The Pittsburg State Gorillas take a 9-4 road record into Russellville, Ark., today for an afternoon doubleheader with the Golden Suns of Arkansas Tech.
Pitt State won five of eight last week, including one against nationally-ranked Winona State. The Gorillas stand at 17-9 overall and 5-3 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, close behind a pack of teams at 4-2 (Truman State, Missouri Western, Emporia State, Central Missouri) and 5-1 (Fort Hays State, Central Oklahoma).
Their opponent from the Great American Conference owns a 16-15 overall mark, 11-9 in the GAC. Both teams own a 4-4 home record and winning record in official road games with Arkansas Tech 9-8 away from the Chartwells Women's Complex, site of today's doubleheader.
Action starts at 2 p.m.
Pitt State leads the MIAA in runs scored (163), RBI (149), shares the lead in home runs (33), leads in strikeouts (141) and sacrifice flies (9).
Pitching wise, the Gorillas rank fourth in ERA (2.69) and fifth in opponents' batting average (.245).
The defense ranks third in team fielding percentage (.967), behind Northwest Missouri and Fort Hays.
Individually, Tiffany Brown ranks tied for third with eight home runs and tied for fifth with 25 RBI. Freshman pitcher Kyndel Shelburn ranks fourth with 85 strikeouts in 73.1 innings pitched.
Junior center fielder and often leadoff hitter Brenna George stands in a six-player tie for second with 25 runs scored. Senior first baseman-designated player Kreslee Ketcham ranks tied for fifth with seven homers. Sophomore left fielder and recent leadoff hitter Cheslyn Mitchell ranks tied for second with nine doubles. Freshman shortstop Jordan Bradshaw reached tied for seventh with 23 RBI by picking up nine over a two-day stretch against Lindenwood and Truman State; she leads the conference with 20 walks.
Meanwhile, the Gorillas will have to be careful pitching to Siarra Gomez, who's produced a .344 batting average, 31 hits, five doubles, 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 31 games played. Gomez accounts for nearly half of the team's 25 homers and over one-fourth of the team's 128 RBI. The 5-foot-5 first baseman-third baseman came to Russellville from Keller Central High in Fort Worth, Texas.
Gomez leads the Great American Conference in both homers and RBI.
Pitt State will likely face Victoria Huie at least one game; Huie leads the Golden Suns with 17 appearances, 16 starts, 10 complete games and 92.0 innings while compiling her 8-9 record and 3.42 ERA.
GAC opponents Arkansas-Monticello and Northwestern Oklahoma State have already played against Pitt State this season. The Gorillas own a 3-3 record against GAC opponents, splitting a four-game set with Arkansas-Monticello and a doubleheader against Northwestern Oklahoma.
Coincidentally, both Arkansas-Monticello and Arkansas Tech have women's teams with different nicknames than their men's teams.
Women's teams are called the Cotton Blossoms and men's teams are called the Boll Weevils in Monticello. Women's teams are called the Golden Suns and men's teams the Wonder Boys in Russellville.
Page 2 of 2 - Two MIAA schools feature a similar dichotomy: Central Missouri (Jennies, Mules) and Washburn (Lady Blues, Ichabods).