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Bobcats Set for Pair of Weekend MAC West Trips

Fifty-seven percent of Dakota Pyles' hits this season have come during conference play

April 25, 2013

Western Michigan Live Stats | Northern Illinois Live Stats

ATHENS, Ohio – Currently riding its second four-game winning streak of the 2013 season, the Ohio University softball team (23-22, 6-8 Mid-American Conference) takes to the road this weekend to visit a pair of MAC West foes. The Bobcats will play a doubleheader at Western Michigan on Friday afternoon before playing two games over the course of two days at Northern Illinois on Saturday and Sunday.

Following a two-game sweep at Akron last weekend, the Bobcats have moved from a three-way tie in seventh place of the MAC standings to sole possession of the seventh spot heading into this weekend’s action. The top eight teams in the conference qualify for the MAC Tournament. Western Michigan is currently on the outside looking in at the 10th spot, while Northern Illinois ranks fifth in the league standings.

The Bobcats earned their eighth and ninth Pitcher/Player of the Week awards on Monday, as Savannah Jo Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) and Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio) were recognized by the league office for their strong performances during Ohio’s 4-2 week. The award was the third of the season for Dorsey and the first of the year for Hortman.

Ohio enters this weekend’s games ranked No. 6 in the NCAA in home runs per game (1.49) and No. 35 in slugging percentage (.482). On the individual side, Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) currently ranks No. 8 in the country in home runs per game (0.4) while teammate Caitlin Colvin (Bonney Lake, Wash.) holds the No. 10 spot with 0.23 round-trippers per contest.

With 67 home runs so far this season, the Bobcats are just three long balls away from tying the single-season MAC record of 70 set by Ball State in 2012. Four more and Ohio will set a new league record.

Scouting the Broncos
Western Michigan enters Friday’s series the owner of a 13-25 record which includes a 4-8 mark in league play. The Broncos are currently on a four-game losing streak, having lost two games each to Central Michigan and Kent State.

The Broncos hit .247 as a team and slug at a rate of .333. Melissa Palmer leads the way offensively, hitting .346 with 45 hits. Sabrina Gamboa is the team’s most dangerous threat at the plate, as she hits .284, slugs at a rate of .557, and leads the team with 24 RBI.

Inside the pitching circle, Ohio will likely match up against Becca Shemberger (7-13, 4.79 ERA) and Allyson Kus (3-7, 4.88 ERA).

Ohio – Western Michigan Series History
According to available records, Friday’s doubleheader will mark the 83rd and 84th all-time meetings between Ohio and Western Michigan. The Broncos hold a 49-33 advantage in the series and have won 30 of the 38 games played in Kalamazoo. Ohio has lost four of its last five meetings with Western Michigan, a mark which includes a series split last season in Athens.

Scouting the Huskies
Heading into this weekend’s MAC games, NIU holds a 17-27 record which includes a 7-7 mark in league play. The Huskies most recently lost a to UIC on April 24, but have won six straight league contests, taking series wins over Eastern Michigan, Kent State, and Buffalo. Prior to Ohio’s series with NIU, the Huskies will host Akron on Friday.

NIU hits .258 as a team and has clubbed 25 home runs this season. Three Huskies hit at .300 or higher, with Nicole Gremillion’s .345 batting average leading the way. Jennifer Barnett is the team’s leading RBI producer, as she has driven in 29 runs while slugging at a rate of .459.

Inside the pitching circle, Ohio will likely match up against Emily Norton (9-15, 3.42 ERA) and Jessica Sturm (8-12, 3.12 ERA).

Ohio – Northern Illinois Series History
According to available records, Saturday and Sunday’s games will mark the 31st and 32nd all-time meetings between Ohio and Northern Illinois. NIU holds a 16-14 advantage in the series which has its roots in the 1985 season. Ohio has won each of the last three meetings, including a sweep of the Huskies in Athens last season.

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