2022 Gulf South Softball Championship

GSC Tournament: Wide-Open Field Readies For Tourney

GSC Tournament: Wide-Open Field Readies For Tourney

This year’s GSC Tournament features five teams in the top 10 of the NCAA’s South Regional ranking, with Auburn Montgomery leading the pack.

Apr 28, 2022 by Kyle Kensing
GSC Tournament: Wide-Open Field Readies For Tourney

The Gulf South Conference’s top eight teams meet at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, Alabama, beginning May 4 for an automatic bid into the 2022 Div. II NCAA Tournament. 

This year’s GSC Tournament features five teams in the top 10 of the NCAA’s South Regional ranking, with No. 1 Auburn Montgomery leading the pack. 

Morgan Ferguson and Alanna Goble have been outstanding in the circle for the Warhawks, combining for 20 wins. Ferguson sports an ERA of 2.87 and has fanned 72 batters, while Goble has the GSC’s second-lowest ERA of 1.86. 

At the plate, Kat Fallen approaches the postseason with a double-digit total of home runs and slugging percentage over .720. 

AUM’s combination of lights-out pitching and efficient hitting has powered it to a 22-5 GSC mark heading into the final stretch of league play.

Of the teams responsible for the Warhawks’ five conference losses, three—Valdosta State, University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Lee (twice)—also rank in the NCAA South Regional top 10. No surprise, all three also clinched spots in the GSC Tournament. 

Valdosta State, featuring one of the nation’s most dominant starting pitchers in Samantha Richards, can win the GSC regular-season championship ahead of the league tournament. 

Richards heads into the final days of April with a staggering 235 strikeouts, surpassing 500 for her career, to power her GSC-leading 1.60 ERA. 

Blazers batters have been among the most consistent in the nation this season. Eight-of-nine to appear in at least 36 games are hitting .291 or better, and it’s a group that includes Ally Clegg with 13 home runs and Nikki Pennington with 11. 

Morgan Hill complements VSU’s power at the plate with speed on the bases, stealing 19 bases on 20 attempts. 

As the GSC Tournament approaches, West Florida is coming on strong. The Argonauts are responsible for two of the Blazers’ league losses, both in the latter half of April. 

UWF has won 6-of-7 including the series defeat of Valdosta State heading into the regular season’s final weekend. Teala Howard and Madelyn Vasquez both have OPS above 1.000, with Howard hitting .423 and Vasquez combining 24 walks with 10 home runs and 37 RBI. 

Following an impressive showing to close out the home schedule, the Argos close out on the road against another regional top 10, Lee. 

The Lee Flames head into the conclusion of the regular season sitting at No. 5 in the GSC and likely facing an opening-round matchup against UAH. When Lee and UAH met in March, the Flames scored 2-of-3 with wins of 7-0 and 9-1; UAH claimed an 11-2 victory in the series. 

Lee’s 2021 All-GSC honoree Taylor De Adder was excellent against the Chargers, kicking off what’s been an great final month for the Flames first baseman. She’s accumulated 37 walks to complement 47 hits, the latter of which she’s bolstered with five multiple-hit games beginning with the UAH series at the end of March. 

UAH, meanwhile, heads into the last regular-season weekend against West Alabama riding an 11-game winning streak. The GSC has no hotter team than the Chargers, and UAH can climb to as high as the No. 3 seed with some help from Lee against West Florida, coincidentally. 

West Alabama and Montevallo round out the 7-of-8 that have clinched tournament berths ahead of the April 29-May 1 weekend. Mississippi College has the inside track on the eighth seed and can sew it up with a series win over Union.