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Ohio Softball Set to Open Knoxville Regional Against James Madison

Ohio Softball Set to Open Knoxville Regional Against James Madison

Tournament Central | PDF Game Notes

ATHENS, Ohio-- The Ohio softball team (38-15) returns to the national postseason stage for the first time since 2014, when the Bobcats head to Knoxville, Tenn. for the Knoxville Regional in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The Mid-American Conference Tournament Champion Bobcats will battle with No. 23 James Madison (42-12) in the first game of the Knoxville Regional on Friday, May 18 at 3 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3. 

ON THE AIR
During the NCAA Knoxville Regional, Ohio's game against James Madison will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App where Alex Perlman and Francesca Enea will have the call. 

Just as he did all MAC Tournament, Jake Hromada will have you covered on the broadcast. You can catch Jake and the Bobcats on Power 105-WXTQ and on OhioBobcats.com. 

2018 NCAA KNOXVILLE REGIONAL AT-A-GLANCE
Ohio and James Madison will be joined in the Knoxville Regional by 10th-seeded Tennessee and MAAC Champion, Monmouth. 

The Lady Vols will welcome James Madison, Monmouth and Ohio to Sherri Parker Lee Stadium for the NCAA Knoxville Regional this weekend from Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 20. The Knoxville Regional will be a double-elimination tournament with the winner moving on to the NCAA Super Regional (Round of 16). 

Ohio and James Madison will kick the fun off on Friday at 3 p.m. on ESPN3 (WatchESPN). Tennessee will play MAAC Champion Monmouth on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3 (WatchESPN). 

Friday's two winners will play in Game 3 on Saturday at 12 p.m. The losers from Friday's games will play in Game 4 at 2:30 p.m. and the loser from Game 3 will face the winner from Game 4 at 5 p.m. to conclude play on Saturday.

Game 6 will be on Sunday at 1 p.m. and will feature the winner from Game 3 against the winner from Game 5. The two teams will play again in Game 7 at 3:30 p.m., if necessary.

The 16 winning teams from their respective regional sites will advance to the Super Regionals, which will take place from May 25-27, depending on the host site. All Super Regional sites will feature broadcasts on the ESPN family of networks.

2018 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP AT-A-GLANCE
The NCAA Championship is made up of a field of 64 teams -- including 32 conference champions and 32 at-large bids. The tournament begins with 16 four-team double-elimination regionals held at campus sites (May 18-20). The 16 regional champions advance to the best-of-three Super Regionals, which will also be held at eight campus sites (May 25-27). The eight Super Regional champions punch tickets to the 2018 NCAA Women's College World Series, which will run May 31 to June 5/6 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium - OGE Energy Field in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Oregon (47-7) enters the 2018 NCAA Championship as the No. 1 overall seed while No. 4 national seed Oklahoma (50-3) looks to defend its 2017 national title.

OHIO IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
The Bobcats are making their third NCAA Championship appearance in program history, returning to the field after the 2014 Bobcat squad advanced to the Lexington Regional. 

During the second appearance in the postseason, Ohio went 0-2, falling to Kentucky and then DePaul. 

The first time the Bobcats made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament was 1995, when Ohio won the MAC regular season crown with a record of 39-22 (23-13 MAC) and advanced to the Tuscon Regional.

Ohio went 0-2 in its first trip to the national postseason stage, falling to Arizona, 8-0, and Florida State, 2-0, on May 15, 1995. 

HOW WE GOT HERE
Ohio opened the 2018 season with a 4-0 win against Virginia at the EMU Madeira Beach Invitational. While there, the Bobcats also defeated fellow NCAA participants, UNCG (5-2) and Jacksonville State (3-0) to begin the season 3-2. Ohio would then go on a five-game winning streak to finish February with a 7-3 record. 

The Bobcats would then hit the toughest part of their schedule, competing against 16th-seed Kentucky, also with NCAA participants Liberty and Baylor, entering the final nonconference tournament with an overall record of 9-10. 

After dropping the first two contests at the JMU invitational, including an 8-0 loss to James Madison, the Bobcats would go on to defeat the Dukes in the rematch, an 9-7, nine inning affair, that saw Ohio score nine unanswered runs. Ohio would the enter the conference season with a 11-12 record. 

The win at James Madison was the spark that turned Ohio's season around. The Bobcats would then go on a seven-game winning streak to begin MAC play, sweeping Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Between those two series, Ohio also defeated NCAA participant Pitt, 7-1, in Athens. 

Ohio would drop one game to Northern Illinois, but would come out and go on a 10-game winning streak, that saw Ohio defeat Kent State, 22-7 on April 11. In that game, Ohio hit a single game record six home runs, scored a single game record of 22 runs, and Alex Day registered eight RBI. 

One of the biggest wins on the Bobcats' season also came in the midst of that winning streak, with the Bobcats downing Ohio State, 7-0 in Columbus, Ohio on April 18. It was the first time since 2014 the Ohio defeated OSU, and the first time since 1997 that Ohio downed the Buckeyes in Columbus. 

Ohio would go on to take two out of three games from Miami, followed but a win against Marshall and a three-game sweep of Buffalo, before concluding the regular season with a series win at Bowling Green to enter the MAC Tournament as the MAC East and MAC Regular Season Champions, with a 34-15 overall record and a 20-3 conference mark. 

At the end of the regular season, starting pitcher Danielle Stiene was named the MAC Pitcher of the Year. She also earned a spot on the All-MAC First Team, along with teammates Alex Day and Mikayla Cooper. Taylor Saxton and Morgan Geno earned spots on the All-MAC Second Team, while Katie Yun was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team. 

OHIO'S RUN THROUGH THE MAC TOURNAMENT
Ohio's run through the MAC Tournament saw them enter as the top-overall seed. 

Ohio downed No. 8 Miami, 1-0 in the opening round. Ohio would go on to defeat Kent State, 3-1 in the second round and advance to the finals on an 8-0, run rule defeat over No. 7 Northern Illinois, in a game that saw Danielle Stiene toss a six-inning no hitter. 

Ohio would face off against No. 7 NIU in the championship round, defeating the Huskies, 2-0, helping Ohio capture their second MAC Tournament Title in four years. Ohio's two runs came in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run home run by Michaela Dorsey

Danielle Stiene was named the MAC Tournament MVP, while Alex Day, Dorsey and Stiene were all named to the All-Tournament Team. 

Overall in the tournament, Day hit .364 with one triple and one RBI while slugging .545. Allie Englant hit .333 with three hits and three RBI, while Dorsey recorded the only home run for Ohio in the tournament, the game winning shot in the championship game. Mikayla Cooper recorded a double and four RBI. 

Stiene was fantastic in the circle, pitching all 27 innings, allowing one run on 11 hits, walked six and struck out 31 while recorded four complete games and three shut outs. 

SCOUTING JAMES MADISON
No. 23/25 James Madison enters the Knoxville Regional with 42-12 record and enter the Knoxville Regional as the No 23/25 ranked team in the nation. 

As a team, JMU hits .314 with 344 runs scored, 456 hits, 75 doubles, three triples, 82 home runs and 320 RBI. They register a .539 slugging percentage and a .409 on base percentage. The Dukes have drawn 213 walks and have struck out 210 times, while recording a .958 fielding percentage. 

Leading JMU is Kate Gordon who is hitting .412 with 70 hits, 18 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 48 RBI and a .759 slugging percentage. She has also drawn 28 walks and has a .497 on base percentage. Next, Morgan Tolle is hitting .407 with 77 hits, 15 doubles, 10 home runs and 55 RBI with a .772 slugging percentage. 

Odicci Alexander is batting .388 with 64 hits, 16 home runs and 56 RBI, while Sara Jabas has a .303 average with 47 hits, four doubles and seven home runs. 

In the circle, the pitching staff registers a 1.97 ERA with 15 shutouts and have allowed 102 earned runs, 92 walks and have struck out 297, while opponents are hitting .218 against them.  

Leading the way is Payton Buresch, who is 18-5 with a 1.69 ERA. She has allowed 36 earned runs, walked 46 and struck out 90 batters. Meanwhile, Odicci Alexander is 24-6 with a 2.15 ERA. She has allowed 65 earned runs, walked 44 and struck out 206 batters that she's faced. 

ALL-TIME AGAINST JMU
James Madison leads the all-time series over the Bobcats 3-1. 

LAST TIME AGAINST THE DUKES
The Bobcats and Dukes last met earlier this year at the 2018 JMU Invitational. 

James Madison defeated Ohio, 8-0 in the first game. However, the Bobcats came out on top of the second game, defeating the Dukes, 9-7 in nine innings. The Bobcats came back and scored nine unanswered runs to pick up the victory. 

SCOUTING NO. 10 TENNESSEE
The 10th-seeded Tennessee Lady Vols are currently ranked seventh in the nation and currently sport a 45-12 record with a 14-10 mark in the SEC. 

As a team, Tennessee is batting .308 with 330 runs scored on 472 hits, 66 doubles, seven triples and 47 home runs. The Lady Vols register a .453 slugging percentage, and have drawn 209 walks and sport a .402 on base percentage. 

Leading Tennessee is Aubrey Leach who is batting .435 with 74 hits, five doubles, two triples, two homeruns, 22 RBI and a .524 slugging percentage. Jenna Holcomb is batting .399 with 59 hits, while Meghan Gregg is batting .392 with 67 hits, 13 doubles, 16 home runs, 67 RBI and a .760 slugging percentage. 

In the circle, the Tennessee staff registers a 2.50 ERA with 302 hits, 135 earned runs, 144 walks and 343 strikeouts. 

Leading the way is Caylan Arnold who is 24-4 with a 2.10 ERA. She has allowed 67 runs in 196.1 innings, while walking 68 and striking out 207. Matty Moss is 17-6 overall with a 2.51 ERA. In 139.2 innings, Moss has allowed 50 earned runs, walked 38 and struck out 112 batters. 

ALL-TIME AGAINST TENNESSEE
Tennessee leads the all-time series against Ohio, 5-0. 

LAST TIME AGAINST THE LADY VOLS
The Bobcats and Lady Vols last met on Feb. 2, 2017 in Knoxville. Ohio and Tennessee were locked in a pitching battle, with the Lady Vols coming out on top, 2-1. 

SCOUTING MONMOUTH
Monmouth is 32-14 overall and are making their first ever NCAA appearance. 

At the plate, the Hawks are hitting .267 with 215 runs scored, 333 hits, 56 doubles, 16 triples, 39 home runs and 197 RBI, while slugging .432. They have also drawn 137 walks while striking out 265 times. 

Leading Monmouth is Katie Baron who is batting .389 with 56 hits, 12 doubles, 26 runs scored, eight home runs and 34 RBI, while slugging .639. Next is Amber Wozniak who is batting .313 with 45 hits, 13 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 36 RBI. 

In the circle, Monmouth registers a 2.83 ERA, with 298 hits, 168 runs allowed, 123 walks and 262 strikeouts. 

Leading the way is Amanda Riley who is 21-5 with a 1.98 ERA. In 187.2 innings, she has allowed 72 runs on 133 hits, walked 79 and struck out 216. 

ALL-TIME AGAINST MONMOUTH
Monmouth leads the all-time series against Ohio, 1-0. 

LAST TIME AGAINST THE HAWKS
The last time Ohio and Monmouth met was March 14, 2013, with the Hawks coming out on top. 7-1. 

SCOUTING OHIO
Ohio is currently 38-15 overall and finished the MAC with a 20-3 record. The Bobcats enter the Knoxville Regional as the MAC East, Regular Season and Tournament Champions.   

As a team, Ohio is batting .285 with 291 runs scored, 70 doubles, 16 triples, 54 home runs and 264 RBI. The team has drawn 167 walks and has 34 stolen bases on the year.

Leading the Bobcats is junior Alex Day who is batting .344 with 63 hits, 12 home runs, 42 runs scored and 44 RBI. Mikayla Cooper registers a .343 average with 60 hits, 10 doubles, four triples, 11 home runs, 43 RBI and 28 walks. Next is redshirt junior Michaela Dorsey who is batting .318 with 41 hits, 32 runs scored, eight home runs, 10 doubles and 33 RBI. 

Freshman Katie Yun and junior Natalie Alvarez are also registering solid offensive numbers. Yun is batting .298 with 51 hits, 10 doubles, two triples and eight home runs, while driving in 34 runs. Alvarez is batting .273 with four home runs and six doubles. Junior MacKenzie Brunswick is batting .279 with 39 hits, eight doubles and 20 RBI. 

In the circle, the pitching staff has a combined 2.66 ERA. In 355.2 innings, they have allowed 135 earned runs, walked 137 batters and have struck out 382 while opponents are batting .222 against them.

Senior Danielle Stiene has a 1.7510 ERA and a 27-6 record in 38 appearances. Stiene has made 30 starts with 24 complete games and 13 shutouts, all while striking out 257 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. 

THE FANTASTIC DANI STIENE
Senior pitcher Danielle Stiene has been a force all year. 

Stiene registered a 27-6 record, setting a new mark from single season victories. She also recorded a 1.51 ERA, had 13 shutouts and 257 strikeouts. 

She moved into second all-time in Ohio history in career strikeouts (579), third all-time in wins (53) and second all-time in shutouts (23). 

She was named the MAC Pitcher of the Year, the MAC Tournament MVP, First Team All-MAC and the MAC All-Tournament Team. She was also named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week six times, including five straight weeks from April 2-May 1. 

Stiene tossed a six-inning no hitter in the MAC Tournament Semifinals and one-hit Pitt, as well as shutout Ohio State. 

THE COOPER, DAY 1-2 PUNCH
Mikayla Cooper and Alex Day have been a force at the top of the lineup. Together the combine for a .343 batting average, 123 hits, 18 doubles, seven triples, 23 home runs and 87 RBI. They have also drawn a total of 43 walks and have scored 87 runs. 

During the season, Cooper also became second all-time in Ohio history in home runs (33), first all time in runs scored (124), third in hits (201), second in walks (90), this in games played (217) and second in RBI (121). 

MAC POSTSEASON AWARDS
At the end of the regular season, starting pitcher Danielle Stiene was named the MAC Pitcher of the Year. She also earned a spot on the All-MAC First Team, along with teammates Alex Day and Mikayla Cooper. Taylor Saxton and Morgan Geno earned spots on the All-MAC Second Team, while Katie Yun was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team. 

Danielle Stiene was named the MAC Tournament MVP, while Alex Day, Michaela Dorsey and Stiene were all named to the All-Tournament Team. 

MAC WEEKLY HONORS
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. 

MAC FEMALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE
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 home runs and 14 RBI.

OHIO IN THE NCAA
The Bobcats rank in the top-50 in a few individual statistical categories. 

Danielle Stiene ranks second in shutouts, 12th in strikeouts, 33rd in ERA, 27th in strikeout-to-walk-ratio, 29th in hits allowed per seven innings, sixth in victories and 27th in strikeouts per seven innings.

Madi McCrady ranks 38th in strikeouts per seven innings and Kendall Meeks ranks 49th in saves. 

Morgan Geno ranks 26th in walks and Katie Yun ranks 45th in toughest to strikeout. 

As a team, Ohio is ranked 35th in scoring, 29th in win/loss percentage, 25th in home runs per game, 19th in triples per game, 30th in slugging percentage and 33rd in strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

OHIO AND RPI
The Bobcats are currently 55th 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 other member's in the Knoxville Regional rank as followed: Tennessee (8th), James Madison (25th) and Monmouth (114th).    

THE 2018 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 Alvarez, Morgan 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 393 career wins, 288 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.

The 2018 squad saw the Bobcats win the MAC Regular Season for the first time since 1995, earn the top seed on the MAC Tournament for the first time in program history. The Bobcats also earned their second MAC Tournament title and their third trip to the NCAA Tournament. 

COMING UP
Friday's two winners will play in Game 3 on Saturday at 12 p.m. The losers from Friday's games will play in Game 4 at 2:30 p.m. and the loser from Game 3 will face the winner from Game 4 at 5 p.m. to conclude play on Saturday.

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