$restriction.code /sports/sball/2018-19/releases/20190321gfo2wl

Ohio Softball Returns to Athens to Open MAC Play This Weekend

Ohio Softball Returns to Athens to Open MAC Play This Weekend

ATHENS, Ohio –The Ohio softball team (18-10) finally makes their debut at the Ohio Softball Field in 2019 as the Bobcats begin Mid-American Conference play March 22-23 when they take on MAC East foe Bowling Green (10-13).

The Bobcats will take on Bowling Green at the Ohio Softball Field at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 22. Play will continue on Saturday, March 23 with a doubleheader that is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the OSF.  

Bowling Green enters the weekend with a 10-13 overall recorded after dropping games to Dayton and Wright State on Wednesday (March 20).  

Prior to Wednesday's contests, the Falcons put together a six-game winning streak, defeating Oakland, St. Bonaventure and Morehead State twice each. As a team, they are batting .281 with 173 hits, 37 doubles, five triples, 21 homeruns and 100 RBI. With 70 walks, they have a .366 on base percentage. 

Junior Madi McCoy leads the team with a .417 batting average. She adds 20 hits, two doubles and four homeruns. In 48 at bats, she's registered 15 RBI and scored 10 times. Just behind McCoy is sophomore Nikki Sorgi. Sorgi is batting .356 with a .610 slugging percentage. In 59 at bats, she's six five doubles, three homeruns and 15 RBI. 

In the circle for Falcons is senior Meredith Miller with a 3.22 ERA and a 7-7 record. In 78.1 innings pitched, Miller has struck out 83 batters, pitched five complete games and one shutout. Also contributing is senior Brooke Parker with a 3.22 ERA, 54.1 innings pitched, three complete games and 37 strikeouts. 

The Bobcats are 18-10 entering MAC play.

Offensively, the Bobcats are hitting .310 as a team, scoring a total of 154 runs with 253 hits, 32 doubles, seven triples and 35 homeruns. They've also registered 139 RBI and have a team slugging percentage of .495. The Bobcats have a .389 on base percentage, while drawing 93 walks. 

Individually, senior Natalie Alvarez is leading the Bobcats with a .406 batting average with 39 hits, six doubles, five homeruns and 19 RBI. Sophomore Katie Yun is batting .406 with 43 hits in 106 at bats, scoring 24 runs with ten doubles, eight homeruns and 19 RBI. Meanwhile, senior Morgan Geno is batting .368 with 32 hits, four doubles, 10 homeruns and a team-leading .477 on-base percentage. Freshman Charlee Pond is next, batting .341 with 30 hits, two doubles, two triples and three homeruns. 

In the circle, the Bobcats have a 3.53 team ERA. In 188.1 innings pitched, Ohio has allowed 95 earned runs on 173 hits and has struck out 139 batters, while opponents are hitting .235 against them. 

Individually, freshman Mackensie Kohl started her career off strong, with an 8-2 record and one save, while recording a 2.78 ERA in 14 appearances with 10 starts and six complete games. She's allowed 29 earned runs on 72 hits in 73 innings, while striking out 44. Sophomore Madi McCrady is next with a 3.51 ERA in 103.2 innings, allowing 52 earned runs and striking out 85 batters.

The Bobcats are coming off of an 11-9 victory over Pittsburgh. Ohio held the lead over Pitt until the bottom of the fifth when a two-run homerun pulled Pitt up 4-3. In the top of the seventh, the Bobcats rallied when Katie Yun hit her third homerun of the day, putting Ohio up 5-4. Ohio entered the bottom of the seventh ahead 9-4, but Pittsburgh tied up the game. In the top of the 10th, Ohio loaded the bases, scoring the winning run off of a dropped fly ball in center field. 

At the plate, Yun lead the way with three homeruns and four RBI. Natalie Alvarez also hit a homerun, Deanna Cole added on a triple and Alex Day hit two doubles. 

In the circle, Madi McCrady pitched 6.1 innings, allowing eight earned runs and striking out six batters. Mackensie Kohl finished the remaining 3.2 innings, giving up three hits, one earned run and striking out two batters.  

Senior Morgan Geno's offensive numbers this season have her moving up in the record book. 

This season, Geno has already matched her single season homerun high at 10. She also already has 39 RBI, which is 29 away from matching Lauren Gellerman's 60 in 2013. 

In her career, Geno is seven RBI away from setting the new all-time career RBI record in Bobcat history. Currently with 131, Geno needs six to match the 137 from Gellerman from 2010-13, and seven to set the new mark at 138. 

Homerun wise, Geno is four away from moving into second all-time in program history in career homeruns. Four would give her 34, passing former Bobcat power hitter, Mikayla Cooper, who finished her career with 33. 

In the last few weeks, the Bobcats have put up power number that haven't been seen since the 2013 season. 

In the last six games, Ohio is hitting .340 with 67 hits, five doubles, three triples, 19 homeruns and 51 RBI, while slugging as a team, .658. The Bobcats have also drawn 25 walks. 

Katie Yun and Natalie Alvarez are both hitting .481 in that time, and have combined for 26 hits, two doubles, 10 homeruns and 18 runs scored. 

In the last 10 games, Ohio is batting .352 with 75 runs scored, 111 hits, seven doubles, four triples, 22 homeruns and 68 RBI, while slugging .610. In that span, Alvarez is hitting .475 with 19 hits, five homeruns and nine RBI. With Alvarez matching her season-high in homeruns in that span.

Ohio ranks in the top-100 in a number of offensive categories in the NCAA. The Bobcats are 35th in batting average (.310), 52nd in scoring (5.5), 24th in homeruns per game (1.25), 59th in triples per game (0.25), and 31st in slugging percentage (.495). 

Individually, Morgan Geno is third in the nation in RBI, 16th in homeruns, 76th in slugging percentage, 88th in walks, sixth in RBI per game (1.39) and 28th in homeruns per game (0.36). 

Katie Yun ranks in the top-100 in a number of categories as well. Yun is 16th in doubles, fifth in hits, 62nd in homeruns per game (0.29), 58th in doubles per game (0.36), 97th in slugging percentage, ninth in total bases (77.0) and 32nd in homeruns. 

Natalie Alvarez is ranked 21st in hits, 52nd in total bases and 57th in sacrifice flies, while Allie Englant is ranked 83rd in toughest to strike out. 

The Bobcats are leading the MAC in batting average (.310) and third in ERA (3.53).

Katie Yun is third in the conference in batting average (.406), first hits (43), runs scored (24) and in at bats (106). Morgan Geno is second in slugging percentage (.759), seventh in on base percentage (.477), fourth in hits (32), first in RBI (39) and first in homeruns (10). Meanwhile, Natalie Alvarez is second in hits (39) and eighth in doubles (6) while Charlee Pond is sixth in hits (30), fourth in triples (2) and fifth in at bats (88). 

Madi McCrady is first in innings pitched (103.2), first in complete games (14), sixth in opponent batting average (.223), third in strikeouts (85) and tied for first in wins (10). Mackensie Kohl is fourth in innings pitched (72).

Morgan Geno has earned the MAC Player of the week honor twice this season. Once on Feb. 12 and again on March 19. 

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. 

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.

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 EnglantBrooke Rice and Madi McCrady, juniors Desirae VillanuevaAlexa Holland, and Kendall Meeks, and seniors MacKenzie BrunswickDeanna Cole and Natalie Alvarez.  

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 26 when Ohio takes on Northern Kentucky for some midweek action at the Ohio Softball Field. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.