$restriction.code /sports/sball/2017-18/releases/20180320owqyid

Ohio Softball Hosts Dayton in Home Opener on Wednesday

Ohio Softball Hosts Dayton in Home Opener on Wednesday

ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio softball team returns to Athens for the first time during the 2018 season on Wednesday, March 21 when the Bobcats host Dayton. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at the Ohio Softball Field. If you can't catch the game in person, Jake Hromada and Gabe Genovesi will have you covered on ohiobobcats.com.

The Bobcats are 22-6 all-time against Dayton.

The Bobcats last faced off with Dayton last season, defeating the Flyers, 10-2, in five innings in Dayton.

Dayton is currently 8-14 overall and are coming off of a 3-2 weekend at the Miami Invitational this past weekend. While there, the Flyers defeated Fort Wayne and Robert Morris and dropped contests to 16th-ranked Michigan and host Miami.

As a team, Dayton is batting .229 with 25 doubles, three triples and six homeruns.

Leading the Flyers is Kyle Davidson who is batting .311 with 19 hits, six doubles, one triple, one homerun and four RBI. Next is Kelly Fitzgerald who is batting .286 with eight hits, three doubles, one homerun and 10 RBI. Abby Enrenborg leads Dayton with three homeruns and 16 RBI, while registering a batting average of .275.

In the circle, Dayton has a staff ERA of 3.22. In 139.1 innings pitched, the staff has allowed 83 runs on 156 hits and have walked 56 batters and struck out 121.

Leading the staff is Manda Cash who is 3-4 overall with a 1.56 ERA. In 17 appearances, she has allowed 23 runs while walking 24 and striking out 65. Next is Jessica Weaver who has an ERA of 3.05 in 39.0 innings. She is 2-5 overall and has allowed 21 runs and has struck out 25. Jessica Gilliam is 3-5 overall with a 5.29 ERA and 29 strikeouts.

The Bobcats are coming off of a 2-2 weekend at the JMU Invitational, hosted by James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va. While there, the Bobcats defeated JMU, 9-7 in nine innings on March 17, and Stony Brook, 10-3 on March 18.

At the plate, the Bobcats were led by Katie Yun, who hit .600 on the weekend. She registered nine hits, one double, one triple, two homeruns, scored three runs and drove in five runs. She also had 18 total bases while producing a slugging percentage of 1.200 and a .563 on base percentage.

Allie Englant was also solid at the plate. Hitting .417 on the weekend with five hits, two triples, three runs scored and two RBI with a .750 slugging percentage. MacKenzie Brunswick also hit .417, with five hits, two runs scored and one RBI with a .500 on base percentage.

In the circle, Danielle Stiene with 2-1 with a 4.20 ERA, striking out 24 batters in 15 innings.

Ohio is currently 11-12 overall early in the 2018 season.

Leading the Bobcats is redshirt junior Michaela Dorsey who is batting .341 with 15 hits, two doubles, four home runs and 15 RBI. She has a .659 slugging percentage and a .420 on base percentage, while also drawing 5 walks.

Freshman Katie Yun is currently batting .333 with 25 hits, four doubles, one triple, three home runs and thirteen RBI. Senior Mikayla Cooper has been solid as well, clocking in with 23 hits, five doubles, two triples, two homeruns and 14 RBI while also drawing 16 walks.

Junior Alex Day has recorded 23 hits this season, with four doubles, one triple, four home runs and 12 RBI, and she has also drawn eight walks.

In the circle, senior Danielle Stiene has a 2.68 ERA and a 8-5 record in 16 appearances. Stiene has made 11 starts with six complete games and three shutouts, all while striking out 99 batters.

Sophomore Kendall Meeks is 1-1 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 appearances and two starts. In 20.2 innings, Meeks has allowed 10 earned runs and has struck out 12. Freshman Madi McCrady is 2-4 overall with a 4.80 ERA in 11 appearances with 53 strikeouts.

Danielle Stiene was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 27.

Ohio is currently fifth overall in pitching with a 3.79 ERA. They are first in strikeouts with 170.

Individually, Danielle Stiene is ranked eighth in pitching with a 2.68 ERA and is second in strikeouts with 99.

The Bobcats are currently seventh in batting with a .250 average. They are fourth overall in homeruns with 16.

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.

Other starters returning for Ohio include Natalie AlvarezMorgan Geno and Alex Day.

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 368 career wins, 261 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 stay in Athens and will open Mid-American Conference play against Central Michigan, March 23-24 at the OSF. The Bobcats' single game against CMU on Friday will begin at 4 p.m., and the final two games on Saturday is a doubleheader set to being at 1 p.m. The games on Saturday will also serve as a special celebration for the new and improved Ohio Softball Field that was completed in the fall of 2017. The celebration will include an Alumni Weekend and a special in-game ceremony during the fourth inning of the 1 p.m. game on Saturday.