No. 21 Tarleton hosts No. 8 Texas A&M-Commerce in clash of conference, national powers

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THE GAMES
A clash of Lone Star Conference titans is going down in Stephenville this week as No. 21 Tarleton hosts No. 8 Texas A&M-Commerce for a three-game series, beginning Thursday night at 6 p.m. The series has been altered due to inclement weather this weekend. The series will begin Thursday and close out with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Friday.

SERIES CHANGE
The series was originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but weather is expected to roll into town on Saturday morning. The series has been moved up to Thursday and Friday.

GAME COVERAGE
There will be live stats, radio and video available for the games, courtesy of the home team. Casey Hogan and Kyle Crews will have the call on the flagship station of the Tarleton Sports Network presented by the North Texas Ford Dealers – 90.5 FM in Stephenville – and online at TarletonSports.com/ListenLive. Direct links can be found on the Official Tarleton Sports App, Game Day preview story and Game Day graphics on Tarleton’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, as well as on the team schedule page at TarletonSports.com. Follow @TarletonSports or @tarletonsball on Twitter for links to coverage. Fans can also have access to all the links for every game by downloading the TarletonSports mobile app for iOS and Android.

SCHUTT SPORTS/NFCA DII PLAYER OF THE YEAR TOP-50 WATCH LIST
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association released its annual Top-50 Watch List for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year earlier this season and Tarleton State University had two players to keep an eye on – Georgia Capell and Tanna Huie. The top 50 list is comprised of returning NFCA All-Americans from last season and a slew of players submitted by head coaches and selected by the NFCA Division II All-America committee. They are the second and third players in Tarleton history to be named to the Top-50 Watch List, joining Katelyn Conlee in 2016.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Jordan Withrow and Georgia Capell have been named 2019 Preseason All-Americans by Fastpitch News (FPN). Withrow was named an All-America Second Team pitcher while Capell earned honorable mention honors. Withrow is coming off the best year of her brief Tarleton career as a sophomore in 2018. As a sophomore, Withrow was an honorable mention All-American by FPN and the Lone Star Conference Co-Pitcher of the Year. She also earned all-conference and all-region recognition and was named the LSC Academic Player of the Year. Last spring, she became the first Tarleton pitcher in program history with over 200 strikeouts in a single season (252). Capell made quite the impression as she became the first freshman in program history to be named an All-American. She earned third-team honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). In her debut season, Capell was named the South Central Region and Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year as well as all-conference and all-region.

WITHROW TABBED PRESEASON PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Jordan Withrow was named the LSC Preseason Pitcher of the Year after a sophomore campaign where she was the LSC Pitcher of the Year, an NFCA All-Region Second Team selection and FastpitchNews.com Honorable Mention All-American. Withrow went 26-6 in the circle with 221.1 innings of work and 252 strikeouts, becoming the first player in program history to strikeout 200 in a single season.

AMONG THE NATION’S BEST
Georgia Capell has already established herself as one of the most dangerous hitters in the country in just her second collegiate season. Capell enters the weekend ranked in the national top 10 of five different statistical categories – including No. 2 in RBI (52), No. 7 in RBI per game (1.33), No. 3 in home runs per game (0.38) and No. 4 in total bases (106). She is also the national leader in home runs with 15. Jordan Withrow is also ranked No. 7 in the nation with seven shutouts.

CHASING THE HOME RUN RECORD
Georgia Capell has already moved into sole possession of second place on the Tarleton home run list with 32 career long balls. She is one of four players in Tarleton history with 30 career long balls and joins Samantha Swanda (31) as the only TexAnns to hit 30 home runs in two seasons. With her next homer, she’ll move into a three-way tie for second-most in program history with Swanda and Alicia Petersma (31). Arianna Rodriguez is the program’s all-time home run leader with 41. With 15 home runs this season, she is also closing in on the single-season home run record (18) set by Rodriguez in 2012.

CHASING THE QUEEN OF Ks
Jordan Withrow has moved into second place in Tarleton history in total strikeouts, becoming the third player in school history to strikeout over 400 batters in a career. She goes into the week with 496 career punchouts and is second in program history. Only Hall of Famer Carla Geeslin (521) has more career strikeouts.

LAST TIME OUT
Tarleton completed a clean sweep of UT Permian Basin and did not allow a single run to the Falcons in Odessa. The weekend began with Jordan Withrow throwing her second career no-hitter despite being delayed over 17 hours before recording the final three outs due to lightning. Withrow took the circle on Saturday and finished off her no-hitter then followed up with a three-hit shutout in game two of the series. Tristan Bridges closed things out with a two-hit performance from the pitching circle in the finale.

INSIDE THE SERIES
Tarleton and Texas A&M-Commerce have developed a budding rivalry since the Lions started their program in 2015. Tarleton has won six of 18 all-time meetings against Commerce, including a 10-9 victory in an elimination game of the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament last year to force a decisive, all-or-nothing game for the regional title. Tarleton has won three of seven games against Commerce in Stephenville.

UP NEXT FOR TARLETON
Tarleton will host Texas A&M International on Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference doubleheader. The Tuesday twin bill will be free admission for fans. For more information on the Tarleton Softball program, follow @tarletonsball on Twitter.

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