamecocks (27-10, 12-3 Ohio Valley Conference) will host the Lady Tigers for a single game on Tuesday, looking to complete the season sweep of the series after taking both games of a twinbill at TSU on March 22. JSU will then take on in-state rival UAB on Thursday at 6 p.m. before hosting Austin Peay for a key OVC series this weekend.
The Gamecocks enter the homestand having won six of their last eight games, including a 13-2 win at Tennessee Tech in their last time out on Thursday. Junior transfers Kristin Graham and Abbey Stepp pace a JSU offense that leads the OVC in batting, home runs and slugging percentage. Graham, a transfer from Virginia Tech, leads the OVC and ranks in the top 10 nationally with a .488 batting average, while her 12 home runs leads the league and ranks her 12th in the nation with 0.4 homers per game.
Stepp, a junior college transfer from Volunteer State Community College, is third in the OVC with a .411 batting average, while her .514 average in OVC games is tops in the conference. Stepp is tied for third on the team and fifth in the OVC with eight home runs, behind only Graham and senior Amanda Crow, whose 36 RBI lead the league. The Gamecocks are fifth in the nation in home runs per game, thanks to their OVC-leading 59 in 37 games.
In the circle, JSU ranks second in the OVC with a 2.86 earned run average and leads the league with 7.73 strikeouts per seven innings. Freshman Tiffany Harbin is tops in the league with 16 wins, while her 2.83 ERA is sixth. The Hazel Green, Ala., native is second in the conference with 123.2 innings pitched, while her 9.0 strikeouts per seven innings also ranks second.
Admission is free to all JSU home softball games at University Field.