April 19, 2012
Gametracker (NIU Game One) | Gametracker (NIU Game Two)
Gametracker (WMU Game One) | Gametracker (WMU Game Two)
ATHENS, Ohio - Following a mid-week trip to Columbus, Ohio Softball prepares for a six-game homestand beginning on Friday. The Bobcats will host Northern Illinois in a Friday doubleheader beginning at one p.m. before welcoming the 2011 MAC Tournament Champion Western Michigan Broncos to Athens for one game on both Saturday and Sunday.
Ohio (16-23, 5-5 MAC) dropped both games of its Wednesday doubleheader at Ohio State. The Bobcats outhit the Buckeyes by a 7-5 margin in the first game of the evening but were unable to quiet OSU's bats in the second contest, as the hosts scored 13 runs on 11 hits.
A WIN ON FRIDAY WOULD...
Be the 759th win in program history
Be the 297th conference win in program history
Be the 85th win of Jodi Hermanek's coaching career at Ohio
Be Ohio's second consecutive win over NIU
PREVIEWING THE HUSKIES
Northern Illinois enters Friday's series with an 18-24 record which includes a 6-6 mark in Mid-American Conference play. The Huskies are 4-9 away from home in 2012 and have won two of their last three games, sweeping Kent State in DeKalb on April 14 and 15 before falling at UIC on Wednesday.
The Huskies boast one of the top batting averages in the conference, hitting .289 this season. As of April 17, Stephanie Tofft and Nicole Gremillion ranked second and third in the league, respectively. Shelby Miller has proven to be an offensive force as well, ranking fourth in the conference with eight home runs.
In the two-game series, Ohio will likely face off against Megan Dortch (11-11, 2.98 ERA) and Jessica Sturm (7-9, 4.01 ERA). Dortch has been able to finish batters off well, amassing 154 strikeouts and only allowing opposing hitters a .200 average.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS
Before heading into a Friday series at Akron, Western Michigan owns a 19-17 record which includes a 5-5 mark in MAC play. The Broncos rank near the bottom of the conference in team hitting (.261) and near the top of the league in pitching ERA (2.75). Tara Buchanan will be a player to watch out for, as she has slugged .618, hit .324 and belted eight home runs so far in 2012.
Ohio will likely see Whitney Meredith (12-9, 2.52 ERA) and Becca Shemberger (5-7, 3.06 ERA) in the pitching circle this weekend.
Two Bobcats are currently hitting .400 or higher in conference play. Senior Alexis Joseph (Alvin, Texas) is 14-29 (.483) while classmate Jillian Van Wagnen (Lorain, Ohio) is 16-37 (.432). Joseph is slugging at a rate of .483 in MAC games while Van Wagnen is slugging .459 in conference contests.
HOME RUN FOR HUNGER
Ohio Softball and Ohio Baseball are designating home games played on Sunday, April 22 as "Home Run for Hunger" games. All fans are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the game for free admission.