ATHENS, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference-leading Ohio softball team (22-13, 10-1 MAC) returns to the OSF to face Akron (2-31-1, 1-11 MAC) this weekend. The Bobcats will take on the Zips on Friday, April 13 in a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. at the Ohio Softball Field. The teams will conclude the series on Saturday, April 14 at 12 p.m. at the OSF.
ALL-TIME AGAINST AKRON
Akron leads the all-time series against the Bobcats 29-66, winning twice out of the four times they met last season.
LAST TIME AGAINST AKRON
The Bobcats and Akron met four times last season. The Zips won the regular season series, taking two out of the three games.
Ohio and Akron last met in the 2017 Mid-American Conference Tournament, where Ohio would defeat the Zips, 2-0.
Akron is currently 2-31-1 overall and are 1-11 in MAC play. The Zips are coming off of a mid-week loss against the Buffalo. Akron faced Western Michigan in a three-game series the previous weekend, going 1-2 for the weekend.
As a team, Akron is batting .237, scoring 67 runs with 32 doubles, one triple and 14 homeruns. The Zips also have a .335 slugging percentage, .309 on base percentage and have drawn 71 walks.
Sydney Jascoe leads the team with a .340 batting average, with 34 hits, nine doubles and two homeruns, while driving in seven runs and scoring 10. She also has a .490 slugging percentage.
Cassie Gillespie is next with a .329 batting average with 25 hits. Kimberly Rodriguez registers a .295 average, with 23 hits, five doubles and eight RBI.
In the circle, Akron has a staff ERA of 7.14. They have allowed 258 runs in 202 innings, while walking 101 batters and striking out 105.
Kayla Kmett is 1-14 overall with a 5.79 ERA. In 23 appearances, she has made 14 starts with three complete games. She has allowed 70 earned runs, walked 39 and struck out 40. Mikayla Newland is 1-8 with a 6.14 ERA. She has allowed 43 earned runs in 49 innings, while walking 21 and striking out 27.
REWINDING LAST WEEK
The Bobcats are coming off of a doubleheader sweep against Kent State on Wednesday. The Bobcats won the first game 4-2 and the second 22-7 in five innings.
Overall, the Bobcats hit .360, scoring 26 runs on 26 hits with five doubles, eight homeruns and 25 RBI.
On the weekend, Alex Day lead the way with five hits including two homeruns in game two. Day registered eight RBI in eight at bats. In a tour de force, Katie Yun and Morgan Geno both hit two homeruns a piece in the double header and Natalie Alvarez and Alexa Holland each tacked on an additional homerun.
In the circle, Danielle Stiene pitched a complete game. She allowed two runs on six hits and struck out six batters. Kendall Meeks pitched four innings, giving up allowing hits and striking out one while Desirae Villanueva closed out the second game with one inning pitched and one strikeout.
Ohio is currently 22-13 overall and 10-1 in the MAC and are coming off of a double-header sweep against Kent State on Wednesday.
As a team, Ohio is batting .277 with 178 runs scored, 43 doubles, ten triples, 34 homeruns and 159 RBI. The team has drawn 109 walks and has 22 stolen bases on the year.
Leading the Bobcats is senior Mikayla Cooper. Cooper is batting .365 with 42 hits, 27 runs scored, eight homeruns, six doubles and 30 RBI. She also has a .678 slugging percentage and has drawn a team-leading 19 walks. Next is junior Alex Day who is batting .339 with 40 hits, nine homeruns, 29 runs scored and 29 RBI. Redshirt junior Michaela Dorsey has a .329 average with four homeruns, 23 RBI and a .544 slugging percentage.
Freshman Katie Yun and junior Natalie Alvarez are also registering solid offensive numbers. Yun is batting .325 with 38 hits, eight doubles, two triples and six homeruns, while driving in 21 runs. Alvarez is batting .276 with two homeruns, four doubles and a .448 slugging percentage.
In the circle, the pitching staff has a combined 3.59 ERA. In 232.1 innings, they have allowed 119 earned runs, walked 110 batters and have struck out 245 while opponents are batting .249 against them.
In the circle, senior Danielle Stiene has a 2.26 ERA and a 13-5 record in 23 appearances. Stiene has made 16 starts with 11 complete games and four shutouts, all while striking out 151 batters.
Sophomore Kendall Meeks is 2-1 with a 5.01 ERA in 16 appearances and three starts. In 29.1 innings, Meeks has allowed 21 earned runs and has struck out 16 while also registering two saves.
Freshman Madi McCrady is 5-5 overall with a 4.40 ERA in 16 appearances with 68 strikeouts.
BOBCATS IN MAC PLAY
Taylor Saxton is batting .370 in MAC play, registering 10 hits and scoring nine runs.
In the circle, Danielle Stiene registered 35.2 innings with an ERA of 1.57. Stiene struck out 42, walked 10 and allowed eight earned runs. Madi McCrady has a 3.61 ERA with a 5-3 record. She's struck out 15 and pitched one complete game.
MAC WEEKLY HONORS
Danielle Stiene was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 27.
Mikayla Cooper was named the MAC East Player of the Week on March 27.
Danielle Stiene was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week on April 3.
Mikayla Cooper was named the MAC East Player of the Week on April 10.
Danielle Stiene was named MAC East Pitcher of the Week on April 10.
OHIO IN THE MAC
The Bobcats are currently at the top of the MAC and are currently 10-1 in conference play. Ohio is ahead of Buffalo (6-6) and Kent State (5-6) in the East, and are ahead of Toledo (10-2) overall.
Ohio is currently fifth overall in pitching with a 3.62 ERA, and first in strikeouts with 220.
Individually, Danielle Stiene is ranked fifth in pitching with a 2.48 ERA and is first in strikeouts with 237.
The Bobcats are currently seventh in batting with a .266 average. They are fifth overall in homeruns with 26.
OHIO IN THE NCAA
The Bobcats rank in the top-50 in a few individual statistical categories. Danielle Stiene ranks 31stin strikeouts per seven innings. Stiene also ranks 36thin strikeout-to-walk ratio and is 28thin total strikeouts.
As a team, Ohio is ranked 29thin triples per game (0.30) and 33rdin homeruns per game (0.97).
OHIO AND RPI
The Bobcats are currently 74th in this week's RPI ranking and are the highest ranked MAC school.
The Bobcats have played eight teams that are ranked in the top-100 and 11 teams in the top-150.
This week's opponent, Akron, is ranked 267th.
THE 2017 SQUAD
Ohio will return with four seniors, including Taylor Saxton and Mikayla Cooper. Both started in all 60 games. Saxton finished the season with a .317 batting average, a .377 OBP and led the team with 19 stolen bases. Cooper led the team with 18 doubles and 25 walks. She finished the season with a .337 batting average and a .425 OBP. Cooper was named the MAC player of the week once and made the All-MAC First Team.
Starting in the circle for the Bobcats is Senior Danielle Stiene. She finished the 2017 season with an ERA of 2.37 and was named Distinguished Scholar Athlete. Highlights from the previous season include her five-inning no-hitter against Lafayette and her seven-inning no-hitter against UNC Wilmington.
Also returning are infielder MacKenzie Brunswick and outfielder Deanna Cole. Brunswick finished the 2017 season with 28 hits and RBIs and five stolen bases. Cole was named Academic All-MAC and held the second-most stolen bases on the team.
NEW TO THE SQUAD
The Bobcats will welcome four newcomers to the 2018 team. Madi McCrady will look to contribute in the circle. She recorded an ERA under 1.3 all three years of high school. Allie Englant will look to contribute in the outfield; she was ranked first in the state during her 2017 season.
Katie Yun will look to join the infield after leading her team to the Regional Championship and Brooke Rice will look for time behind the plate after her high school team reigned supreme four years in a row.
Mercy College transfer Kendall Meeks also joins Ohio this year. At Mercy, she was named ECAC Rookie of the Week four times and ECC Rookie of the week three times. Prior to college, Meeks played softball for Alexander High School.
The Bobcats finished second in the Mid-American Conference preseason poll behind Kent State, who received six out of the possible 12 votes. They finished ahead of Miami.
The 2018 season marks head coach Jodi Hermanek's tenth season with Ohio. Out of her 379 career wins, 274 of them are with the Bobcats. Under her coaching, the 2017 squad recorded a program record of 42 wins and a MAC East Championship. For the first time, the Bobcats won the conference tournament and then went on to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 19 years.
The Bobcats will face Ohio State on Tuesday for a mid-week double header starting at 5 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio. The following weekend, Ohio will resume conference play when they travel to Oxford, Ohio to play rival, Miami.