Heading into the Tuscaloosa Regional of the NCAA Tournament, the USC Upstate softball team will do so as one of the top statistical teams in the country with the team and several individual players ranked among the nation’s leaders in the latest statistical report issued by the NCAA.
In addition to the statistical rankings, Upstate enters the NCAA Tournament with a No. 38 RPI. The ranking is the top mark in the A-Sun with five of the league’s teams ranked in the Top 100. Lipscomb, which battled the Spartans for the A-Sun Tournament title, is second at No. 57 and is followed in the ranking by North Florida (81), Kennesaw State (83), Stetson (98), Jacksonville (121), Florida Gulf Coast (125) and Northern Kentucky (265). Upstate played eight non-conference teams ranked in the Top 100 as well, including No. 7 Florida State, No. 17 Georgia, No. 30 South Carolina, No. 32 NC State, No. 35 North Carolina, No. 72 Elon, No. 92 Furman and No. 100 Charlotte. Alabama is ranked No. 6, Washington is No. 27 and Fairfield is No. 214 to highlight Upstate’s Tuscaloosa Regional foes.
As a team, Upstate ranks in the Top 25 in nine different team categories. The Spartans rank fourth with 1.82 home runs per game, a .631 slugging percentage and a .978 fielding percentage, fifth with a .356 batting average, ninth with a .843 winning percentage, 10th with 7.39 runs per game and 14th with a .436 on-base percentage.
Lexi Shubert and Shellie Robinson lead the way individually for Upstate. Shubert is third in nation with 33 wins, one shy of the national lead held by BYU’s McKenna Bull and San Diego State’s Erica Romero. She is also ranked 10th with nine shutouts, 17th with a 1.50 ERA, 25th with 1.26 walks allowed per game and 32nd with 4.90 hits allowed per game. Robinson is eighth with 22 home runs, 10th with 0.43 home runs per game, 11th with 1.24 runs per game, 16th with a .893 slugging percentage and 21st with 1.16 RBIs per game.
In addition, Hayley Reinfeld‘s A-Sun-best .447 batting average is the 25th-best average in all of Division I college softball. Kendall Settlemyre ranks 19th with 0.38 home runs per game, 35th with 17 home runs and 42nd with a .805 slugging percentage, while Aly Schneider is the 49th batter to strikeout in the nation.
Upstate will open play in the Tuscaloosa Regional Friday at 1:30 p.m. Eastern against Washington on ESPNU. The rest of the regional action Upstate will be involved in will be carried on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.