May 4, 2009
MAC Tournament Notes
ATHENS, Ohio -
After advancing all the way to the championship game of the Mid-American Conference Tournament a year ago, Ohio softball returns to the scene of its memorable run looking to do one better and qualify for NCAA Regional play. The `Cats (22-23, 12-10 MAC) will open the tourney as the No. 6 six seed and take on third-seeded Western Michigan (22-20, 16-6 MAC) Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
The MAC Tournament will be held Wednesday through Saturday at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. The top eight teams in the conference based on league record will be participating in the double-elimination format. Kent and Ball State drew the top two seeds for the tournament by virtue of winning their respective divisions, with the Cardinals claiming the top overall seed. The Golden Flashes are seeded second, followed by the Broncos, Miami, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Akron and Bowling Green.
Scouting Western Michigan
The Broncos finished second in the West Division with a 16-6 conference mark, including two wins over the `Cats to open MAC play ... WMU is hitting .244 as a team and carries a 2.80 ERA for the season. Opponents are hitting just .227 against the Broncos on the year ... Sophomore Lexi Jager leads the team in hitting at .374, to go along with eight homers and 29 RBI on the season. Duel threat Meredith Whitney paces the Bronco hurlers with a 2.44 ERA and 175 Ks in the circle.
Rewinding the weekend
After being held to a season-low two hits by Akron in a 3-0 shutout, Ohio returned the favor by picking up a 4-0 win over the Zips Sunday. The `Cats, who rebounded with eight hits on the day, were bolstered by a three-run first inning.
Rewinding last Week
Ohio swept a doubleheader with Miami, Friday, 8-2 and 4-3, snapping the RedHawks' school-record eight-game conference winning streak coming in. Ball State got the best of the `Cats in a 10-7 slugfest Saturday and used a late rally to beat Ohio 7-3 on Sunday.
Stats of Interest From Last Week
The `Cats hit over .300 again as a unit, tallying a .336 clip for the week... One third of Ohio's hits for the week went for extra bases. In all, the Green and White had 13 extra-base hits on the week.
Ohio's 12 conference wins marks the most victories in league play since the 2004 season when the `Cats won 13 MAC games.
Deanna Hartsough hit .452 over the last 10 regular-season games and has hit safely in 16 of Ohio's last 20 games coming into the tournament. This includes a season-best 11-game hitting streak which was recently broken.
Keep an Eye on...
Melissa Bonner is getting close to breaking into the single-season lists in hits, doubles and RBIs. She needs one RBI, two doubles and five hits to crack those respective lists.
Hitting Among the Best
If the season were to end today, both Melissa Bonner and Alexis Zambrana would have batting averages that rank among the best season marks in school history.
2009: A Season for the Record Books
According to available records, Ohio has posted team marks that rank among the top 10 in school history in six categories this season. These include runs (eighth), hits (10th), RBIs (ninth), doubles (T-fifth), triples (T-fourth) and home runs (fourth).