ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio softball team returns to action March 16-18 when they head to Harrisonburg, Va. to take part in the JMU Invitational, hosted by James Madison at Veterans Memorial Park. While there, Ohio will face off against East Carolina, James Madison and Stony Brook.
Ohio will open play against East Carolina on Friday, March 16 at 11:30 a.m. and then will take on host JMU at 4 p.m. On Saturday, March 17, Ohio and ECU will face off against at 9:30 a.m. and will conclude the day with JMU at 11:30 a.m. Ohio will wrap up play at the JMU Invitational on Sunday, March 18 when the Bobcats take on Stony Brook at 9:30 a.m.
SCOUTING EAST CAROLINA
East Carolina is currently 9-16 overall after going 3-2 at the Hawai'i Spring Fling Tournament March 7-9.
As a team, ECU is batting .224 with 23 doubles, one triple and 13 homeruns. They have a .324 slugging percentage and a .305 on base percentage. The pitching staff currently registers a 3.21 ERA with 102 strikeouts and opponents ate batting .269 against them.
Leading ECU is Kenda Ziemba who is batting .320 with 16 hits, one double and six RBI. Next is Tate McClellan who is batting .289 with 22 hits, seven doubles, three homes and 15 RBI with a .500 slugging percentage. Tyler King registers a .287 batting average with 25 total hits, three doubles, one triple and one RBI.
In the circle, Erin Poepping is 5-6 overall with a 3.14 ERA in 18 appearances. In 14 starts, she has three complete games with 47 strikeouts while opponents are hitting .304 against her. Whitney Sanford is 3-7 with a 3.69 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 55 innings.
SCOUTING JAMES MADISON
JMU is 17-5 overall and is coming off a 3-3 weekend at the Hawai'i Spring Fling Tournament March 7-10.
As a team, JMU is batting .270 with 108 runs scored, 22 doubles, one triple, 17 home runs and 103 RBI. They have drawn 81 walks and have a .367 on base percentage.
In the circle, JMU pitchers have a combined 1.55 ERA with 133 strikeouts and a .199 opponent batting average.
Leading JMU at the plate is Morgan Tolle who is batting .387 with 29 hits in 75 at bats. She has six doubles, three home runs and 15 RBI and 15 runs scored and is slugging .587. Next is Odicci Alexander who is batting .373 with 25 hits, four doubles, five home runs and 25 RBI and is slugging .657.
Leading JMU in the circle is Odicci Alexander who is 9-2 overall with 1.95 ERA in 86.1 innings. She has struck out 95 batters and opponents are batting .185 against her. Next is Payton Buresch who is 8-3 overall in 16 appearances. She sports a 1.05 ERA and 37 strikeouts.
SCOUTING STONY BROOK
Stony Brook is 7-7 overall and is coming off of a 3-1 weekend at the Florida Atlantic Parents Weekend Tournament March 9-11.
As a team, Stony Brook is batting .264 with 18 doubles, two triples, one home run and 36 RBI and have drawn 24 walks.
In the circle, Stony Brook pitchers register a 4.06 ERA, allowing 56 runs in 93 innings while striking out 44.
Leading Stony Brook at the plate is Taylor Pechin who is batting .394 with 13 hits in 33 at bats. She has three doubles, one home run and five RBI. Next is Melissa Rahrich who is batting .366 with 15 hits and five RBI.
In the circle, Stony Brook is led by Taylor Pechin who is 3-2 with a 3.72 ERA. In 10 appearances, she has six starts with three complete games and has struck out 15 and walked 17. Melissa Rahrich is 3-3 with a 3.89 ERA in seven starts and 22 strikeouts.
REWINDING LAST WEEK
The Bobcats are coming off of a 1-4 weekend at the 2018 Liberty Softball Classic, hosted by Liberty University in Lynchburg. Va.
The Bobcats defeated Delaware 8-0 in six innings on March 10.
Overall, Michaela Dorsey led Ohio at the plate this past weekend at the Liberty Softball Classic, March 9-11 in Lynchburg, Va. Overall on the weekend, Dorsey hit .333 with five hits, one double, two home runs, three runs scored and eight RBI. She also had an .800 slugging percentage, a .375 on base percentage. She drew one walk and registered 12 total bases. In the field, Dorsey did not commit an error, while also recording two putouts.
Mikayla Cooper hit .313 with five hits, one double, one triple and three runs scored.
Ohio is currently 9-10 overall early in the 2018 season.
Leading the Bobcats is senior Mikayla Cooper who is batting .364 with 20 hits, five doubles, two triples, two home runs and 11 RBI. She has a .636 slugging percentage and a .521 on base percentage, while also drawing 16 walks.
Redshirt junior Michaela Dorsey is currently batting .355 with 11 hits, two doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI. She has a .710 slugging percentage. Freshman Katie Yun had been solid as well, batting .283 with 17 hits, four doubles, one home run and nine RBI.
Junior Alex Day has recorded 17 hits this season, with four doubles, one triple, four home runs and 11 RBI, and she has also drawn eight walks.
In the circle, senior Danielle Stiene has a 2.32 ERA and a 6-4 record in 13 appearances. Stiene has made nine starts with five complete games and three shutouts, all while striking out 75 batters.
Sophomore Kendall Meeks has a 2.10 ERA in 10 appearances and two starts. In 16.2 innings, Meeks has allowed five earned runs and has struck out seven. Freshman Madi McCrady is 2-4 overall with a 4.45 ERA in 10 appearances with 49 strikeouts.
MAC WEEKLY HONORS
Danielle Stiene was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 27.
OHIO IN THE MAC
Ohio is currently fifth overall in pitching with a 3.14 ERA. They are third in strikeouts with 132.
Individually, Danielle Stiene is ranked ninth in pitching with a 2.32 ERA and is second in strikeouts with 75.
THE 2017 SQUAD
Ohio will return with four seniors, including Taylor Saxton and Mikayla Cooper. Both started in all 60 games. Saxton finished the season with a .317 batting average, a .377 OBP and led the team with 19 stolen bases. Cooper led the team with 18 doubles and 25 walks. She finished the season with a .337 batting average and a .425 OBP. Cooper was named the MAC player of the week once and made the All-MAC First Team.
Starting in the circle for the Bobcats is Senior Danielle Stiene. She finished the 2017 season with an ERA of 2.37 and was named Distinguished Scholar Athlete. Highlights from the previous season include her five-inning no-hitter against Lafayette and her seven-inning no-hitter against UNC Wilmington.
Also returning are infielder MacKenzie Brunswick and outfielder Deanna Cole. Brunswick finished the 2017 season with 28 hits and RBIs and five stolen bases. Cole was named Academic All-MAC and held the second-most stolen bases on the team.
NEW TO THE SQUAD
The Bobcats will welcome four newcomers to the 2018 team. Madi McCrady will look to contribute in the circle. She recorded an ERA under 1.3 all three years of high school. Allie Englant will look to contribute in the outfield; she was ranked first in the state during her 2017 season.
Katie Yun will look to join the infield after leading her team to the Regional Championship and Brooke Rice will look for time behind the plate after her high school team reigned supreme four years in a row.
Mercy College transfer Kendall Meeks also joins Ohio this year. At Mercy, she was named ECAC Rookie of the Week four times and ECC Rookie of the week three times. Prior to college, Meeks played softball for Alexander High School.
The Bobcats finished second in the Mid-American Conference preseason poll behind Kent State, who received six out of the possible 12 votes. They finished ahead of Miami.
The 2018 season marks head coach Jodi Hermanek's tenth season with Ohio. Out of her 366 career wins, 259 of them are with the Bobcats. Under her coaching, the 2017 squad recorded a program record of 42 wins and a MAC East Championship. For the first time, the Bobcats won the conference tournament and then went on to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 19 years.
The Bobcats will return home to Athens, Ohio for the first time in 2018 when they host Dayton on Wednesday, March 21 at 4 p.m. at the Ohio Softball Field. Following that, Ohio will open Mid-American Conference play against Central Michigan, March 23-24 at the OSF.