- The Owls return home to Bailey Park on Friday (Feb. 24) to host Radford in a doubleheader during the first day of the Interstate 75 Challenge. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET).
- Kennesaw State will also welcome Illinois to Kennesaw for a Saturday (Feb. 25) doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. before closing out the weekend with a single game against Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday (Feb. 26) at 11 a.m.
- Kennesaw State enters the weekend with a 7-2 record after posting a 4-0 mark at the Chattanooga Challenge last week. The Owls, who have won five in a row, posted victories over IUPUI (10-1), Tennessee Tech (3-0), Connecticut (5-1) and Radford (3-1).
- KSU’s scheduled game at Samford on Tuesday (Feb. 21), was cancelled due to rain.
INTERSTATE 75 CHALLENGE FIELD
Radford: The Highlanders are currently 3-2 on the season after competing at the Chattanooga Challenge last weekend. Radford recorded wins over IUPUI (6-3), Connecticut (8-3) and Tennessee Tech (6-5), and lost to Chattanooga (10-3) and Kennesaw State (3-1). The Highlanders are batting .563 as a team and are led by junior catcher Maggie Row, who is batting .563 with two home runs and six RBIs.
Illinois: The Fighting Illini begin the weekend 5-3 after posting a 1-2 record at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. After opening with a 5-1 victory over Saint Mary’s, Illinois fell 2-1 to No. 22 Cal and 11-0 to No. 9 Oregon. Prior to facing Kennesaw State, Illinois will play a doubleheader at Georgia State on Friday (Feb. 24). The Fighting Illini are batting .355 as a team and are led by Nicole Evans and Maddi Doane, who are both batting .500. Taylor Edwards is 3-0 with a 1.26 ERA to lead the team in the circle.
Nebraska-Omaha: The Mavericks are currently 3-5 on the season after posting a 2-1 record at the Stanford Nike Invitational. Omaha recorded victories over Stanford and Pacific before falling 4-3 to UC Santa Barbara in 11 innings. Prior to facing Kennesaw State, the Mavericks will play a doubleheader at Georgia Tech on Friday before visiting Georgia State for a pair of games on Saturday. Omaha. The Mavericks have two players – Lia Mancuso and Kelley Patterson – who are batting .500 (10-for-25).
KENNESAW STATE VERSUS THE FIELD
Radford: The Owls and Highlanders met for the first time last weekend and Kennesaw State posted a 3-1 victory behind two home runs from senior Courtney Sutter and a complete-game pitching effort from senior Logan Viers.
Illinois: Saturday’s doubleheader between Kennesaw State and Illinois will mark the first meeting between the two programs.
Nebraska-Omaha: The Owls and Mavericks will meet for eighth time on Sunday, with Kennesaw State leading the all-time series, 4-3. The two programs last met during the 2005 season while playing at the Division II level, and KSU posted a 2-0 victory in Kennesaw.
- The Owls, who lead the ASUN Conference with a .362 batting average, continued their solid hitting, posting a .351 average and outscoring their opponents, 21-3, during the Chattanooga Challenge.
- Senior Courtney Sutter was a major force at the plate for the Owls. She batted .667 (8-for-12) with four runs score, four extra base hits, including two home runs, four RBs, two stolen bases, slugged at a 1.417 clip, and had three multiple-hit games. She capped the weekend by going 3-for-3 with a game-tying and game-winning home run against Radford on Sunday.
- Sutter leads the ASUN Conference in slugging percentage and is tied for the conference lead in home runs.
- Sutter’s two home runs gave her 24 for her career and moved her into seventh place on Kennesaw State’s all-time home run list.
- KSU also received strong performances in the circle from redshirt freshman Alley Cutting and senior Logan Viers.
- In two starts, Cutting worked 13 1/3 innings, scattered 10 hits, allowed two runs, walked one and struck out 23. During her first start against IUPUI, Cutting worked 6 1/3 innings, surrendered four hits, and struck out 11. She followed that effort with a complete-game performance against Connecticut, pitching seven innings, allowing six hits, one run, walking one and striking out a career-high 12.
- Cutting increased her season strikeout to 39 in 21 innings, and ranks third in the ASUN.
- Senior Logan Viers is 3-1 and leads the ASUN Conference with 0.50 ERA.
- Freshman Olivia Tamewitz has made an impressive collegiate debut and leads the ASUN Conference in batting with a .583 average. She is 14-for-24 with six runs scored, four extra base hits, and ranks second on the team with six stolen bases. Tamewitz leads the Owls with five multiple-hit games, and has hit safely in eight of nine games.
HEAD COACH PETE D’AMOUR
- Head coach Pete D’Amour begins his first season as Kennesaw State head coach after spending the previous 10 seasons at the University of Missouri.
- While at Mizzou, D’Amour helped the Tigers post a 453-154 (.746) record, advance to three Women’s College World Series (2009, 2010, 2011), reach eight NCAA Division I Super Regionals, and participate in 10 NCAA Regionals.
- During D’Amour’s tenure, Missouri won two Big 12 Conference championships and earned 10 straight Top 20 national rankings.
- Primarily responsible for working with the pitchers and catchers, D’Amour watched Tigers pitcher throw 11 no-hitters, while mentoring 11 All-Americans, two SEC Freshen of the Year, three conference Pitchers of the Year, a national earned-run average leader, and a Defensive Player of the Year.
- Following Tuesday’s game, the Owls return home to Bailey Park to host Radford, Illinois and Nebraska-Omaha in the Interstate 75 Challenge beginning Friday (Feb. 24). Kennesaw State will open the weekend with a doubleheader against Radford beginning at 1 p.m. (ET).