ATHENS, Ohio – After a successful opening weekend, the Ohio softball team (3-2) will travel to Raleigh, N.C. to participate in the Homewood Suites Invitational hosted by NC State, February 23-25. While there, Ohio will face Delaware St. Wagner and NC State.
Ohio will take on Delaware St. at 10 a.m. and Wagner at 12:15 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, the Bobcats will play NC State at 12:15 p.m. The final games on Saturday and Sunday will be seeded game, with the times and opponents to be announced. The Bobcats' battle with NC State will be streamed on WatchESPN.
SCOUTING DELAWARE ST.
The Hornets are coming off a 0-4 weekend at the Liberty University Tournament (Feb. 15-16).
Overall, Delaware St. has a .131 batting average. As a team, the Hornets have earned 11 runs, three hits and two RBI.
Desiree Moreno has a .333 batting average after starting in all four games. She has recorded three hits, including a double, a homerun and an RBI. Kaleigh Berry currently has a .222 batting average with nine at-bats on two hits, tying her for second on the team with Khaliyah Flournory. Flournory has one extra-base hit while Berry has one RBI.
In the circle for the Hornets, Hannah Shields maintained a 1.42 ERA and an 0-2 record after pitching two complete games. Shields leads the team with 12.2 innings pitched and only one walk.
The Seahawks are set to open their season against Ohio (Feb. 23).
Wagner finished last season 22-25 overall and 10-6 within the Northeast Conference. As a team, the Seahawks earned 360 hits, 170 RBI and 193 runs.
Brianna Tredway lead the team with a .399 batting average and a .431 on base percentage. She finished the 2017 season with 57 hits total, including 10 doubles, one homerun and 34 RBI. Kaila Smith finished the season strong as well, leading the team with seven homeruns. Karen Prihoda had the highest slugging percentage, .562, with 61 hits in 162 at-bats.
In the circle, Morgan Brown started 21 games and finished the season with seven complete games and an ERA of 4.46. McKaleigh Goodale started in 17 games, completed eight and had an ERA of 4.07.
SCOUTING NC STATE
So far this season, the Wolfpack is 5-4 after competing in the GCU Kickoff Classic (Feb. 9-11) and the ACC/B1G Challenge (Feb. 16-18).
Overall, NC State's team is batting .258 with 60 hits and 35 RBI. The Wolfpack's Timberlyn Shurbutt and Chandley Garner each hit one homerun.
Shurbutt leads the team with eight RBI in 27 at-bats. She also has accumulated three doubles and a slugging percentage of .444. Sam Russ has the highest batting average of the Wolfpack squad at .550 in 20 total at-bats. With two walks and one hit-by-pitch, her on base percentage is .609.
In the circle, Devin Wallace started five games, appeared in seven and has an ERA of 2.54. in 30.1 innings, she has given up 11 earned runs, 19 walks and struck out 24 batters. Also hurling for the Wolfpack, Kama Woodall has an ERA of 3.80 in 27.2 innings pitched.
REWINDING LAST WEEK
The Bobcats most recently completed a 3-2 weekend at the Madeira Beach Invitational where they played Virginia, UNCG, Lipscomb, UMass and Jacksonville St.
Ohio opened the season with a 4-0 victory over Virginia. Alex Day put the Bobcats ahead in the top of the third with a two-run homerun over the left center wall. Day finished the game 2-for-4, tacking on a triple, three RBIs and one run scored.
In game two, Ohio beat UNCG 5-2. Freshman pitcher Madi McCrady recorded her first career strikeouts in the first inning. UNCG took the lead, but it wasn't long before Mikayla Cooper tied up the game with a solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth. With seven hits, three doubles, one homerun and 12 strikeouts from McCrady, the Bobcats finished the seventh inning strong and took home another victory.
On Saturday, the Bobcats fell to Lipscomb 12-4 in nine innings and to UMass 7-2.
On Sunday, Danielle Stiene recorded a career-high of 14 strikeouts and led the Bobcats to a 3-0 victory over Jacksonville St. Yun scored the Ohio's first run in the top of the second inning off of a double hit by Geno. In the top of the fifth inning, Englant drew a walk and ultimately scored off of Cooper's triple, bringing the Bobcat's lead to 2-0. In the top of the sixth, junior Deanna Cole lead off with a triple. Cole scored when Brunswick singled to left field. The Gamecocks prevented Ohio from scoring again, but could not retaliate.
LOOKING AT THE BOBCATS
After the first full weekend of play, Cooper leads Ohio with a .400 batting average with a homerun, a double, triple and three RBI. She also has a .800 slugging percentage.
Mackenzie Brunswick is batting .313 with five hits, three doubles, three RBI and two runs scored, while Day has two runs scored, two doubles, one triple and one homerun to go along with a team-leading four RBI.
In the circle, Stiene has a .095 ERA in three appearances, registering a 2-0 record. In 22.0 innings she has allowed three earned runs and has struck out 29 batters.
OHIO IN THE MAC
As a team, Ohio is ranked third in the MAC East with a .600 win percentage. They are behind Bowling Green and Kent State, who have .900 and .800 win percentages, respectively.
The Bobcats are currently seventh in batting with a team average of .236 and 18 runs scored.
Individually, Danielle Stiene is ranked fourth in pitching with a .95 ERA in three appearances.
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 357 career wins, 250 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 the national post-season tournament for the first time in 19 years.
After traveling to North Carolina this weekend, the Bobcats will go to Lexington, Ky. to compete in the John Cropp Classic March 3 and 4. There they will face Southeast Missouri St. and Kentucky. The following weekend, Ohio travel to Lynchburg, Va. for the Liberty Softball Classic. They will play Baylor, Liberty and Delaware.