Surging Ohio Softball Hosts Kent State on Tuesday for Midweek MAC Play

Surging Ohio Softball Hosts Kent State on Tuesday for Midweek MAC Play

ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio softball team (18-12, 6-0 MAC) returns to Athens on Tuesday, April 3 when they host Mid-American Conference East foe Kent State (17-13, 3-3 MAC) for some midweek conference play. The doubleheader at the Ohio Softball Field is set to being at 1 p.m. If you can't make it out to the field, Jake Hromada and Gabe Genovesi will have you covered with an audio broadcast on ohiobobcats.com. 

ALL-TIME AGAINST KENT STATE
Kent State leads the all-time series against the Bobcats, 67-49-1 and have won four out of the last six against Ohio. 

LAST TIME AGAINST KENT STATE
The Bobcats and Kent State met six times last season, with the Flashes winning the regular season series. 

Ohio and Kent last met in the 2017 Mid-American Conference Tournament, where Ohio would defeat Kent State, 2-0 in the semi-final game. Unfortunately, the Bobcats would fall to Kent in the tournament championship series. 

SCOUTING KENT STATE
Kent State is currently 17-13 overall and are 3-3 in MAC play. The Flashes are coming off of a three-game series with Toledo this past weekend, where Kent State would drop two games to the Rockets. 

As a team, Kent State is batting .307, scoring 169 runs with 42 doubles, nine triples and 21 homeruns. The Flashes also have a .454 slugging percentage, .385 on base percentage and have drawn 94 walks. 

Holly Speers leads the team with a .520 batting average, with 39 hits, eight doubles, one triple and nine homeruns, while driving in 36 runs and scoring 29. She also has a 1.013 slugging percentage. Speers has drawn 34 walks and has a .667 on base percentage. 

Kennadie Goth is next with a .472 batting average with 34 hits. Emily Dobbin registers a .338 average, with 24 hits, six doubles and eight RBI. 

In the circle, Kent State has a staff ERA of 4.93. They have allowed 155 runs in 193.0 innings, while walking 111 batters and striking out 86. 

Madi Huck is 9-4 overall with a 3.29 ERA. In 19 appearances, she has made 14 starts with nine complete games and four shutouts. She has allowed 42 earned runs, walked 39 and struck out 54. Brenna Brownfield is 6-5 with a 4.53 ERA. She has allowed 41 earned runs in 63.1 innings, while walking 27 and striking out 22. 

REWINDING LAST WEEK
The Bobcats are coming off of a three-game sweep of Eastern Michigan this past weekend. In a doubleheader on March 30, the Bobcats defeated EMU, 8-0 in six innings and 6-1 in the second game. The Bobcats completed the sweep with a 4-3 win on Saturday, March 31. 

Over the weekend, Ohio hit .302 at the plate, scored 18 runs on 26 hits, hit five doubles, three home runs and has a .465 slugging percentage. 

Individually, Mikayla Cooper hit .545 with six hits, one homerun and three RBI with a .818 slugging percentage. Desirae Villanueva hit .500 with three hits in six at bats, scored two runs and drove in one run. Alex Day registered five RBI, two runs scored and two homeruns. 

In the circle, the staff registered a 1.40 ERA and allowed four runs on nine hits and struck out 23 batters in 20.0 innings. 

Madi McCrady did not allow a run on two hits and struck out six in her one start. Stiene earned a win and registered a 1.75 ERA, allowing three runs on six hits and struck out 16. Villanueva earned a win on Saturday, pitching two innings and allowing one run on one hit and struck out one batter. 

SCOUTING OHIO
Ohio is currently 18-12 overall and 6-0 in the MAC and are coming off of a three-game sweep of Eastern Michigan this past weekend. The sweep helped Ohio start conference play 6-0 for the first time in program history. 

As a team, Ohio is batting .271 with 138 runs scored, 36 doubles, eight triples, 25 homeruns and 121 RBI. The team has drawn 90 walks and has 20 stolen bases on the year.

Leading the Bobcats is senior Mikayla Cooper. Cooper is batting .365 with 35 hits, 19 runs sacred, seven homeruns, five doubles and 24 RBI. She also has a .667 slugging percentage and has drawn a team-leading 18 walks. Next is redshirt junior Michaela Dorsey who is batting .348 with 23 hits, four homeruns, 15 runs scored and 20 RBI. Junior Natalie Alvarez has come on strong as of late, batting .326 with 15 hits, four doubles and eight RBI. 

Freshman Katie Yun and junior Alex Day are also registering solid offensive numbers. Yun is batting .320 with 32 hits, five doubles, two triples and four home runs, while driving in 15 runs. Day is batting .314 with seven homeruns, five doubles, 19 RBI and 23 runs scored. 

In the circle, the pitching staff has a combined 3.29 ERA. In 202.1 innings, they have allowed 95 earned runs, walked 91 batters and have struck out 220 while opponents are batting .249 against them.

In the circle, senior Danielle Stiene has a 2.48 ERA and an 11-5 record in 20 appearances. Stiene has made 14 starts with nine complete games and three shutouts, all while striking out 132 batters.

Sophomore Kendall Meeks is 1-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 12 appearances and two starts. In 20.2 innings, Meeks has allowed 10 earned runs and has struck out 14 while also registering two saves. 

Freshman Madi McCrady is 5-4 overall with a 3.89 ERA in 14 appearances with 67 strikeouts.

BOBCATS IN MAC PLAY
Since the start of conference play, Mikayla Cooper is batting .500 with 10 hits, four homeruns, eight RBI and a 1.100 slugging percentage. Natalie Alvarez is batting .471 with eight hits, three doubles and five RBI with a .647 slugging percentage. 

Taylor Saxton is batting .375 in MAC play, registering six hits, scoring three runs and stealing two bases. 

In the circle, Madi McCrady has a 1.65 ERA in 17.0 innings. She's allowed four runs and has struck out 14. Meanwhile, Danielle Stiene has pitched 19.0 innings and has allowed six earned runs and has struck out 23 while registering a 2.21 ERA in three appearances. 

SURGING BOBCATS
The Bobcats have now won nine in a row and are 6-0 in MAC play for the first time in program history. 

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

Senior Mikayla Cooper earned the MAC East Player of the Week award on March 27.

OHIO IN THE MAC
The Bobcats are currently at the top of the MAC after finishing this past weekend with a 6-0 conference record. Ohio is ahead of Ball State and Toledo who are both 5-2 during conference play. 

Ohio is currently fourth overall in pitching with a 3.29 ERA, and first in strikeouts with 220.

Individually, Danielle Stiene is ranked fifth in pitching with a 2.48 ERA and is first in strikeouts with 132.

The Bobcats are currently seventh in batting with a .271 average. They are fourth overall in homeruns with 25.

OHIO IN THE NCAA
The Bobcats rank in the top-50 in a few individual statistical categories. Danielle Stiene ranks 28thin strikeouts per seven innings. Stiene also ranks 31stin strikeout-to-walk ratio and is 27thin total strikeouts. Kendall Meeks is 43rdin saves with two.

As a team, Ohio is ranked 54thin homeruns per game (0.83) and 39thin triples per game (0.27). Pitching wise, Ohio is 59thin the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 2.42. 

OHIO AND RPI
The Bobcats are currently 74th in this week's RPI ranking and are the highest ranked MAC school.

The Bobcats have played eight teams that are ranked in the top-100 and 11 teams in the top-150.

Tuesday's opponent, Kent State, is ranked 196th

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.

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

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.

PRESEASON POLL
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.

COACH HERMANEK
The 2018 season marks head coach Jodi Hermanek's tenth season with Ohio. Out of her 375 career wins, 270 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.

COMING UP
The Bobcats will continue MAC play this weekend when they head to DeKalb, Ill. For a three-game set against Northern Illinois. The series is set to begin with one game 4 p.m. on April 6 and will conclude with a doubleheader on April 7 starting at 2 p.m. 

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