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LWC Softball Prepares for Home Opener on Wednesday

By Kyrin Mayfield

The No. 3 Lindsey Wilson softball team will open the gates of Marilyn D. Sparks Park for the first time in 2021 with a doubleheader against No. 5 Marian (IN) on Wednesday at 2pmCT.

Live stats and video will be available. First pitch is scheduled for 2pmCT. Please view the Lindsey Wilson Athletics Home Attendance Protocols for more information.

The Blue Raiders (2-0) are fresh off a doubleheader sweep over Union (Ky.) last Sunday. Lindsey Wilson outscored the Bulldogs 19-5, but needed extra innings to take game two.

After leading the NAIA in home runs per game a year ago, the Blue Raiders went deep twice in the series with blasts from Makea-Al Kaluau and Lyric Houston.

Houston, the reigning Mid-South Conference Player of the Week, is raking early on with a 5-for-6 line at the plate and four extra-base hits, four runs and five RBIs in just two games. Kaluau had a strong series as well going 4-for-7 with one run and five RBIs.

Lindsey Wilson matches the strong offense with a dominant rotation of Hannah Epperson and Annabelle Ramirez. Epperson struck out 11 over seven innings with just one earned run in her victory over Union. Ramirez also claimed a win as well as a save. She limited the Bulldog offense with four shutout innings and six strikeouts in game one. In the second game, Ramirez relieved Epperson in the eighth and kept Union off the bases to preserve the win in extras.

Marian begins its season after going 10-2 last year. The Knights had both a potent offense and pitching staff that recorded the second-lowest ERA (1.13) in the NAIA and the seventh-highest batting average (.369). The team did lose a few key pieces from last year's squad, though.

Top hitter Olivia Hoffman graduated after hitting a team-high .550 at the plate. However, Marian does have Shelbie Stotts back for another season. The junior maintained a .472 average and accumulated the second-most runs (12) and RBIs (11) on the team.

In the circle, the Knights return two of the team's three pitchers from one year ago in closer Emma Maple and starter Sydney Wilson.

Maple earned all three of Marian's saves thanks to a 1.91 ERA, an opponent average of .165, and 28 strikeouts in 22 innings.

Wilson was one of the top pitchers in the country. She made seven appearances during the season en route to a 4-1 record with an ERA of 0.47, the fourth lowest in the NAIA.

Lindsey Wilson is 1-2 against Marian with all three matchups coming in the 2016 NAIA National Tournament Opening Round.

This story was posted on 2021-02-24 10:30:54
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