Alcorn State looks forward to Vicksburg’s annual River City Classic

Published 11:15 am Thursday, February 17, 2022

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The Alcorn State University softball program will square off twice with both Tuskegee and Tennessee State to go along with single games against Spring Hill and Miles College in a jam-packed opening weekend.

The Lady Braves (5-21, 0-0 SWAC in 2019) were picked to be the runner-up in the SWAC Eastern division, trailing only Alabama State in the preseason poll.

Coach Rankin is bringing back a handful of talented student-athletes headlined by Preseason Conference Player of the Year and All-SWAC First Teamer Amari Ramsey.

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Ramsey was an offensive force to be reckoned with in the COVID shortened 2021 campaign, fronting the league with eight doubles, placing fourth in RBIs (15) and sixth for hits (19). She had four multi-hit and multi-RBI outings, had a hitting streak of six games and batted .284 while earning a SWAC Hitter of the Week accolade on the way.

Also making their way back to Lorman is a pair of Preseason All-Conference Second Teamers; Desirea Lindsey and Sandrea Hord.

Lindsey was the only Lady Brave with multiple triples (2), was second in hits (19), on-base percentage (.361) and walks (6) plus finished top-three on the club in batting average (.292), runs scored (11), total bases (24) and slugging percentage (.369).

Hord gunned down seven would-be base stealers from behind the plate and contributed stellar defense with a fielding percentage of .965 on just two errors.

Scouting the Tennessee State Tigers (0-3, 0-0 OVC)

TSU opened up its season getting outscored by North Alabama 25 to 6 in a three-game sweep in Florence, Alabama.

Ivory Jones has been the Tigers’ top offensive threat so far in the early going, hitting .444 with a homer and three RBI in four hits.

Renae Spears (.429) and Anayah Baker-Rowell (.400) join Jones in batting .400 or better in the opening series, combining to go 5-for-12 (.417) between them.

The pitching side of things have not been kind to Tennessee State so far as their two starters (Raven Loveless & Lauren Powell) sport matching ERAs of 5.25 but the two have averaged nearly a strikeout per inning (12 K in 14.2 IP).

The Lady Braves and Lady Tigers will play as many games against each other this weekend as they have in program history, splitting two games prior to their clashes in Vicksburg.

Scouting the Tuskegee Golden Tigers (10-5, 4-0 SIAC in 2020)

Tuskegee will make its season debut this weekend after a brief but successful 2020 campaign.

Stats were only recorded for five of the team’s contests last season but in those games, Kayla Wright was the clear standout with five hits, two RBIs, two doubles, two runs scored and a batting average of .417.

The two matchups will be the first-ever meetings between the two programs.

Scouting the Spring Hill Badgers (4-4, 0-0 SIAC)

The girls from SHC have played more games than most in 2021 but have yet to win away from home, going 0-4 outside of Mobile, Alabama.

On the mound, Olivia Indorf has been rock solid for the Badgers, allowing seven earned runs over 15.1 innings while compiling a 3.20 ERA.

At the plate, Delaney Thomas has been knocking the cover off the ball with 11 hits in 24 at-bats (.458), six runs scored, three RBIs, three walks and two doubles.

Hannah Fillmore has not been as hot as Thomas with a bat in her hands but still effective, leading the Badgers in RBIs (7) while swiping two bags plus she has recorded a double, triple and home run.

Alcorn has faced Spring Hill one time before, falling to the Badgers in its lone previous tilt.

Scouting the Miles Lady Bears (0-4, 0-0 SIAC)

Miles College has not laced up the cleats since February 5-6 at the Charger Chill Out and it was a tournament they would like to put in the rearview mirror, losing to Lincoln (Mo.), Shorter, Delta State and the 20th-ranked host Alabama-Huntsville.

The pitching staff has not gotten off on the right foot as both hurlers presently have ERAs of over eight hanging over them.

Deonia Gibbs has been the primary bright spot swinging the stick for the Lady Bears, logging the team’s lone home run and double plus to comprise half of her hits.

Miles has defeated Alcorn one time in five previous meetings but it was last year in this same tournament where it notched that first victory, beating the Lady Braves (4-2) before falling in the second bout (10-9).