ATHENS, Ohio –The Ohio softball team (15-8) returns to action Friday, March 15 – Sunday, March 17 when they travel to Bloomington, Ind. to compete in the 2019 Hoosier Classic
The Bobcats open play on Friday, March 15 when the Bobcats open play against St. Francis (Pa.) at 10 a.m. before taking on host, No. 19 Indiana at 5:30 p.m. Ohio returns to action on Saturday, March 16 against St. Francis at 5:30 p.m., before wrapping up play on Sunday, March 17 at 1:30 p.m. against Indiana.
SCOUTING ST. FRANCIS (PA)
St. Francis enters the weekend against Ohio with an 8-15 record and are coming off of a 0-5 weekend at the University of South Florida Tournament. As a team, SFU is batting .276 with a .369 on base percentage. St. Francis has scored 107 total runs, on 172 hits, with 28 doubles, eight triples and 17 homeruns. The team also had a .429 slugging percentage.
Individually, Hayley Norton leads St. Francis, hitting .446 with a .770 slugging percentage. Norton has scored 18 runs and has had 33 hits, two doubles, two triples and a team-leading six homeruns and 24 RBI. Cheyenne McKee registers a .324 batting average, with five doubles and 11 RBI.
In the circle, St. Francis' pitching staff has a 4.94 earned run average. As a staff, they have allowed 103 earned runs on 193 hits, while walking 71 and striking out 59. Meanwhile, opponents are hitting .307 against the SFU staff.
Christina Clark has seen the majority of the innings, registering 3-6 record with a 4.47 ERA. She has allowed 44 runs on 69 hits, walked 31 and struck out 25. Mikayla Bower has a 3-6 record with a 5.72 ERA, allowing 49 runs on 82 hits, walking 19 and striking out 23.
SCOUTING #19 INDIANA
The Hoosiers enter the weekend with Ohio with a 22-4 overall record and are ranked 19th in the country. Indiana is coming off of a 4-1 weekend, before splitting a doubleheader with Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday.
The Hoosiers are hitting .264 as a team, scoring 108 runs on 169 hits, they have registered 34 doubles, three triples and 16 homeruns while registering a .401 slugging percentage. They have drawn 69 walks and have a .344 on base percentage.
Katie Lacefield is leading Indiana with a .353 batting average, recording 24 hits, five doubles and 19 RBI with a .647 slugging percentage. Gabbi Jenkins is hitting .333 with 23 hits, two doubles and one triple, while Taylor Lambert is hitting .321 with a team high 25 hits, six doubles and a .397 slugging percentage.
In the circle, the Hoosier pitching staff has a 1.36 ERA. They have allowing 35 earned runs, walked 44 and struck out 206. Tara Trainer is leading the way with a 0.83 ERA and a 16-2 record. She has allowed 13 earned runs on 63 hits and has struck out 123. Emily Goodin has a 0.99 ERA with a 4-0 record and has allowed five earned runs and struck out 48 in 35.1 innings.
The Bobcats are 15-8 overall after six full weeks of play.
Offensively, the Bobcats are hitting .296 as a team, scoring a total of 100 runs with 191 hits, 27 doubles, four triples and 17 homeruns. They've also registered 89 RBI and have a team slugging percentage of .429. The Bobcats also have a .374 on base percentage, while drawing 71 walks.
Individually, sophomore Katie Yun is leading the Bobcats, batting .386 with 32 hits in 83 at bats, scoring 14 runs with eight doubles, two homeruns and 11 RBI. Sophomore Allie Englant next with a .367 batting average, with 22 hits, one triple, 14 runs scored and a team-leading .451 on-base percentage. Meanwhile, senior Natalie Alvarez is batting .356 with 26 hits, six doubles, nine RBI and a .479 slugging percentage. Senior Morgan Geno is hitting .338 with 24 hits, six homeruns and a .435 on base percentage.
In the circle, the Bobcats have a 3.01 team ERA. In 153.1 innings pitched, Ohio has allowed 66 earned runs on 130 hits and has struck out 103 batters, while opponents are hitting .221 against them.
Individually, freshman Mackensie Kohl started her career off strong, with a 7-2 record and one save, while recording a 2.32 ERA in 12 appearances with nine starts and six complete games. She's allowed 22 earned runs on 61 hits in 66.1 innings, while striking out 41. Sophomore Madi McCrady is next with a 2.91 ERA in 79.1 innings, allowing 34 runs and striking out 57.
The Bobcats are coming off of a 4-1 weekend at the UCLA/Long Beach St. Invitational. When there, the Bobcats opened the weekend, falling to BYU, 3-2. However, the Bobcats would dominate the rest of the weekend, defeating Robert Morris, 8-1, San Diego St., 5-1, Long Beach State, 5-1 and wrapped up the weekend with a solid 1-0 shutout against Liberty.
On the weekend, Ohio hit .338, scoring 21 runs on 49 hits, hits two doubles, one tripe and four homeruns, while recording a .448 slugging percentage.
Charlee Pond led Ohio with a .529 batting average, registering nine hits, one triple and a .647 slugging percentage. Alex Day hit .455 with five hits, one homerun, five RBI and a .727 slugging percentage. Meanwhile, Morgan Geno hit .400 with six hits, one homerun and five RBI.
In the circle, the Bobcats put together a 1.24 ERA, allowing six runs on 17 hits in 34.0 innings. Mackensie Kohl registered a 1.00 ERA and a 2-0 record, allowing two runs on six hits with eight strikeouts. Meanwhile, Madi McCrady registered a 1.40 ERA, allowing four runs on 11 hits, and struck out 10.
OHIO IN THE MAC
The Bobcats are leading the MAC in batting average (.296) and second in ERA (3.01).
Katie Yun is fourth in the conference in batting average (.386), first hits (32), third in runs scored (14) and first in at bats (83). Morgan Geno is seventh in slugging percentage (.634), eighth in on base percentage (.435), seventh in hits (24), first in RBI (27) and fourth in homeruns (6).
Meanwhile, Charlee Pond is third is hits (26), third in triples (2) and third in at bats (77).
Madi McCrady is first in innings pitched (79.1), eighth in opponent batting average (.216), fifth in strikeouts (57) and first in wins (8). Mackensie Kohl is seventh in ERA (2.25) and third in innings pitched (65.1) and wins (7).
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, Roarke 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 Furnel 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.
The Bobcats return to action on Tuesday, March 19 when Ohio heads to Pittsburgh, Pa. to take on Pitt. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.