March 16, 2012
ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio Softball hits the road for its final tournament of the regular season, as the Bobcats head to Charleston, South Carolina to compete in the 2012 Charleston Southern Tournament. During the weekend the Bobcats will compete twice against both Longwood and Charleston Southern.
Ohio (8-9) enters the tournament coming off a 9-0 win against Cleveland State on March 4 to close the Georgia Bulldog Invitational. Standout freshman pitcher Lauren McClary (Pasadena, Texas) pitched her second no-hitter of the season, adding to her already impressive freshman season which already includes three shutouts. Also performing well for the Bobcats at the Bulldog Invitational were junior Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio) and classmate Jenna Giusti (Danville, Calif.). Each of these Bobcats blasted a home run at the last tournament.
The Bobcats stack up well statistically in the Mid-American Conference at this point in the season, currently boasting the fourth-best batting average (.275). Ohio has been very reliable in the field as well, amassing a .971 fielding percentage which currently ranks second in the league.
Ohio begins tournament play at 10 a.m. on Saturday against Longwood (15-8). The Lancers are coming off of a 3-1 showing at the adidas Longwood Classic including a 6-1 win against North Carolina Central on March 11. Players to watch out for include senior Courtney Long who led the way against the Bearcats with two RBI and junior pitcher Ashley Cornell who claimed the victory, allowing only six hits, one unearned run and one walk.
The Bobcats face tournament host Charleston Southern at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Buccaneers (11-11) are coming off a 5-0 loss against Long Beach State in the conclusion of the Long Beach State Invitational on March 11 after besting Notre Dame 5-2 earlier in the day. During the tournament, sophomore Stephanie Sbardella stood out against Notre Dame, leading the team with two hits, one run and one RBI as well as junior pitcher Morgan Dowdy who claimed the win while allowing only four hits, two runs and no walks.
Play will continue on Sunday in a doubleheader with Ohio battling Longwood at 1 p.m. and Charleston Southern at 3 p.m. The Charleston Southern Tournament will mark the end of early season tournament competition for Ohio as the team has one road series at Western Carolina before the 2012 home opener against Eastern Kentucky on Mar. 27.
Stay tuned to OhioBobcats.com throughout the weekend for tournament coverage.