TROY, AL. – The Troy University softball team hits the road for the second consecutive week in Sun Belt Conference play, heading to Miami to face FIU in a pivotal three-game series at the FIU Softball Complex.
The series begins at 4 p.m. (EST) on Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader, before concluding with a single game on Sunday that begins at 12 noon (EST).
FIU and Troy (20-16, 1-5 Sun Belt) have met 18 times on the field, with each team winning nine times heading into this weekend. Last year, the Trojans were able to take two of three from FIU at the Troy Softball Complex as they won the first and last games of the series. The Trojans lead the series in Miami 5-2 overall, with FIU leading the series in Troy 5-3.
The Trojans head into the series with FIU off a doubleheader split on Tuesday afternoon in Troy, winning the second game over Florida A&M to end a five-game losing streak. It is the second consecutive weekend that the Trojans will be facing a team picked atop the Sun Belt Conference standings as FIU was picked to finish second on a vote by the league's head coaches. Last weekend the Trojans were on the road at league favorite Louisiana (No. 18 NFCA/No. 19 ESPN).
Game Day Storylines: The Trojans are looking to snap a four-game road losing streak in genuine road games that dates back to their loss against Fresno State (No. 28 NFCA/No. 29 ESPN) at the Bayer CropScience Classic. The game against FIU will mark the fourth time the Trojans have played against a team that played in an NCAA Regional last season; as the Trojans defeated FIU two out of three in TROY last season. The Trojans have recorded 34 total home runs this season, but have not hit one in 11 days when they step on the field against FIU on Saturday; that ties the mark for the longest drought this season (11 days between Drake and Kennesaw State home runs). The Trojans will open the conference portion with arguably the toughest slate of any conference team this season as they faced the Preseason Player of the Year in the opening series, played on the road at the Preseason Favorite with the 2009 Pitcher of the Year, and are on the road this week against the team picked to finish second in the league with the 2010 Player of the Year. After this series, the Trojans hit the road to Mobile for a mid-week game against South Alabama to make things tougher.
Scouting FIU: The Golden Panthers enter the contest fresh off a doubleheader sweep of Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday afternoon; winning 3-2 and 4-2 in the two mid-week games. FIU played in the Gainesville Region last season, losing to Florida in the championship game of the regional; and were receiving votes in the preseason polls this year while being voted second in the Sun Belt Conference by the league's head coaches. FIU went 2-3 last week on the road as the Panthers dropped two close games to 15th-ranked Baylor before taking a 2-1 Sun Belt Conference series win over North Texas. Following the two games with the nationally ranked Bears, FIU is 2-3 on the season versus ranked opponents. In addition, with a 12-3, five-inning thrashing of the Mean Green on Saturday, the Panthers picked up their fourth run-rule victory of the campaign. Sophomore Kayla Burri tallied her first-career grand slam in game two of Saturday's double header with North Texas, as the home run marked her second of the day against the Mean Green. Burri went on to finish the contest with a career-high five RBI, and she finished the weekend riding an 11-game hit streak, a mark which ranks tied for fourth all-time at FIU. The grand slam marks the second of the season for FIU. Junior Ashley McClain led the FIU offense for the week with a .571 batting average and eight hits while Burri chipped in with a team-best seven RBI en route to a batting average of .462. Sophomore Beth Peller also had a stellar week, hitting .438 and tallying a pair of doubles, and sophomore Alex Casals turned in a 3-for-7 performance
at the plate for a batting average of .429.
Live stats and live video will be available for all three games in Miami.
INFORMATION SOURCE: Troy University Athletics