ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio softball team (7-3) will travel to Lexington, Ky. to participate in the 2018 John Cropp Classic hosted by Kentucky, March 3-4. While there, the Bobcats will face Southeast Missouri State and Kentucky.
Ohio will take on SEMO at 11 a.m. and UK at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, the Bobcats will play SEMO at 10 a.m. and UK at 2 p.m.
The Wildcats are coming off of a 4-1 weekend at the 2018 Diamond 9 Orlando Citrus Classic (Feb. 23-25).
Overall, UK has a 9-3 record and a .345 batting average. As a team, the Wildcats have earned 84 runs, 113 hits and 68 RBI.
Bailey Vick has a .633 batting average after starting in 11 out of 12 games. In 30 at-bats, Vick recorded 19 hits, including one double and three RBI. Katie Reed currently has a .415 batting average after starting in all 12 games. She has scored 15 times, hit two homeruns and has a.455 OBP.
In the circle for the Wildcats, Erin Rethlake has started four games. Her ERA is 4.36 and with a 2-0 record. Grace Baalman has started three times and pitched in eight games. In 32 innings, Baalman has an ERA of 1.75 and a 5-1 record.
SCOUTING SOUTHEAST MO. ST.
The Redhawks are currently 7-4 overall and coming off of a 5-1 weekend at the Chattanooga Frost Classic (Feb. 23-25).
Overall, SEMO has a .285 batting average. As a team, the Redhawks 62 runs off of 78 hits with 52 RBI.
Leading the team is Mykaela Arellanes; she currently has a batting average of .467. She's successfully stolen two bases and has hit two doubles and two triples. Rachel Anderson has a .393 batting average after 28 at-bats. She's hit two doubles, 3 triples and one homerun.
In the circle for the Redhawks, Madeline Krumpy has a 3.9 ERA and a 3-1 record. In 23.1 innings pitched, Krumpy struck out eight and gave up 13 earned runs.
REWINDING LAST WEEK
The Bobcats finished the 2018 Homewood Suites Invitational in Raleigh, N.C. 4-1 overall (Feb. 23-25).
On Friday, Ohio started the weekend with a 12-4 victory over Delaware State. The Hornets scored first, but the Bobcats' bats answered swiftly. After scoring once in the bottom of the first, Ohio took the lead in the second when Mikayla Cooper hit a grand slam over left center field. In the third inning, Alex Day followed with a two-run homerun, bringing the score to 7-4. Ohio sealed the deal in the fifth inning when Morgan Geno singled for two RBI. Michaela Dorsey entered to run for Geno, successfully stole both second and third base, scoring the 12th and final run on an error.
In the second game, the Bobcats defeated Wagner 8-5 in nine innings. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second when Wagner pulled ahead with a two-run homerun. Ohio took the lead in the top of the sixth inning after Katie Yun hit her first career homerun with Cooper and Geno on base. Kendall Meeks entered the game to pinch hit and was hit by a pitch, allowing Deanna Cole to score. Wagner answered with two more runs. The Bobcats tied the game 5-5 in the top of the seventh, sending the game into extra innings. After a scoreless eighth inning, Allie Englant was placed on second due to international tiebreaker rules. With runners on first and second, Dorsey hit a homerun to win the game.
On Saturday, Ohio beat NC State 5-2. The Bobcats struck first, scoring twice in the top of the inning. Geno brought the score to 3-0 in the third inning with her first homerun of the season. In the bottom of the fourth, NC State put two runs on the board, shortening Ohio's lead. Neither team scored again until the top of the sixth when Mackenzie Brunswick scored Cole before finding her way across the plate on an error. In game two, Ohio defeated Delaware St. 6-4. The Hornets struck first, but the Bobcats pulled ahead in the second inning. Delaware St. brought the score to 4-4 in the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, the Bobcats secured the win by scoring twice.
The Bobcats fell to NC State 4-3 on Sunday. The game was scoreless until both teams scored in the third, bringing the score to 1-1. In the top of the fifth inning, the Wolfpack pulled ahead 2-1, but Ohio made a comeback in the bottom of the inning to tie the game when Yun doubled and scored Cooper. In the eighth inning, NC State scored twice. Ohio answered when Day scored, but were unable to pull ahead.
Leading the Bobcats is Mikayla Cooper who is batting .345, she has 10 hits, two doubles, one triple, two home runs and has drawn 10 walks and is slugging .690. Deanna Cole has seven hits in 18 at bats and is batting .389 with a double and a triple and three stolen bases.
Alex Day his batting .314 with 11 hits, three doubles, one triple, two home runs and seven RBI, while also drawing four walks.
In the circle, Danielle Stiene has a .126 ERA and is 5-1 in seven appearances. In five starts, she has four complete games in 44.1 innings. She has also registered 50 strikeouts while opponents are only batting .194 against her.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Senior Danielle Stiene was named the Mid-American Conference East Pitcher of the Week. When competing at the 2018 Homewood Suite Invitational, Stiene registered a 1.26 ERA with only four allowed runs for the weekend. In 22.1 innings, she struck out 21 batters and allowed a mere 18 hits.
Stiene pitched 4.1 out of five innings against Delaware St. on Feb. 23, facing only 14 batters in the 12-4 victory. Later that day, she pitched 3.0 innings against Wagner, allowing one hit and striking out three in 10 batters.
Stiene pitched a complete game against the Wolfpack on Feb. 24. Allowing two runs on seven hits, Stiene stuck out 10 in the Bobcats' 5-2 victory. On Feb. 25, she pitched all eight innings against NC State, allowing two earned runs and striking out three in the only loss of the weekend.
OHIO IN THE MAC
Ohio is currently fourth overall in pitching with an ERA of 2.72. They hold the top spot with 78 strikeouts.
Individually, Stiene is ranked seventh overall in the MAC with an ERA of 1.26. She is second in strikeouts, behind Bowling Green's Meredith Miller.
The Bobcats are second in the MAC East with their 7-3 overall record.
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.
The Bobcats will head to Lynchburg, Va. to participate in the 2018 Liberty Softball Classic March 9-11, hosted by Liberty University. While there, the Bobcats will play Liberty and Delaware.