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Lady Chaps Open Season Hosting Tournament and No.22 Washburn

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Lubbock, Texas (February 3, 2023) — Lubbock Christian University’s 2023 softball season, which is the 16th in program history, begins Friday at home with No. 21 Lady Chaparrals hosting No. 22 Washburn (1 pm) and Colo. Colorado Springs (3 p.m.) to open the Lubbock Sports College Classic at Maner Park.

LOCATION OPPONENT DAY TIME (CT) VIEW STATS #22 Washburn Lubbock, Texas Fri Feb 3 1:00pm Video Stats UCCS Lubbock, Texas Fri Feb 3 3:00pm Video Stats Newman Lubbock, Texas Sat Feb 4 1:00pm Video Stats Neb. Kearney Lubbock, Texas Sat Feb 4 3:00pm Video Stats SWOSU Lubbock, Texas Sun Feb 5 2pm Video Stats WEATHER

Snapshot LCU and WA series

  • LCU leads the series all-time 1-0, with the lone meeting resulting in a 7-0 LCU victory on February 5, 2021 in Lubbock.
  • The game was part of the Lubbock Sports College Invitational and was LCU’s 2021 home opener.
  • Taylor Franco had a complete game (7 innings) with one batter in the circle and Brooke Makemson hit a pair of home runs.

Snapshot LCU and UCCS series

  • LCU leads the all-time series over UCCS, 4-1.
  • The Lady Chaps won their previous matchup 9-1 (six innings), which was on February 21, 2021 in Canyon, Texas.
  • The UCCS’ only win in the series was on February 16, 2020 in Edmond, Oklahoma in a 2-0 final.
  • The Lady Chaps are 3-0 all-time against UCCS in Lubbock and outscored them 29-0 in their three games.
  • LCU went 2-0 last season against RMAC teams and won six straight games against RMAC programs.

Seasonal expectations

  • The Lady Chaps are picked for the preseason to finish fourth in the Lone Star Conference.
  • LCU is in its 9th season playing an NCAA Division II program (2013 was their last season in the NAIA) and this is their 4th season as a member of the Lone Star Conference.
  • There are 15 softball programs in the LSC this season. The major difference from last season to this season is that Texas A&M-Commerce moved up to NCAA Division I.

Opening day

  • LCU is 14-1 all-time in season openers.
  • Seven of LCU’s season openers have ended in shutout wins.
  • On February 13, 2008, LCU’s season opener and inaugural game in program history ended in a 15-0 unsuccessful win over Southwest (NM).
  • Last season, LCU dropped its first opener of the season, falling 5-4 to West Alabama on February 5, 2022 in Gulf Shores, Ala.
  • This season marks the first season since 2019 that LCU opens at home.

Domestic openings

  • LCU is 15-0 all-time in home openers at PlainsCapital Park.
  • Their last five consecutive home openers and a combined total of nine home openers have resulted in wins behind closed doors (LCU outscored Oklahoma Baptist 8-0 in last season’s home opener).
  • LCU has never opened the season at home against a nationally ranked program

Last season

  • LCU went 40-19 last season and finished second in the Lone Star Conference by a mark of 23-7.
  • They qualified for the NCAA Division II South Central Regional where they fell in the tournament final to UT Tyler.
  • LCU went 9-11 last season against nationally ranked programs last season.
  • The Lady Chaps went 15-6 last season at home.

The new boys

  • Twelve (12) Lady Chaps on the roster looking to make their LCU debut.
  • There are eight freshmen: Sydnee Bowlin (Lubbock, Texas), Berkley Bradley (Canyon, Texas), Alyssa Campos (Round Rock, Texas), Riley Flores (Lubbock, Texas), Ashlinn Hamilton (Denison, Texas), Victoria Owens (El Paso, Texas), Ally Talamantes (San Angelo, Texas), and Amanda Valdiviezo (El Paso, Texas).
  • There are four transfers bringing Division I experience: Louisiana State (LSU) transfer Hayden Brown joins Hope Banales (New Mexico State), Ally Oyanguren (BYU), and Kaeleigh Vega (Stephen F. Austin).

Who did and who didn’t

  • The Lady Chaps returns four starting position players from last season, which includes All-Conference selections Tiarra Delrosario (catcher, outfield), Kasey Flores (infield), and Skylar Herrera (infield). Flores (17) and Herrera (11) come back as Lady Chaps’ best two home runs from last season (Flores also led the team with 54 RBI). LCU also returns to All-Conference Pitchers, including Taylor Franco, who was the LSC Pitcher of the Year and was an NFCA All-American last season. Franco returns as LCU’s all-time leader in no-hitters (5) and shutouts (22). Maxine Valdez earned All-Conference honors last season in the circle leading LCU in ERA (2.29) and strikeouts with 150. There are 11 returning players total.
  • For the second consecutive season, Extra Innings Softball included Taylor Franco on a preseason watch list, as she ranked No. 23 this season in their Extra Elite 100 Div. II Player Rankings.
  • The top four players lost (based on attendance) were Angela Donaldson (All-Conference), Savanna Wysocki (All-Conference, Academic All-America pick), Tyla Lee (All-Conference), and Brooke Makemson (All-America pick ).

Coach interview

  • LCU head coach Daren Hays is in his 13th season at the helm of the Lady Chaps.
  • Hays is LCU’s winningest head softball coach, entering the season with a softball record of 486-157.
  • In addition to surpassing 400 wins as a coach in softball, Hays had surpassed 300 as a head coach in collegiate baseball. He spent eight seasons as LCU’s head baseball coach and compiled a record of 356-163.

Looking at WU

  • The Ichabods went 45-15 last season, winning the MIAA regular season title by a conference mark of 24-2.
  • WU won their previous two season openers, including the 2021 season opener in Lubbock, against Midwestern State.
  • Washburn is expected to finish second in the 14-team MIAA Preseason Poll, which is expected to finish behind defending national champion Rogers State.
  • Unlike LCU, which is playing its first 14 games at home, Washburn is playing its first 17 games away (Topeka, Kansas), where it has a 26-game home streak (second active nationally).
  • Last season, WU made its fifth NCAA postseason appearance. They qualified for the NCAA Division II Central Regional and fell in their first two games.
  • UAM is ranked #22 in the preseason according to the NFCA.

Looking at the UCCS

  • The Mountain Lions went 27-24 last season, finishing fifth in the RMAC by a conference mark of 24-16.
  • UCCS won their previous two season openers (opens against Nebraska Kearney on Friday before facing LCU) and hasn’t opened the season in Lubbock since 2020 (losing 14-10 to Fort Hays State in the first game) .
  • Colo. Colorado Springs is expected to finish fifth in the 12-team RMAC preseason poll.
  • UCCS returns 17 student-athletes from last year’s team, including three pitchers and 14 position players (they have six freshmen coming on the roster).

SB | Always subject to change, but here is the latest complete list of games @LCUSoftball hosts from 3 to 5 February @LubbockSports University classic

Upper section (row) – February 3 Middle section (row) – February 4 Lower section (row) – February 5 pic.twitter.com/y3dkSyFrZL

— LCU Chaparrals (@LCUCHAPS) January 19, 2023

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