ATHENS, Ohio –The Ohio softball team (25-15, 6-5 MAC) returns to action this week, continuing Mid-American Conference play when the Bobcats return to the Ohio Softball Field on April 10 to take on Kent State (16-18, 6-2 MAC). The game is set to start at 2 p.m.
SCOUTING KENT STATE
Kent State is currently 16-18 overall and 6-2 in the MAC. As a team, the Golden Flashes are batting .270 with 234 hits, 44 doubles, six triples and 17 homeruns. In 867 at-bats, Kent State has scored 867 times and hit 123 RBI. They are currently coming off of a three-game winning streak against Western Michigan.
Leading the way, with a .342 batting average, is sophomore Kennadie Goth. In 79 at-bats, Goth has 27 hits, one double, one triple, two RBI and a .380 slugging percentage. Just behind her is senior Bailey Brownfield, batting .340. Brownfield has 33 hits in 97 at-bats, including 12 doubles, one homerun and 19 RBI. Brownfield holds the team-leading slugging percentage, .495.
In the circle for the Golden Flashes with a 3.25 ERA is redshirt freshman Andrea Scali. In 20 appearances, Scali has an 11-6 record, pitched 12 complete games, four shutouts and has two saves. Scali has struck out 151 batters in 101.1 innings. Also contributing is junior Madi Huck. In 69.1 innings pitched, Huck has four wins, and has struck out 31 batters.
The Bobcats are 25-15 overall and 6-5 in the MAC.
Offensively, the Bobcats are hitting .304 as a team, scoring a total of 231 runs with 344 hits, 42 doubles, nine triples and 53 homeruns. They've also registered 206 RBI and have a team slugging percentage of .501. The Bobcats have a .388 on base percentage, while drawing 129 walks.
Individually, sophomore Katie Yun is leading the Bobcats with a .412 batting average, 61 hits in 148 at bats, scoring 35 runs with 15 doubles, 11 homeruns and 27 RBI. Senior Morgan Geno has a .385 batting average with 45 hits, six doubles, 16 homeruns and a team-leading .513 on-base percentage and holds the all-time record in runs batted in. Meanwhile, sophomore Allie Englant is hitting .344 with 42 hits and 29 runs scored. Freshman Charlee Pond is batting .337 with 33 hits, 22 runs scored and 13 RBI.
In the circle, the Bobcats have a 3.59 team ERA. In 256.1 innings pitched, Ohio has allowed 136 earned runs on 257 hits and has struck out 213 batters, while opponents are hitting .246 against them.
Individually, freshman Mackensie Kohl started her career off strong, with an 9-4 record and one save, while recording a 3.00 ERA in 18 appearances with 14 starts and seven complete games. She's allowed 39 earned runs on 91 hits in 91 innings, while striking out 54. Sophomore Madi McCrady is next with a 3.67 ERA in 152.2 innings, allowing 80 earned runs and striking out 145 batters.
LAST TIME OUT
The Bobcats are coming off of three consecutive losses against Central Michigan. On Friday, April 5, Ohio fell 7-3. On Saturday's double-header, the Bobcats lost 6-3 and 7-4.
LAST TIME VS. KENT STATE
The Bobcats and Kent State last met on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 for a double-header. They fell 2-1 in the first game before bouncing back to defeat the Golden Flashes 10-2 in five innings.
HOME SWEET HOME
While the Bobcats saw their 22-game home winning streak come to an end last weekend, the Bobcats are still an impressive, 32-5 at the OSF in the last three seasons.
GENO + HR = RBI
Senior Morgan Geno's offensive numbers this season have her moving up in the record book.
This season, Geno has already surpassed her single season homerun high at 16. She also already has 56 RBI, which is four away from matching Lauren Gellerman's 60 in 2013.
On Tuesday, March 26, Geno became the Ohio record holder in RBI, notching her 139th in the 3-1 victory.
Homerun wise, Geno is now second all-time in program history in career homeruns with 37. Geno needs 10 homeruns to tie and 11 to pass Gellerman's career mark of 48. Geno also needs 10 to tie and 11 to pass Gellerman's single season mark of 26.
OHIO IN THE NCAA
Ohio ranks in the top-100 in a number of offensive categories in the NCAA. The Bobcats are 30th in batting average (.310), 32ndin scoring (6.00), 18th in homeruns per game (1.31), 52nd in triples per game (0.26), and 26thin slugging percentage (.508).
Individually, Morgan Geno is second in the nation in RBI, seventh in homeruns, 19th in slugging percentage, 31st in walks, and seventh in homeruns per game (0.43). Geno is also 12th in total bases and 49th in on base percentage.
Katie Yun ranks in the top-100 in a number of categories as well. Yun is first in hits, 46th in homeruns per game (0.31), 60th in doubles per game (0.34), 54th in slugging percentage, second in total bases (101.0) and 22nd homeruns. Yun is also 17th in doubles and 37th in batting average.
OHIO IN THE MAC
The Bobcats are leading the MAC in batting average (.310) and third in ERA (3.47). Ohio is also leading the MAC in hits (279), slugging percentage (.501), on base percentage (.395), triples (8), homeruns (40), total bases (451) and at bats (901).
Katie Yun is second in the conference in batting average (.427), first hits (56), runs scored (33) at bats (131), second in homeruns (11), doubles (12), and third in slugging percentage (.771). Morgan Geno is first in slugging percentage (.865), second in on base percentage (.511), third in hits (56), first in RBI (52) and first in homeruns (15). Meanwhile, Natalie Alvarez is second in hits (43).
Madi McCrady is first in innings pitched (137.2), first in complete games (15), eighth in opponent batting average (.227), first in strikeouts (134) and first in wins (16). Mackensie Kohl is sixth in innings pitched (82.1).
MAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Morgan Geno has earned the MAC Player of the week honor twice this season: once on Feb. 12 and again on March 19.
On March 26, sophomore Katie Yun was named the MAC Player of the Week for the first time in her career for her performance the week of March 18.
Geno earned her third MAC Player of the Week honor on April 2.
THE KENZIE ROARK ERA BEGINS
The 2019 season marks new head coach Kenzie Roark's first season with the Bobcats. Before coming to Ohio, Roark spent four years with South Carolina Upstate as their pitching coach. Under her coaching, the Spartans won two Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Reason Championships and three ASUN Tournament Championships. Multiple of Roark's pitchers were recognized, including two ASUN Pitchers of the Year.
Before Upstate, Roark was the pitching coach at East Tennessee State from 2012-14 where she helped the Lady Bucs accumulate their most wins since 2010. Roark's career began at Virginia Tech as a student assistant in 2011; this coaching staff was named the 2012 NFCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
Before working for the Hokies, Roark played for Virginia Tech. She was named an Atlantic Coast Conference All-Tournament and Player of the Week during her career. As a freshman, she made an appearance in the 2008 College World Series. She ranks second all-time with 155 career appearances and fourth with 510 strikeouts, solidifying Roark as one of Virginia Tech's greatest pitchers of all time.
NEW STAFF FACES
Along with Roark, Ashley Taylor and Garrett Furnal were also added to the Bobcats staff to round out the 2019 coaching staff.
Taylor comes to Ohio after one year as the assistant softball coach at Tennessee Tech., after a successful collegiate career at Austin Peay.
Furnal spent last season at UNC Wilmington. In 2018, UNCW advanced to the CAA tournament for the second consecutive year. The CAA head softball coaches in the conference identified UNCW sophomore Dominique Travers and freshman Emily Langkamp as top athletes in the conference. Langkamp was also named All-Rookie Team after starting all 49 games recording the fewest strikeouts on the team. Two other girls joined the 100-Hit Club and multiple athletes received spots on the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association All-State Second Team.
2018 BOBCAT REWIND
Ohio finished the 2018 season 40-17, 20-3 in-conference, clinching the Mid-American Conference Regular season crown for the first time since 1995 and earning their first ever number one seed in the MAC Tournament. The Bobcats would go on to win the 2018 MAC Tournament crown for the first time since 2014. After downing Northern Illinois 2-0, the Bobcats continued on to the NCAA Tournament Regionals in Knoxville, Tenn. While there, the Bobcats earned their first two NCAA victories, defeating Monmouth and James Madison, helping them advance to the Regional Finals for the first time in program history.
Overall, the team finished with a collective on-base percentage of .365, a .462 slugging percentage and a .283 batting average. The Bobcats scored 304 runs, had 274 RBI, hit 72 doubles and 57 homeruns, stole 37 bases and had 16 shutouts.
The Bobcats have six returning seniors, including Alex Day and redshirt senior Michaela Dorsey. Day finished the 2018 season with the highest batting average of the returners, .333. In 195 at-bats, she knocked 12 homeruns and 44 RBI. Dorsey falls not far behind with a .329 batting average, 46 hits, 10 doubles and eight homeruns. Last Season, Day and Dorsey both earned NFCA All-Mideast Region honors, while Day was also named to the All-MAC first team.
Morgan Geno also returns for the Bobcats, last season the designated hitter finished the season hitting .254 with a .571 slugging percentage, nine homeruns and eight doubles. Geno also earned All-MAC second team honors.
Other returners include sophomores Katie Yun, who was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team, Allie Englant, Brooke Rice and Madi McCrady, juniors Desirae Villanueva, Alexa Holland, and Kendall Meeks, and seniors MacKenzie Brunswick, Deanna Cole and Natalie Alvarez.
NEW TO THE SQUAD
Ohio is welcoming five newcomers to the team. Charlee Pond looks to add depth to the Bobcats' infield along with Caroline Spacek. Pond was named the Coastal League's Offensive Player of the Year and named All-State First Team twice while Spacek was named Newcomer of the year in 2014 as well as the Offensive "MVP" the following year. Mackensie Kohl looks to contribute in the circle; she lettered three times and helped lead her team to a Division I Championship in 2016. Taytum Hargrave brings additional speed to the outfield; she led her high school team in both batting average and stolen bases for three years and was named All-Conference three times as well. Justice Ruggles will be contributing in the outfield; she was named All-Conference, All-District, All-Regional and First Team All-State multiple years in a row.
The Bobcats were picked to finish third in the Mid-American Conference preseason poll. Both Ball State, who received six first place votes, and Kent State, who received two first place votes, finished ahead of Ohio in first and second place, respectively. Western Michigan finished fourth.
Up next, the Bobcats head to Akron, Ohio to take on the Zips on Friday, April 12-13. On Friday, the game is set to start at 3 p.m. On Saturday, play will resume with a doubleheader set to start at 1 p.m.