JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn.. – No. 9 Carson-Newman (14-5, 1-5 South Atlantic Conference) will try to pump the breaks on a four-game losing streak when it travels to the Electric City and the Palmetto State to take on Anderson (18-12, 2-4 SAC) with a Wednesday doubleheader at 2 p.m.
The Eagles' current four-game skid is just the program's sixth four-game losing streak in its 34-year history. Carson-Newman will seek to avoid matching the school-record for consecutive losses of five – set by the 2012 team with losses to Wingate, Augusta (twice) and Lenoir-Rhyne (twice). Carson-Newman has never lost six straight games.
"We're the world's best hitting team in practice and in the cages," head softball coach Michael Graves said. "We really just might need to hire umps when we hit in the cage and in practice. Anderson swings it well. They have two good pitchers and see if we can string some back-to-back hits together."
Carson-Newman's offense has been mired in the offensive doldroms since the month of March started. The Eagles hit .353 for the month of February and were averaging 6.81 runs per game. In March, Carson-Newman is hitting .211 as a team and averaging 3.1 runs per game.
While Carson-Newman has struggled as a team offensively, KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) has been swinging a hot bat of late for Carson-Newman. The junior catcher has homered four times in her last 21 at-bats. Levi has also produced four multi-hit efforts in the Eagles' last nine games. Levi has brought her batting average up 40 points, to .340 in that span.
Carson-Newman is 5-5 in its last 10 games and 1-5 in its last six. Anderson is coming off a doubleheader split with preseason SAC favorite Lenoir-Rhyne. The Trojans had lost five straight after a six-game winning streak. Anderson got swept back-to-back by Georgia College and Newberry before salvaging a split with Tusculum with a run-rule win in the nightcap.
The Trojans hit triples like nobody's business. Anderson is 13th nationally with 0.47 triples per game. Anderson leads the SAC with 14. Joshalyn Martin's four are 14th in the nation.
Kayson Boatner has made a solid bid for the league's freshman of the year honor. Her 35 RBI are second in the conference, while she leads the South Atlantic Conference with 10 home runs. Boatner has 10 multi-hit efforts on the year.
Anderson is one of the top offensive teams in the SAC. The Trojans are third in the conference in runs (176), fourth in hits (247). They rank as one of the best small-ball teams in the league with 26 sacrifice bunts, the second most in the league.
Kayla Pepper and Harlie Duncan form a solid one-two punch in the circle. They have combined to limit opponent's to a .229 batting average against, the third best in the league.
Pepper's 97 strikeouts are the third most in the conference this year.
Carson-Newman leads the all-time series 36-12; however, Anderson has won three of the last five, including a sweep of last year's regular season series. Carson-Newman did get the last word in last year, by eliminating the Trojans from the SAC tournament.
First pitch between the Eagles and Trojans is set for 2 p.m. Follow @cnathletics on Twitter for live coverage of the contests.