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Ohio Softball to Host Three Events This Weekend

Jillian Van Wagnen has successfully stolen 23 bases this season

April 12, 2012

Gametracker (Saturday) | Gametracker (Sunday)

ATHENS, Ohio – Following a mid-week doubleheader at Marshall, Ohio Softball returns home this weekend to host three events. The Bobcats will host their first annual Home Run Derby on Friday before welcoming Akron to the Ohio Softball Field for conference matchups on Saturday and Sunday.

Ohio’s first annual Home Run Derby is scheduled for approximately 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon. At this event, Bobcat fans will be given the opportunity to see some of their favorite student-athletes and coaches from multiple different sports take a few cracks at trying to hit a pitch over the outfield wall. The event will be concluded before Ohio Baseball’s 6 p.m. home contest against Ball State, allowing fans to catch all of the day’s action.

The Bobcats (15-20, 4-4 MAC) are set to resume Mid-American Conference play on Saturday. Ohio will host Akron at 2 p.m. on Saturday and then once more on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday’s game against Akron will be the “O Zone Pizza Party” day while Sunday will serve as Ohio’s “Bark at the Park” event, a day where all fans are welcome to bring their dogs to both Ohio Softball and Ohio Baseball’s Sunday games. The first 50 dogs in attendance will receive a free bag of doggie treats.

Be the 758th win in program history
Be the 296th Mid-American Conference win in program history
Be the 84th win in Jodi Hermanek’s career as the head coach of Ohio Softball
Move head coach Jodi Hermanek into fourth place all-time on the Ohio Softball wins list
Break a four-game losing streak
Be Ohio’s fourth straight win over the Zips

Currently on a four-game losing streak, Akron enters Saturday’s contest the owner of a 13-22-1 record which includes an 0-8 mark in MAC play. The Zips are 1-7 away from home in 2012.

Akron hits well as a team, amassing a team batting average of .293. Five Zips are currently hitting .300 or higher, as Alissa Birkhimer (.368), Rachael Ratcliffe (.348), Alex Helfrich (.318), Keelia Nester (.300) and Cassie Gleisner (.300) are all having strong seasons at the plate. Birkhimer and Ratcliffe are a successful offensive tandem, combining for 11 home runs and 42 runs batted in between them.

The Zips’ pitching staff has posted a 4.48 ERA so far this season. Ohio will likely see Brittany Maurer (11-17, 4.16 ERA) on Saturday afternoon and then either Kinsi Tellep (1-2, 4.13 ERA) or Lisa Lash (1-2, 6.55 ERA) on Sunday. Maurer leads the staff with 86 strikeouts against only 42 walks.

Seven Bobcats have clubbed at least one home run during the 2012 season. Leading the way are Raven King (6), Chelsea Hortman (5) and Lauren Gellerman (4). Also hitting at least one blast this season are Alexandria Basquez (2), Tessa Bailey (1), Adrienne Gebele (1) and Jenna Giusti (1).

Three Bobcats have appeared in all 35 games played by Ohio this season. Jillian Van Wagnen, Brooke Morgart and Raven King have proved to be the most consistent ‘Cats. Alexis Joseph and Lauren Gellerman are each very close to this mark, having appeared in 34 of Ohio’s 35 games in 2012.

With 23 steals already in the 2012 season, senior Jillian Van Wagnen has already broken her personal single-season best of 22 (set in 2011). Van Wagnen’s 23 stolen bags this season currently rank ninth all-time in program history. She has now stolen 62 bases in her career, a mark which currently ranks No. 5 in program history.

Multiple Bobcats have hit quite well in their eight MAC games during the 2012 season. Alexis Joseph (.522) and Jillian Van Wagnen (.400) are both hitting .400 or above while Alexandria Basquez (.682), Raven King (.545), Joseph (.522) and Van Wagnen (.433) are slugging at a clip of .400 or better. Nine of Basquez’s 13 runs batted in have been in MAC play.