CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Miami University softball team travels to Chattanooga, Tenn. for the Coach B Classic this weekend. On Saturday, Miami takes on Murray State at 10 a.m. and Southern Illinois at noon. On Sunday, the RedHawks face Kansas at 10 a.m. and have a rematch against SIU at 2 p.m.
WHY TENNESSEE: The Coach B Classic is hosted by Southern Illinois and was originally scheduled to be held at its home field in Carbondale, Ill. The weather forecast for the weekend called for temps in the 30 with a potential ice storm on Sunday. In order to assure that the tournament was played, the Salukies were able to secure the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Frost Stadium so that the games could go on. Temps will be at or above 60 for both days of the event.
ABOUT MURRAY STATE: Murray State is 7-5 on the season. The Racers are coming off a 2-3 performance at the Blues City Classic in Southaven, Miss. last weekend. They defeated Evansville and Loyola (Chi.) at the event, but fell to Appalachian State, Ball State and Lipscomb. MSU has been led offensively by freshman outfielder Cayla Levins. She is batting .414 with six RBI on the season. Its top pitcher has been freshman Mason Robinson. She is 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA in seven appearances (four starts).
SERIES WITH MURRAY STATE: This is the first meeting in school history between Miami and Murray State. The Racers did not begin playing softball until the 2010 season.
ABOUT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: The Salukis are 5-6 overall. They were only able to play two games last weekend at the Jacksonville Invitational before rain canceled the rest of the tournament. At the event, SIU defeated Bethune-Cookman, 12-2, in five innings, before falling to Jacksonville, 9-2. The Salukis have been led offensively by sophomore infielder Taylor Harris. She is batting .417 with one home run and three RBI. Their top pitcher has been junior Katie Bertelsen. She is 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA in six appearances (all starts). Miami assistant coach Katie Wagner was a four-year letterwinner at Southern Illinois (2005-09).
SERIES WITH SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Southern Illinois holds an 8-3 lead in the all-time series with Miami. The teams last met on Feb. 11, 2012 when the RedHawks took a 3-2 win at the Kennesaw State Classic in Kennesaw, Ga. Miami scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure that victory.
ABOUT KANSAS: Kansas is 8-5 on the season. The Jayhawks went 4-1 at the Jackson State Tournament last weekend. They earned two victories against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, along with wins against host Jackson State and Southeastern Louisiana. They dropped a game to Eastern Illinois. Kansas has been led offensively by freshman catcher Harli Ridling. She is batting .390 with two home runs and 11 RBI. Its top pitcher has been junior Alicia Pille. She is 3-2 with a 1.42 ERA in six appearances (four starts).
SERIES WITH KANSAS: Kansas holds a 3-0 lead in the all-time series with Miami. The teams last met on March 15, 2002 at the Capital Classic in Sacramento, Calif. The Jayhawks came away with a 5-4 victory in that contest.
UP NEXT FOR MIAMI: The RedHawks open their home schedule on Saturday, March 8 when they host Austin Peay for a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. Miami then travels to Clearwater, Fla. for its final tournament when it participates in the Michelle Smith Spring Break Tournament, March 14-16. On Friday, March 14, the RedHawks will take on Maine at 9:30 a.m. and Seton Hall at 11:45 a.m. On Saturday, March 15, Miami faces Connecticut at 9:30 a.m. and Boston University at 2:15 p.m. The RedHawks complete the event on Sunday, March 16 with a game against Saint Joseph’s at 9 a.m.