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No. 1 Ohio Softball Opens MAC Tournament Against No. 8 Miami on Wednesday

No. 1 Ohio Softball Opens MAC Tournament Against No. 8 Miami on Wednesday

2018 MAC Tournament Bracket | MAC Tournament Central 

CLEVELAND, Ohio– The 2018 Mid-American Conference Regular Season Champions gear up for the 2018 MAC Tournament May 9-12 at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. The top-seeded Bobcats will face off against No. 8 Miami on Wednesday, May 9 at 1 p.m. If you can't make it to Firestone Stadium, no worries, Jake Hromada has you covered all week on OhioBobcats.com. 

The Bobcats enter the 2018 MAC Tournament at the number one seed for the first time in program history. The Bobcats wrapped up the season with a 20-3 MAC record and were crowned the MAC Regular Season Champions, a feat that had not been accomplished since 1995. 

Ohio is 29-32 all-time at the MAC Tournament. Ohio last won the MAC Tournament in 2014. 

Last season, Ohio entered the tournament as the second seed and saw their season come to an end in the championship series. 

During the tournament, the Bobcats defeated Akron in the first round, NIU in round two and Kent State in the semi-final round, before falling to Kent State in the Championship series. 

The Bobcats and RedHawks last met in the MAC Tournament in 2016, where Ohio fell to Miami in a 15-inning battle in the second round. Ohio and Miami would meet again in the Championship series, where the RedHawks would defeat Ohio again. 

Ohio is coming off of a 2-1 weekend at Miami. While there, Ohio downed the RedHawks, 10-4 in game one. The Bobcats came back the next day and defeated Miami, 1-0 in 11 innings before falling in game three, 5-3 in 12 innings. 

Morgan Geno hit .417 in the series, with three homeruns, five RBI and three runs scored with a 1.250 slugging percentage. MacKenzie Brunswick hit .333 with four hits, one double and a .417 slugging percentage.  

In the circle, Danielle Stiene went 2-0 with a 1.56 ERA, in 18.0 innings she allowed four runs on 11 hits and struck out 16.

Miami finished the regular season with a record of 24-24 and a 11-12 conference mark to qualify for the eighth seed at this year's tournament. The RedHawks are coming off of a 2-1 weekend against Buffalo. 

As a team, Miami is batting .272 with 342 hits, 61 doubles, seven triples and 29 homeruns to go along with 218 runs scored and 190 RBI, while registering a team slugging percentage of .401. Miami has drawn 135 walks and has struck out .352 times for a .352 team on base percentage. 

Leading the team at the plate is Megan Wurts who is batting .331 with 53 hits, 35 runs scored, eight doubles, three triples and eight homeruns to along with 30 RBI and a .573 slugging percentage. Ashton Slone is next, batting .317 with eight doubles, six homeruns and 29 RBI. Kat Lee also adds a .298 batting average with nine doubles, five homeruns and 30 RBI. 

In the circle, Miami has a team ERA of 4.25. In 316.1 innings, Miami pitchers have allowed 223 runs, walked 125 and struck out 258. 

Leading the way in the circle is Courtney Vierstra with a 16-14 record and a 2.49 ERA. In 165.2 innings, she has allowed 76 runs on 179 hits, walked 55 and struck out 157. Shannon Hohman has a 5-7 record with a 5.47 ERA, while Taylor Rathe has a 6.55 ERA in 56.2 innings, walling 53 and striking out 39.  

Ohio is coming off of a 2-1 weekend at Bowling Green to close out the regular season. The Bobcats fell in game one, 3-2 and then downed the Falcons in the games two and three by the finals of 3-1 and 4-0, respectively.  

Ohio hit .228 in the weekend, scoring nine runs on 18 hits, two doubles, one triple and two homeruns while slugging .354. 

Mackenzie Brunswick hit .571 with four hits, three runs scored and a .571 slugging percentage. Allie Englant hit .444 with four hits in nine at bats with one runs scored, one double and two RBI. 

In the circle, the Ohio staff registered a 0.68 ERA, allowed four runs, two earned in 20.2 innings. The Bobcats walked four batters and struck out 18. 

Danielle Stiene recorded a 0.48 ERA with a 1-1 record, making three appearances and picking up a save. In 14.2 innings, Stiene allowed one earned run on seven hits, walked three and struck out 14, while taking a no hitting into the seventh inning with one out in the third and final game of the series. 

Ohio is currently 34-15 overall and finished the MAC with a 20-1 record. The Bobcats enter the MAC Tournament after taking the final series against Bowling Green, two games to one. Ohio fell in the first games 3-2 and won games two and three by the finals of 3-1 and 4-0, respectively.   

As a team, Ohio is batting .287 with 277 runs scored, 68 doubles, 15 triples, 53 homeruns and 250 RBI. The team has drawn 155 walks and has 32 stolen bases on the year.

Leading the Bobcats is senior Mikayla Cooper. Cooper registers a .354 average with 58 hits, nine doubles, four triples, 11 homeruns, 39 RBI and 26 walks. Alex Day is batting .343 with 59 hits, 12 homeruns, 42 runs scored and 43 RBI. Next is redshirt junior Michaela Dorsey who is batting .325 with 39 hits, 31 runs scored, seven homeruns, 10 doubles and 31 RBI. 

Freshman Katie Yun and junior Natalie Alvarez are also registering solid offensive numbers. Yun is batting .304 with 49 hits, 10 doubles, two triples and eight homeruns, while driving in 28 runs. Alvarez is batting .276 with four homeruns and six doubles. Junior MacKenzie Brunswick is batting .279 with 36 hits, eight doubles and 18 RBI. 

In the circle, the pitching staff has a combined 2.85 ERA. In 328.2 innings, they have allowed 134 earned runs, walked 131 batters and have struck out 351 while opponents are batting .229 against them.

Senior Danielle Stiene has a 1.70 ERA and a 23-6 record in 34 appearances. Stiene has made 26 starts with 20 complete games and 10 shutouts, all while striking out 226 batters. Freshman Madi McCrady is 7-6 with 20 appearances and four complete games. In 82.2 innings pitched, she's struck out 96, walked 40 and allowed 45 earned runs. 

Since the start of conference play, Alex Day is batting .378 with 31 hits, seven homeruns, 30 RBI and a .707 slugging percentage. While Mikayla Cooper is batting .346 with 28 hits, three doubles, two triples, seven homeruns and 22 RBI. Morgan Geno is hitting .321 with seven homeruns, 22 RBI and a .792 slugging percentage. 

In the circle, Danielle Stiene is a 12-1 and in 89.1 innings she has an ERA of 1.02. Stiene has struck out 105, walked 23 and allowed 13 earned runs. Madi McCrady has a 2.78 ERA with a 5-2 record. She's struck out 43 and pitched two complete games.  

In MAC games, Ohio ranks second with a .314 batting average. They are first in slugging percentage (.553), runs scores (157), RBI (148), doubles (39), homeruns (34), total bases (359) and have only struck out 67 times. 

In the circle, Ohio is first with a 2.18 ERA, a .196 opponent batting average, first in batters struck out (158), batters struck out looking (39), wins (20), hits allowed (111), runs allowed (59) and doubles allowed (17).

Individually, Cooper is first in runs scored with 26, while Day is third with 21. Day is first in RBI. Geno, Cooper and Day are tied for second with seven homeruns each in MAC play. 

Stiene ranks first in ERA (1.02), batters struck out (105), batters struck out looking (31) and wins (12). 

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

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

Danielle Stiene was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week on April 3.

Mikayla Cooper was named the MAC East Player of the Week on April 10. 

Danielle Stiene was named MAC East Pitcher of the Week on April 10.

Alex Day was named the MAC East Player of the Week on April 17. 

Danielle Stiene was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week on April 17. 

Danielle Stiene was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week on April 24. 

Mikayla Cooper was named the Co-MAC East Player of the Week on May 1

Danielle Stiene was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week on May 1. 

Alex Day was named the MAC Female Scholar Athlete of the week on April 18. The junior Exercise Physiology major sports a 3.336 GPA and came off a week where she batted .579 with four homeruns and 14 RBI.

The Bobcats concluded the regular season as the 2018 MAC Regular Season Champions, and sealed the one-seed for the first time in program history.     

Ohio is currently third overall in pitching with a 2.85 ERA, and first in strikeouts with 351.

Individually, Danielle Stiene is ranked second in pitching with a 1.70 ERA and is first in strikeouts with 226.

The Bobcats are currently second in batting with a .287 average. They are tied for first in homeruns with 53. 

Individually, Alex Day is fourth in runs scored and fourth in homeruns with 12. 

Cooper is second in runs scored, fourth in triples, fifth in homeruns and second in total bases.

The Bobcats rank in the top-50 in a few individual statistical categories. Danielle Stiene ranks eighth in shutouts, 15thin strikeouts, 29thin strikeout-to-walk-ratio, 37thin hits allowed per seven innings, 19thin victories and 29thin strikeouts per seven innings. 

Madi McCrady ranks 41stin strikeouts per seven innings and Kendall Meeks ranks 47thin saves. 

Morgan Geno ranks 36thin walks. 

As a team, Ohio is ranked 29thin scoring, 39thin win/loss percentage, 15thin home runs per game, 20thin triples per game, 25thin slugging percentage and 35thin strikeout-to-walk ratio.  

The Bobcats are currently 63rd in this week's RPI ranking and are the highest ranked MAC school.

The Bobcats have played 10 teams that are ranked in the top-100 and 13 teams in the top-150.

The Bobcats' first opponent, Miami, is ranked 192nd.  

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 Alvarez, Morgan 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 389 career wins, 284 of them are with the Bobcats. Under her coaching, the 2018 squad finished the regular season 34-15 and 20-3 in the MAC and had a perfect 11-0 record at the Ohio Softball Field.  earned the MAC Regular Season title for the first time since 1995 and earned the number one seed I the MAC Tournament for the first time in program history. 

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.

Depending on the outcome of the game between Ohio and Miami, the Bobcats will return to action at the 2018 MAC Tournament on Thursday, May 10 against either No. 4 Kent State or No. 5 Western Michigan either at 10:30 a.m. or 1 p.m.