COMING UP: Saint Louis softball (11-12, 1-1 A-10) plays a non-conference single game and an Atlantic 10 Conference doubleheader at home this week. The Billikens host UMKC (11-12) Thursday, March 28, at 4 p.m. in a game that was added to the schedule. SLU welcomes Dayton (8-13, 2-1 A-10) Saturday, March 30, for a twinbill that begins at noon.

LAST WEEK: Saint Louis was 1-3 last week. The Billikens dropped 7-6 (nine innings) and 11-3 decisions at Southern Illinois March 21. After falling 4-3 (nine innings) to St. Bonaventure in the A-10 opener March 23, SLU rebounded for an 8-2 win over the Bonnies in game two of the doubleheader. Lindsay Friedman hit a grand slam to lead the Billikens to the victory.

BILLIKEN STATISTICAL LEADERS: Jessica Van Nostrand leads Saint Louis in batting average (.303), hits (23), doubles (six) and RBIs (14-tied). Jessica Buschjost has team highs of 14 runs and 14 stolen bases (15 attempts) and is second to Van Nostrand in hits (18). Alyson Brand bats .260 with two home runs and owns team highs in RBIs (14-tied), walks (15), slugging percentage (.460) and on-base percentage (.439). Laura Bohning is second on the squad in batting average (.264) and slugging percentage (.453) and has a pair of home runs. Lindsay Friedman has a team-high four homers to go with 12 RBIs and eight stolen bases in nine tries. In the circle, Brianna Lore is 6-8 with a 2.91 ERA, and Laney Kneib is 5-4 with a 3.45 ERA.

WALKING INTO THE RECORD BOOK: With three walks last week, Alyson Brand became the Billikens’ all-time leader in that category. Brand has 68 free passes in her career.

BILLIKENS IN THE A-10 STATISTICS REPORT: Saint Louis leads the Atlantic 10 Conference in walks (94) and stolen bases (37) and ranks third in ERA (3.23) and fielding percentage (.958). Jessica Buschjost leads the league in stolen bases (14), while Lindsay Friedman is tied for fifth with eight steals.

TRENDING UPWARD: In her last six games, Alyson Brand is 8-for-14 (.571) with seven RBIs, eight walks, a .727 on-base percentage and no strikeouts. Brand lifted her season batting average from .139 to .260 during that six-game stretch. Kelsey Biggs owns a five-game hitting streak during which she is 6-for-15 (.400) with six RBIs and just two strikeouts. Biggs has fanned only four times in her last 47 plate appearances. Elizabeth Everingham has hit safely in her last four games, going 5-for-12 (.417). Jessica Van Nostrand has not struck out in her last 53 plate appearances.

THAT’S A GOOD EYE: SLU hitters have been patient at the plate lately. The Billikens have drawn 43 walks in their last seven games, a 6.1 average.

FLAWLESS IN THE FIELD: The Billikens have played strong defense in recent outings. SLU has committed only 12 errors in its last 14 games, improving its fielding percentage from .932 to .958 during that 14-game span.

BURNING UP THE BASEPATHS: Saint Louis ranks 40th in the nation in stolen bases per game (1.57). Jessica Buschjost, who is 14-for-15 in steal attempts, ranks 32nd individually with a 0.61 per-game average. The Billikens are 37-for-47 in steal attempts for a .787 success rate.

CLIMBING THE CAREER LADDER: Several current Billikens rank among the top 10 on various SLU career statistical lists. Alyson Brand is first in walks (68), tied for first in sacrifice flies (six), third in RBIs (82), tied for fourth in home runs (13), fifth in chances (836) and sixth in putouts (685). Jessica Buschjost is second in stolen bases (82) and tied for sixth in runs (83), while Jessica Van Nostrand is sixth in assists (295) and tied for 10th in hit by pitch (10). Laura Bohning is tied for fourth in home runs (13), and Lindsay Friedman is sixth in hit by pitch (17).


UMKC – The Kangaroos, who played at Arkansas Wednesday evening, own a .299 batting average but also carry an 8.09 ERA. Six players bat .311 or better, led by Emily Ott and Liz Broyles, who are tied for the team lead at .377. Brooke Parker checks in at .364, followed by Caitlin Christopher (.341), Katie Kelley (.339) and Jenna Rangel (.311). Kelley has a team-high four home runs, while Marlee Maples leads the Kangaroos with 24 RBIs. UMKC has swiped 36 bases in 41 attempts for an .878 success rate. Deanna Friese leads the pitching staff with seven victories and has 95 strikeouts in 77 innings.

Dayton – The Flyers were scheduled to play Butler in an A-10 doubleheader Thursday before coming to St. Louis. Kathleen Maloof tops the Dayton charts in batting average (.375), home runs (six) and RBIs (19) and is followed closely by Kasi Vazquez (.353 BA, five HRs, 17 RBIs). Leah Sitter (.313) and Natalie Mariano (.303) rank third and fourth, respectively, in batting average. Dana Trotta has five home runs, while Jordan Jennings has gone deep four times and is third on the team with 16 RBIs. The Flyers scored 32 runs in their first three conference games. Kayla English has recorded five of Dayton’s eight pitching victories and has fanned 86 batters in 71 2/3 innings.