Updated Wed, Apr 30, 2014 6:52 pm
After a very successful regular season, the Rio Grande Redstorm will take their 29-18 record to Danville, Kentucky. They are set to face Cumberland, who sports a 35-18 regular season record, in the first round of the Mid-South Conference.
This time last year the ‘Storm were already done with their season after going winless in the MSC Tournament. They lost to Campbellsville University, 5-4, and Georgetown, 4-1. This year the Redstorm look to change their fortunes as they face a very familiar foe.
Rio started and ended its 2013-2014 season with Cumberland, splitting both doubleheaders with the Bulldogs. The Redstorm had a batting average of .233 in those four games and their pitchers had an ERA of 4.55 against the Bulldogs. Cumberland matches up pretty well at the plate with Rio, having an almost identical batting average of .228 against Redstorm during the regular season.
Where the Bulldogs outshine Rio Grande is on the mound. In their four previous meeting the Bulldogs have accumulated an ERA of just 1.92, and over the entire regular season, Cumberland carried a 2.57 ERA. That places them fourth overall in the MSC standings. Rio is just a spot back in fifth place.
Rio Grande will need to step it up at the plate against the Bulldogs. Rio’s team batting average is .246, and they’re led by Kim Rollins with a .311 average. Rio Grande’s pitchers will have to go up against the MSC’s top hitter in Jessica Roper, who sports a .451 batting average. As a team, Cumberland bats .336, ranking them second in the MSC just behind Lindsey Wilson.
The Redstorm’s first game is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday.