ATHENS, Ohio - Seeding for the upcoming 2014 Mid-American Conference Tournament and a potential regular season championship are at stake for the Ohio University softball team (26-22, 10-6 MAC) this weekend as the Bobcats play host to West Division foes Western Michigan (16-31, 7-11 MAC) and Northern Illinois (21-27, 8-10 MAC).
Friday's (May 2) twin bill against the Broncos is set to begin at 1 p.m. ET. The Saturday (May 3) series opener against the Huskies is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET. The Sunday (May 4) Senior Day regular season finale is slated for a 1 p.m. ET start.
The Last Meeting
Western Michigan (DH)
April 26, 2013
Bobcats Tie MAC Home Run Standard in Road Split at WMU
The Ohio University softball team (24-23, 7-9 Mid-American Conference) picked up a split on the road Friday afternoon, earning one win and one loss against the Western Michigan Broncos. The Bobcats tied a MAC record on Friday, hitting their 70th home run of the season to match Ball State's mark set during the 2012 season.
Ohio Softball Falls at Northern Illinois, 3-2
Lauren Gellerman moved into sole possession of the current single-season Mid-American Conference home run record on Sunday afternoon, but it wasn't enough as the Ohio University softball team (24-25, 7-11 MAC) dropped a 3-2 decision at Northern Illinois to end the weekend.
According to available records, Friday's doubleheader will mark the 85th and 86th all-time meetings between Ohio and Western Michigan. The Broncos hold a 50-34 advantage in the series. Saturday and Sunday's games will mark the 33rd and 34th all-time meetings between Ohio and Northern Illinois. The Huskies hold a 18-14 advantage in the series which has its roots in the 1985 season.
WEEKEND PROMOTIONS This weekend's entire slate of contests at the Ohio Softball Field are designated as 'Bark at the Park' games, with fans encouraged to bring their dogs along to cheer on the Bobcats. Saturday's series opener against Northern Illinois has also been tabbed as 'Girl Scouts Day.' Sunday's regular season finale will serve as Senior Day for the Ohio softball program, with the Bobcats recognizing the careers of infielder Alexandria Basquez (Elk Grove, Calif.), outfielder Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio), outfielder Erin Lashley (Pickerington, Ohio) and outfielder Alyssa Wolfe (Junction City, Ohio).
MAC TOURNAMENT PICTURE The league's top-eight teams at the conclusion of the regular season will qualify for the double-elimination 2014 MAC Tournament, which will take place next week (May 7-10) at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. The conference's tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Here's a look at what the field would look like if the tournament started today:
1. Ball State: 9-3, .750 (vs. Central Michigan, vs. Eastern Michigan) 2. Kent State: 10-4, .714 (vs. Buffalo) 3. Akron: 9-5, .642 (vs. Northern Illinois, vs. Western Michigan) 4. Buffalo: 9-5, .642 (at Kent State) 5. Ohio: 10-6, .625 (vs. Western Michigan, vs. Northern Illinois) 6. Central Michigan: 9-7, .562 (at Ball State, at Miami) 7. Toledo: 9-11, .450 (at Bowling Green) 8. Northern Illinois: 8-10, .444 (at Akron, at Ohio)
SCOUTING OHIO The Bobcats are looking to put a halt to a four-game MAC losing skid and finish the 2014 regular season on a high note heading into the league tournament, with several scenarios still in play that could allow the 'Cats to clinch their first conference regular season crown since 1995.
Sophomore pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) totaled 22 strikeouts over 19.2 innings of work last week for Ohio, running her school-record single-season strikeout total to 224.
The sophomore broke the program's single-season strikeout standard last Wednesday (April 23) in the second game of a doubleheader at Marshall, fanning Savannah Webster to end the fourth inning and tally her school single-season record 206th strikeout. Dorsey finished the contest with four strikeouts.
She followed that effort up by posting eight strikeouts on Saturday (April 26) in the MAC weekend series opener at East Division foe Akron, then totaling nine more on Sunday (April 27) in the series finale.
Dorsey is 19-16 on the season and has logged 208.1 innings in the pitching circle.
Offensively, sophomore Amanda Dalton (Salem, Va.) and junior Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) pace the Bobcats with a team-high 47 hits apiece. Dalton owns a team-best .336 batting average while Gebele has posted a team-high 11 doubles. In MAC play, Dalton is batting a team-best .404 with a team-high 19 hits.
Basquez provides the power for Ohio, totaling a team-high nine home runs and collecting a team-high 38 RBIs, which is tied with Nicole Tangeman (1995) for the fifth-most in a single season in program history.
In conference play, freshman Casie Hutchinson (Lebanon, Ohio) ranks second on the team with a .362 batting average and 17 hits.
Freshman Taylor Saxton (Circleville, Ohio) is Ohio's biggest threat to run when on the base path, going a team-best 12-for-14 on stolen base attempts. Dalton ranks second on the squad with 10 steals.
SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN The Broncos enter Friday's doubleheader on a five-game MAC losing streak. Led by 14th-year head coach Kathy Leitke, Western Michigan was picked to finish fourth in the MAC West in the preseason head coaches' poll.
Sophomore Melissa Palmer leads the Broncos with a .346 batting average and 53 hits. Sophomore Sabrina Gamboa is Western Michigan's top power threat with a team-high five home runs and 23 RBIs. She's also tied with junior Jenny Rohn for the team lead with nine doubles.
Sophomore Allyson Kus is Western Michigan's pitching ace, owning a 13-18 record with a 3.56 ERA and two saves over 40 appearances - including 29 starts - and 202.1 innings of work. She has tallied a team-high 103 strikeouts.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS The Huskies have lost three of their last four conference games but closed out their 2014 non-conference schedule with a 12-4 triumph at UIC on Tuesday (April 29). Led by second-year head coach Christina Sutcliffe, Northern Illinois was picked to finish third in the MAC West in the preseason head coaches' poll.
Freshman Kayti Grable owns a team-best .378 batting average and has totaled a team-high eight home runs.
Sophomore Emily Naegele has compiled a team-high 13 doubles and has driven in a team-high 39 runs.
Senior Nicole Gremillion has totaled a team-high 58 hits - including a team-high four triples.
Junior Jessica Sturm is the top pitcher for Northern Illinois, going 15-14 with a 2.47 ERA over 32 appearances -including 18 starts - and a team-high 159.0 innings of work. She has fanned a team-high 53 opposing batters.
NEW ADDITION TO TEAM Ohio's sixth-year head coach Jodi Hermanek and her husband, David, welcomed Emma Fay Horton to the world at 10:20 p.m. ET on Tuesday (April 29).
DIAMOND DISH Lashley caught up with OhioBobcats.com this week to chat about her career coming to a close, her fondest memories of being a Bobcat and the excitement of Coach Herm giving birth to a baby girl.