Northern Kentucky softball wraps up the regular season with a midweek series at Horizon League rival Wright State, Tuesday and Wednesday, May 2-3. The series starts with a single game on Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET and concludes with a 3 p.m.Wednesday doubleheader. Wednesday’s games will be carried out on the ESPN3 platform, which can be streamed live on computers, tablets and smart phones through WatchESPN and the ESPN App.
Northern Kentucky (14-35, 8-13 HL) vs. Wright State (17-26, 11-7 HL)
Tuesday, May 2 – 5 p.m. ET
Wednesday, May 3 (DH) – 3 p.m. ET
Dayton, Ohio – WSU Softball Field
Game 1: Live Stats
LAST TIME OUT: NKU dropped its final home series of the season, but walked off with a Senior Day victory in the finale against Green Bay. The Phoenix claimed the opener in eight innings after a four-run barrage in the eighth boosted Green Bay to a 5-1 victory, and clinched the series in game two, 7-3. The Norse came out swinging in the finale, totaling 12 runs on as many hits thanks to a thrilling fourth inning that saw NKU plate seven runs. Every Norse in the batting order scored a run during the span of the game, which ended on a walk-off single laced by senior Paige McQueen to put NKU ahead by eight runs and run-rule the Phoenix, 12-4. McQueen also got her first win of the season in the circle, tossing 6.0 innings with three strikeouts and no batters walked.
SCOUTING WRIGHT STATE: The Raiders enter the series as the only team in the Horizon League to have taken a series from UIC, posting a 4-2 win before a 2-1 victory over the Flames this past weekend. Though Wright State took down the League’s leader, the Raiders are still fighting for a clinched spot in the Horizon League Tournament, as are the Norse. As it stands, WSU is currently fifth in the League with an 11-7 record, and could potentially be jumped by the Norse and Valpo should NKU sweep the series with the Raiders and Wright State then loses all three games to the Crusaders in its final League series of the season. Such a scenario would put both squads at 11-13, with the tiebreak advantage going to the Norse for the sixth spot into the tournament.
Junior outfielder Hannah Susor is one of two Raiders batting above .350 with a .373 clip and has recorded 50 hits and scored 30 runs this year to pace the team. Susor is also stealthy along the base path with 19 stolen bases, which ranks second among League opponents. The junior’s name litters the League top-10 lists, also making the cut in total bases, slugging percentage, triples, walks and on-base percentage. In the circle, Wright State relies mostly on junior righty Ashley Sharp, who has tossed 137.0 innings for the Raiders in 35 appearances. Sharp holds a 5.01 ERA and holds opponents to a .318 batting average, while sophomore Ally Russell has done admirable work in her 18 appearances with a 2.57 ERA and a .236 batting average against, winning four contests that include the series opener against UIC.
As a team, Wright State ranks second in the League in batting average (.275), fielding percentage (.963) and double plays per game (.42). However, the Raiders allow 4.95 earned runs a game to rank in the bottom half of the League and keep most of their hits inside the park as the lowest-ranked team in terms of home runs per game.
The all-time series with Wright State is deadlocked at 8-8, which was renewed last season when NKU joined the Horizon League. The Raiders swept the Norse a season ago in Highland Heights, with NKU’s last victory against Wright State coming in the 1993 season.
Join the Uprising!
Assistant Athletic Communications Director
Northern Kentucky University