ATHENS, Ohio –The Ohio softball team (28-16, 9-6 MAC) returns to the diamond for a mid-week game when they head to Columbus, Ohio to face off against Ohio State (25-14, 9-5 Big 10). The Bobcats and Buckeyes will play on Tuesday, April 16 at 6 p.m.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are currently 25-14 overall and 6-3 in the Big 10 Conference. As a team, Ohio State is currently batting .287. In 1,086 at-bats, they have 312 hits, 57 doubles, eight triples, 38 homeruns, 175 RBI and a .459 slugging percentage. With 99 walks, their on-base percentage is .359.
Leading the team is senior Lilli Piper, who is batting .394 with 50 hits, nine doubles, one triple and four homeruns. Piper has hit 22 RBI and has scored the most runs on the team individually, 32. Just behind her is senior Emily Clark. Clark is batting .355 and is leading the team in homeruns and RBIs with eight and 35, respectively.
In the circle, with 124.2 innings pitched and a 2.13 ERA, is senior Morgan Ray. In 25 appearances and 18 starts, Ray has a 10-6 record with five shutouts, two saves and 116 strikeouts, giving up 38 earned runs. Also contributing is sophomore Lauren Rice, clocking in with a 2.26 ERA and a 14-4 record.
The Bobcats are 28-16 overall and 9-6 in the MAC. The Bobcats are coming off sweeping Akron April 12-13, breaking their four-game losing streak.
Offensively, the Bobcats are hitting .307 as a team, scoring a total of 262 runs with 380 hits, 52 doubles, 11 triples and 62 homeruns. They've also registered 236 RBI and have a team slugging percentage of .517. The Bobcats have a .390 on base percentage, while drawing 140 walks.
Individually, sophomore Katie Yun is leading the Bobcats with a .416 batting average, 67 hits in 161 at bats, scoring 42 runs with 18 doubles, 13 homeruns and 34 RBI. Senior Morgan Geno has a .378 batting average with 48 hits, six doubles, 17 homeruns and a team-leading .512 on-base percentage and holds the all-time record in runs batted in. Meanwhile, senior Natalie Alvarez is batting .340 with nine doubles and eight homeruns and sophomore Allie Englant is hitting .349 with 44 hits and 29 runs scored.
In the circle, the Bobcats have a 3.51 team ERA. In 289.1 innings pitched, Ohio has allowed 145 earned runs on 279 hits and has struck out 233 batters, while opponents are hitting .246 against them.
Individually, freshman Mackensie Kohl has a 9-4 record and one save, while recording a 3.26 ERA in 19 appearances with 15 starts and seven complete games. She's allowed 43 earned runs on 96 hits in 92.1 innings, while striking out 54. Sophomore Madi McCrady is next with a 3.43 ERA in 171.2 innings, allowing 84 earned runs and striking out 164 batters.
LAST TIME OUT
The Bobcats bounced back from a four-game losing streak, sweeping the weekend against Akron. On Friday, April 12, Ohio defeated the Zips 9-4. On Saturday, April 13, the Bobcats won the first game of the day 9-1 in five innings before moving on the finish the next game 13-5 in six innings.
LAST TIME VS. OHIO STATE
The Bobcats and Ohio State last met April 18, 2018 in Columbus, where the Bobcats won 7-0.
HOME SWEET HOME
While the Bobcats saw their 22-game home winning streak come to an end last weekend, the Bobcats are still an impressive, 32-7 at the OSF in the last three seasons.
GENO + HR = RBI
Senior Morgan Geno's offensive numbers this season have her moving up in the record book.
This season, Geno has already surpassed her single season homerun high at 16. She also already has 57 RBI, which is four away from matching Lauren Gellerman's 60 in 2013.
On Tuesday, March 26, Geno became the Ohio record holder in RBI, notching her 139th in the 3-1 victory.
Homerun wise, Geno is now second all-time in program history in career homeruns with 39. Geno needs nine homeruns to tie and 10 to pass Gellerman's career mark of 48. Geno also needs nine to tie and 10 to pass Gellerman's single season mark of 26.
OHIO IN THE NCAA
Ohio ranks in the top-100 in a number of offensive categories in the NCAA. The Bobcats are 43rdin batting average (.303), 39thin scoring (5.63), 17thin homeruns per game (1.29), 78thi n triples per game (0.22), and 27thin slugging percentage (.496).
Individually, Morgan Geno is fourth in the nation in RBI, eighth in homeruns, 22nd in slugging percentage, 38thin walks, and 12thin homeruns per game (0.39). Geno is also 17th in total bases and 37thin on base percentage.
Katie Yun ranks in the top-100 in a number of categories as well. Yun is tied for first in hits, 79thin homeruns per game (0.27), 8thin doubles per game (0.41), 87th in slugging percentage, seventh in total bases (109.0) and 26thhomeruns. Yun is also second in doubles and 51stin batting average.
OHIO IN THE MAC
The Bobcats are leading the MAC in batting average (.307) and third in ERA (3.51). Ohio is also leading the MAC in hits (380), slugging percentage (.517), triples (11), homeruns (62), total bases (640) and at bats (1,1239).
Katie Yun is third in the conference in batting average (.416), first in hits (67), runs scored (42) at bats (161), second in homeruns (13), doubles (18), and third in slugging percentage (.770). Morgan Geno is first in slugging percentage (.827), first in on base percentage (.512), third in hits (48), first in RBI (57) and first in homeruns (17).
Madi McCrady is first in innings pitched (171.2), second in strikeouts (164) and first in wins (18).
MAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Morgan Geno has earned the MAC Player of the week honor twice this season: once on Feb. 12 and again on March 19.
On March 26, sophomore Katie Yun was named the MAC Player of the Week for the first time in her career for her performance the week of March 18.
Geno earned her third MAC Player of the Week honor on April 2.
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, Roark 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 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.
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.
Up next, the Bobcats return to Athens to take on their rival, Miami, on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27. Play is set to start at 3 p.m. on Friday, while Saturday's doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. This weekend will also serve as Senior Weekend and Alumni Weekend.