CANYON – The top ranked Lady Buffs will look to continue their historic season this weekend as they host the NCAA Division II South Central Super Regional Tournament at Schaeffer Park in Canyon, Texas as the #14 Rattlers of St. Mary's come to town for a best-of-three series to decide the South Central Super Regional Champion.
The winner of the Super Regional will advance to the Division II College World Series taking place on May 22-26 at the Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Virginia. Action will begin on Friday night with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. at Schaeffer Park in Canyon followed by Saturday's opener set for 1:30 p.m. with an if necessary game taking place around 4:00 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of game two.
WEST TEXAS A&M
The #1 Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M used a four run first inning highlighted by a leadoff first pitch homerun by Alyssa Lemos to claim the program’s second South Central Regional Championship on Sunday afternoon over the Mustangs of Midwestern State at Schaeffer Park in Canyon, Texas. The Lady Buffs advance to the South Central Super Regionals this weekend in Canyon as they host #14 St. Mary’s in a best-of-three series at Schaeffer Park. WT enters the weekend at 54-6 overall this season including a 33-2 at home. The 54 wins ties a Lone Star Conference single season record with Midwestern State teams from 2010 and 2011.
The #14 Rattlers of St. Mary’s enter the weekend with an overall record of 49-12 as they advanced to this weekend as they went 3-0 in their half of the regional tournament held at Mayer Field in San Angelo with wins over Cameron (6-0) and #7 Angelo State (5-0) and (7-3, 9 inn) to claim their fifth regional title in program history. St. Mary’s is led offensively by Nicole Sardelich who is hitting .406 with 19 doubles and four homeruns to drive in 38 runs, Haley Richter is hitting .323 with 13 doubles and seven homeruns to drive in a team leading 59 RBI. Emily Brittain leads the way for Rattlers in the circle with a 1.93 ERA, going 30-6 with 25 complete games and three saves while striking out 96 batters and allowing an opposing batting average of .232 in 225.0 innings of work.
St. Mary’s is led by 17th year head coach Donna Fields. The Rattlers lead the all-time series against the Lady Buffs, 7-4 with WT taking the only meeting between the two teams this season back on Feb. 7th in Las Vegas, Nevada in extra innings, 6-5. The Lady Buffs are 2-1 all-time against the Rattlers in the NCAA Postseason including 1-1 at Schaeffer Park in Canyon, St. Mary’s is 2-1 all-time in Canyon including a victory on WT’s 2013 Senior Day, 3-2.
WALK THIS WAY
The 2013 season saw the Lady Buffs register an NCAA Division II single-season record 310 base-on-balls to break the record of 288 held by Barry University that was set back in 1988. Senior shortstop Alyssa Lemos registered a team record 46 walks during the 2013 season to break the record held by Meghan Brown (45) back in 2012, Lemos passed Brown to become the all-time NCAA DII career leader in walks (168) during the final regular season series against Angelo State. The senior shortstop enters the South Central Regional Tournament with 173 career walks.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Lady Buffs carry a 33-2 record at Schaeffer Park into Saturday’s action in Canyon. WT is 106-18 (.855) at Schaeffer Park since the facility opened prior to the 2011 season. This weekend will mark the third time in the last four years (‘11, ‘13, ‘14) that the Lady Buffs will host NCAA Postseason action in Canyon, registering a 8-4 record at Schaeffer Park during the postseason Regional Championships in 2011 and 2014.
Entering last weekend, the Lady Buffs ranked first in all of NCAA Division II in homeruns per game (1.66), on-base percentage (.474), slugging percentage (.667) and win/loss percentage (.911) while second in scoring (8.55) and fourth in doubles per game (2.04) and third in fielding percentage (.977). Individually, senior shortstop Alyssa Lemos is fifth in walks per game (0.86) while Rita Hokianga is 12th in strikeouts (232), eighth in strikeouts per seven innings (10.3) and 19th in victories (22) with Renee Erwin ranking ninth in individual slugging percentage (.951), fifth in on-base percentage (584) and eighth in batting average (.482) while Erwin, Allie Cranfill and Jessica Sipe are tied for 12th in homeruns (17). The national rankings reflect games played thru Sunday, May 4th.
RE-WRITING THE RECORD BOOKS
This season, the Lady Buffs have broken numerous West Texas A&M single season record while setting seven new individual or team Lone Star Conference marks along with way. WT’s Alyssa Lemos is the all-time league leader in runs scored (244) and walks (173), the 244 runs is 3rd all-time in NCAA Division II history while the senior shortstop holds the NCAA career record in walks. As a team, the Lady Buffs have broken the Lone Star Conference single-season records in runs (516), doubles (122), homeruns (101) and RBI (467) while tying the conference record for wins in a season with 54 (MSU ‘10 and ‘11). WT’s 516 runs ranks 4th all-time in the NCAA record books while the 122 doubles is 8th all-time and the 101 homeruns is 4th all-time.
EYEING MORE RECORDS
The re-writing of the record books may not be done yet, the Lady Buffs are still within striking distance of three more Lone Star Conference records along with an NCAA mark. WT has registered 26 triples this season and sits just two more from tying the league mark of 28 held by East Central (‘97) and Eastern New Mexico (‘98). WT’s Renee Erwin is just eigh total bases away from tying the LSC single season record held by Angelo State’s Macy Baker (175, ‘09) while also sitting just five runs short of the single season league record broke by ASU’s Morgan Spearman this season (80). The Lady Buffs have registered 305 walks this season to sit just five away from tying WT’s own NCAA DII record (‘13) for walks in a season at 310.
The West Texas A&M Athletic Media Relations department will provide live stats for every game of the South Central Super Regional Tournament this weekend at Schaeffer Park in Canyon while also providing a single-camera ambient sound webstream for all games. For more information and links visit the Softball schedule page at GoBuffsGo.com.
LEMOS SHINES IN THE CLASSROOM
West Texas A&M senior shortstop Alyssa Lemos continued to add to her long list of career accolades last week, being named to the CoSIDA/Capital One District 6 All-Academic First Team announced by the association’s offices. Lemos is a Pre-Med major at West Texas A&M and currently holds a 3.917 GPA. The senior shortstop was named to the Lone Star Conference All-Academic Team while also picking up the prestigious West Texas A&M President’s Award for the top graduating female student-athlete at the annual WTAMU Athletics Awards Banquet held at Legacy Hall on April 27th. Lemos is now eligable to become a CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-American.