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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

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Previewing the potential ACC Softball Championship field

Finishing off its season 26-22 overall and finishing 9-15 overall in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Irish softball team now looks ahead to the ACC Tournament. The Irish currently stand as the No. 8 seed in the standings, but Boston College, Syracuse and Louisville all have the chance to pass Notre Dame this weekend. Only 10 of the conference’s 13 teams qualify for the postseason bracket.

The ACC Softball Championship is set to take place at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. All of the games will take place between May 8 and May 11. 

With Notre Dame on a bye this weekend, here’s a glimpse at the opposition the Irish may face in a week.

Florida State 

Florida State currently holds the No. 1 spot in the ACC, going 40-10 overall on the season and 18-3 in conference play. 

The Seminoles’ leader in the batter’s box is Jaysoni Beachum. Beachum leads the team with a batting average of .447.

The leader in the circle for the Seminoles is Ashtyn Danley. Danley has a total of 15 wins, 106 2/3 innings pitched and 78 strikeouts so far this season with an earned run average of 3.28.

Duke 

Duke currently holds the No. 2 spot in the ACC having gone 44-6 overall on the season with a 20-4 record in conference play.

At the plate, the Blue Devils’ leader is Claire Davidson. Davidson has a batting average of .423 on the season so far.

In the circle, Jala Wright leads the team. Wright has a total of 16 wins on the season with 121 2/3 innings pitched and 147 strikeouts.

Virginia Tech 

The No. 3 team in the current ACC field is the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hokies are 38-11-1 overall for the season and 18-6 in the conference. 

Addy Greene leads the way in the box for the Hokies. Greene has a batting average of .423 on the season so far.

The Hokies have two top pitchers, Lyndsey Grein and Emma Lemley, who lead in the circle. Grein has a total of 12 wins on the season so far, and Lemley has 11 wins on the year. Lemley leads the team with 108 2/3 innings pitched so far with Grein right behind at a total of 99 innings pitched. 

Clemson

The Tigers hold the No. 4 spot in the ACC standings. The Tigers are 33-16 overall on the season and 15-9 in conference play.

Offensively, McKenzie Clark leads the Tigers with a .366 batting average. Valerie Cagle also contributes well with a .364 batting average.

In the circle, Cagle also appears frequently for the Tigers with a team-high total of 96 strikeouts for the season. Regan Spencer paces Clemson in innings pitched (98.0), while Millie Thompson owns a team-best 1.77 earned run average.

Virginia

The Virginia Cavaliers own the No. 5 spot in the ACC. The Cavaliers are 32-17 overall this season and 15-9 in the conference, tying with Clemson in terms of ACC success.

Jade Hylton leads the Cavaliers offensively, posting a batting average of .342.

On the other side, Eden Bigham has delivered in the circle with a team-high total of 161 strikeouts in 129 1/3 innings pitched on the season so far. 

Georgia Tech 

The Yellow Jackets hold the No. 6 slot in the ACC, going 31-22 overall and 12-12 in the conference. 

Mallorie Black leads the Yellow Jackets in the box with a batting average of .373.

In the circle, the Yellow Jackets are led by Sophia Boyles and her 3.95 earned run average in a team-high 79 2/3 innings pitched. Just ahead of her 66 strikeouts is Blake Neleman, who has 69 in 71 1/3 innings pitched.

North Carolina 

In the No. 7 slot is the North Carolina Heels. The Tar Heels finished their regular season 30-19 overall and 10-14 in the conference. 

At the plate, the Heels are led by Alex Coleman, who has an overall batting average of .441.

In the circle, Makenna Raye Dark leads the Heels with a total of 104 innings pitched and ranks among the team’s leaders with an earned run average of 2.83.

Boston College 

In the No. 9 spot following the Irish are the Boston College Eagles. The Eagles are 27-22 overall and 7-14 in conference after sweeping Notre Dame in South Bend over the weekend.

Hannah Slike leads the Eagles offensively with a high batting average of .353.

Among the pitching staff, Abby Dunning leads the team in the circle with 12 wins, 154 2/3 innings pitched and 153 batters struck out.

Syracuse

Syracuse holds the No. 10 spot in the conference, posting records of 25-21 overall and 7-14 in conference play. 

Angel Jasso leads Syracuse in the box with a batting average of .393.

Lindsey Hendrix is in charge in the circle, carrying 11 wins on the season so far, 90 2/3 innings pitched and 65 strikeouts.

Louisville 

The No. 11 team is the Louisville Cardinals. They have gone 26-23 overall and 7-14 in conference to this point in the regular season.

Offensively, the Cardinals are led by Riley Frizell, who has a batting average of .333.

In the circle, Alyssa Zabala leads the team with 18 wins, 151 2/3 innings pitched and 91 strikeouts. 

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is in the No. 12 spot in the current race, going 16-29 overall and 6-15 in conference play this season. The one team behind it, NC State, has been eliminated from tournament contention with a 3-18 record in ACC play.

Kat Rodriguez leads the Panthers at the plate with a batting average of .343.

Olivia Stefanoni leads in the circle with a total of 95 innings pitched and 60 batters struck out.