INDIANAPOLIS – The Barry Buccaneers are heading back to the NCAA Softball Tournament this year for the second year in a row and 16th overall.
The Bucs (40-9, 19-5 SSC) were selected as the third seed in the South Region and will head to the South Region-2 Tournament in Tampa, Fla., hosted by the University of Tampa. Live statistics and video broadcasts are available through the tournament website at http://www.tampaspartans.com/page.asp?articleID=3646.
Barry will face sixth-seeded Florida Southern (36-16, 13-10 SSC) in the first round. The game is scheduled for 4:30 pm on Friday, May 4 at Vince Naimoli Family Field. The host Spartans (36-6, 21-3 SSC), seeded number two, will face the seventh seed West Alabama Tigers (33-23, 15-13 Gulf South Conference) at 7:00 pm.
The Bucs are back in the regional for the second straight year. They went 1-2 in last year’s South Region-1 Tournament, beating Fort Valley State, but losing twice to Valdosta State. It is the 16th overall selection for the softball team (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012). The Bucs advanced to the national finals in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2008.
Barry is a battle-tested squad this year, having played 16 of 49 games against teams selected to the tournament, going 9-7 and beating seven of eight teams faced at least once.
Senior pitcher Brianna Smith leads the way for the team, contributing with both her arm and her bat. In the circle, she is 22-5 with a 1.15 ERA and 15 shutouts. In 183.1 innings, she has struck out 130 and walked just 26. She currently is riding a 26.0 inning scoreless streak and had thrown four straight shutouts. In the box, she is hitting .295 with three homers and 25 RBI.
Grace Collins leads the team in batting at .370 and is tops with 31 runs scored and 29 stolen bases. Alyssa Goldsmith leads the team with 33 RBI and is second on the team hitting .338 with 12 doubles and three homers. Sarah Broeseker, hitting .337 with 28 RBI, leads the team with 14 doubles and four homers. Shortstop Natalia Ojeda is batting .330 and leads the team with 20 walks for a .447 on-base percentage.