FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Start hot, get hotter.
Through the first two weeks of the 2017 campaign, the Razorbacks rank among the top 10 of five NCAA statistical categories including a nation-leading 21 home runs. Arkansas, which is receiving votes in Tuesday’s release of the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 national poll, is headed to the Sunshine State and the FAU Invitational to play Florida A&M, Memphis, UConn and host Florida Atlantic.
NCAA Rank | 1) 21 home runs – hit at least one home run in each game this season with five in games against North Texas and Loyola Marymount; nine different Razorbacks have hit a home run.
Top Individual: Nicole Schroeder has six home runs through the Razorbacks’ first seven games, just one round tripper shy of the national lead. She hit a pair of home runs in two games this season, once in the season opener against UMass Lowell and again last weekend against Loyola Marymount at the Mary Nutter Classic.
NCAA Rank | 2) 10.71 runs/game – scored at least seven runs in each game this season including five double-digit efforts with a season-high 15 runs against Loyola Marymount; out-scoring opponents by a 75-11 margin.
Top Individual: Shelby Hiers leads the NCAA having scored 2.14 runs per game through the first two weeks of the season. Her 15 runs scored is the third-highest total in the nation. The senior catcher has scored in each of the seven games so far with two or more runs in six of seven contests.
NCAA Rank | 2) .796 slugging percentage – 31 of the team’s 68 hits have gone for extra bases with 21 home runs, seven doubles and three triples; at least three extra-base hits in six of seven games.
Top Individual: Schroeder ranks third in the nation with her 1.700 slugging percentage. Ten of her 11 hits this season have gone for extra bases with six home runs, three doubles and a triple. With her six home runs, she has moved into fourth place on the program’s all-time list with 27 career home runs.
NCAA Rank | 6) .484 on-base percentage – has had someone on base in 34 of 39 innings played; collected 68 hits, drawn 32 walks and been hit with six pitches.
Top Individual: Hiers is tops in the SEC and sixth in the NCAA with her 0.692 on-base percentage. She has been on base at least twice in each game this season. Hiers also leads the team with nine walks.
NCAA Rank | 10) .376 batting average – eight or more hits in six of seven games this season with 10+ in three outings this year; tallied a season-high 15 hits against Loyola Marymount.
Top Individual: Schroeder is hitting .550 through seven games to rank fourth in the SEC and 34th in the NCAA. She is one of five players—Schroeder, Katie Warrick (.471), Autumn Russell (.471), Hiers (.467) and Haydi Bugarin (.417)—in the starting lineup with a .400 or higher batting average.
NCAA Rank | 24) 1.44 ERA – allowed eight earned runs this season—six in one game—coupled with three shutouts; five-pitcher staff of Grace Moll (20.1 IP), Autumn Storms (13.2), Allison Stewart (2.0), Katie Warrick (2.0) and Caroline Hedgcock (1.0).
Top Individual: Storms carries a 1.02 earned-run average with a 4-0 record in four appearances. She has allowed just two runs and nine hits with 10 strikeouts in 13.2 innings of work this season, both scores in a win over Loyola Marymount.
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