||Akron Game Notes
The Zips will conclude the regular season this weekend (May 7-9) traveling to Ball State and
Miami (Ohio) for two games against both. Akron will face the Cardinals in a doubleheader on
Friday set for 1:00 p.m. and then play a single game on Saturday and Sunday at 6:00 p.m. and
1:00 p.m. against the Miami RedHawks. UA continues MAC play holding a 7-11 record splitting
its final home stand last weekend (April 30-May 2) against Bowling Green and Toledo. Ranked 13th nationally in stolen bases are the Zips who have amassed 107 (2.67 SB/G) bags prior to the weekend. They rank second, behind Ball State, in the league through all games and are tied for first (44) with the Cardinals in conference play alone. Leading Akron on the bases is junior Heather Bauer who following the conclusion of play against Toledo had 30 averaging .60 SB/G on the bags which ranks second in the league and 24th nationally. Moving into the record books Bauer's 30 stolen base mark is fourth on Akron's single season stolen base list, just one away from the third spot. Maintaining strength at the plate are Akron's hitters which hold a league second best .279 after last weekend's conference play. The mark ranks 90th in the nation.
||Ball State Game Notes
Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Ball State Cardinals (36-13; 14-4 MAC) take on the Akron Zips (20-30; 7-11 MAC) in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Friday at the BSU Softball Complex in Muncie, Ind. The Ball State softball team swept Mid-American Conference opponent Western Michigan 13-0 in five-innings Saturday and 6-5 Sunday at Fran Ebert Field in Kalamazoo, Mich. Elizabeth Milian became the winningest pitcher in Ball State history, notching her 78th career win Saturday. Amanda Montalto became the school's single season leader in doubles with 16 and Jessie Ware earned the top spot for single season hits - her fourth single season record of the year - with her 72nd hit Sunday. The two wins improve Ball State's overall record to 36-13 and its conference record to 14-4, which gives the Cardinals the top spot in the MAC West Division and ties them with Kent State overall. Milian and Ware were named Mid-American Conference West Division Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, May 4.
||Bowling Green Game Notes
Bowling Green (11-25, 7-11 MAC) heads into the final weekend of Mid-American Conference play with the team's postseason fate still unknown. With eight MAC teams advancing to the conference tournament, the Falcons are tied with Akron for seventh place. However, Bowling Green sits just one game in front of three other teams, including Friday's opponent Buffalo (18-31, 6-12 MAC). A sweep of the Bulls would do wonders for Bowling Green's hopes but a split or doubleheader loss would be damaging. For much of the season, Bowling Green's offense has revolved around freshmen. In fact, 19 of the team's 28 homers have come from players who are putting on a collegiate uniform for the first time this year. Paige Berger leads the way with 12 bombs, but Hannah Fulk has added four, Adrienne Dick has two, and Andrea Arney has one. Of the team's 68 extra base hits, 37 have come from freshmen.
||Buffalo Game Notes
Despite being just 18-31 overall and 6-12 in MAC play, Buffalo has one of the best weekend schedules of the five teams battling for a playoff spot. The Bulls host Bowling Green and then finish with Toledo, a team that is just 4-14 in league play. With a 3-1 weekend, Buffalo could leapfrog into one of the final MAC Tournament spots. Kristin Waldron is the spark offensively, hitting a team-best .331 with eight doubles and five triples. The Bulls are dangerous when they get on the basepaths as Ashley Bertot, Taylor Franich, and Kristen Gallipani each have at least 15 stolen bases. Sharon Barr and Terese Diaz share time on the mound. Barr has appeared in 42 of the team's 49 games with a 3.66 ERA. Diaz has a similar 3.65 ERA and is fourth in the MAC with 7.24 strikeouts per game.
| Central Michigan
||Central Michigan Game Notes
After hopes for a Mid-American Conference title slipped away last weekend, the Central Michigan softball team looks to get back on track and improve its seeding for next week's MAC Tournament this weekend. The Chippewas (25-16, 11-7 MAC) host league foes Northern Illinois and Western Michigan at Margo Jonker Stadium to close out the regular season. The series against NIU is a Friday doubleheader at 1 p.m. CMU and WMU will square off in single games on Saturday and Sunday, both contests start at 1 p.m. Central currently sits fourth in the MAC standings with its 11-7 league ledger. CMU leads Northern Illinois and Miami by one game and is two games behind Ohio. The Chippewas hold the tiebreaker with the Bobcats should they close the gap by season's end. The Central Michigan offense is getting it done with solid contributions from a number of players. Six regulars are batting .290 or higher with five averages of .305 or better. As a team, CMU sports a .357 on-base percentage and a .446 slugging percentage. The Chippewas have 105 extra-base hits this season after finishing with only 62 in 2009.
| Eastern Michigan
||Eastern Michigan Game Notes
The Eastern Michigan University softball team sits one game out of the eighth and final spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament race heading into this weekend's slate of games. The Eagles will host the final four league games of the regular season games, taking on Western Michigan in a doubleheader Friday, May 7, before meeting Northern Illinois in a pair of singles games Saturday and Sunday, May 8-9. Considered one of, if not, the most productive power hitter in EMU history, Jenny Scherer, a career .315 hitter entering the season, struggled out of the gate despite her home run totals remaining on track. Her average, which dipped below .200 as late as March 31, has seen a significant rise as she has at least one hit in 15-of-her-last-17 games dating back to April 10. During that span, she is hitting .473 (26-of-55) with five home runs and 13 RBI. Last week alone, she raised her season average 49 points from .270 to .319. In MAC play, she is third in the league in hitting with a .421 average, first in total bases (47), second in home runs (12), and tied for third in hits (24) through 18 league games thus far.
||Kent State Game Notes
The Kent State softball team (27-19, 14-4 MAC) has an opportunity to wrap up its fifth straight MAC East title this weekend in front of its home crowd. The Golden Flashes can also claim their third MAC regular season title in four years, hosting a doubleheader with Toledo (12-35, 4-14 MAC) Friday (May 7) followed by single games against Bowling Green (11-25, 7-11) Saturday and Sunday (May 8-9). Sunday's game against the Falcons will be the final home contest for six Kent State seniors. Since March 5, the Golden Flashes have gone 26-10. During that span senior pitcher Kylie Reynolds is 20-6 with four saves and a 1.78 ERA, while averaging 1.42 strikeouts per inning. Among active pitchers, she ranks second in the nation with 1,180 career strikeouts behind 2009 National Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie. KSU's 51 home runs this season are the second most in school history. Its 1.11 home runs per game rank 25th in the nation. The Flashes are just three wins shy of their fourth 30-win season in five years. Since 2006, the Golden Flashes are 80-20 in conference games. In her first career start Tuesday, Lauren Balodis went 2-for-4 with a home run. In the last two weeks, Karen Linder has earned her 400th career victory at Kent State and her 200th MAC win
||Miami Game Notes
The RedHawks has secured their bid in the MAC Tournament and will now try to improve their seeding as they play their final four games of the regular season at the Miami Softball Stadium. Miami will host Ohio on Friday for a doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m. The RedHawks will then welcome Akron to town for the weekend. Due to graduation ceremonies, Saturday's game will begin at 6 p.m. On Sunday, the game will start at its usual 1 p.m. time. The latest NCAA rankings were released on May 3 (meaning they do not include the doubleheader against Wright State the RedHawks played on May 4). Miami ranks 10th in the nation in fielding percentage at .974. It is also 36th in the nation in triples per game at 0.23 and 34th in earned run average at 2.07. Individually, Meghan Mawn is the 27th toughest player to strikeout in the country, fanning an average of once every 18.8 at-bats. Daniela Torres is tied for 34th in the nation with four triples, while Sarah Billstrom and Mawn are tied for 84th with three apiece. Sophomore pitcher Jessica Simpson is 38th in the nation with a 1.65 ERA and 43rd with six shutouts. Senior pitcher Meredith Linch is 93rd in the nation with a 2.14 ERA and is tied for 77th with two saves.
| Northern Illinois
||Northern Illinois Game Notes
Northern Illinois University is 22-30 overall and 10-8 in Mid-American Conference play, currently holding the fifth seed, head-to-head tie-breaker against Miami as MAC Tournament seeding goes. The Huskies snapped a four-game losing streak last weekend when they swept the RedHawks in a two-game series at home. Zoe Sinner is one-of-two Huskie hitters batting over .300 on the season with a .326-clip. She also leads with the team with 10 home runs, 26 RBI and 31 runs scored. Morgan Bittner is 17-13 in the circle with a 2.66 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 197 innings pitched.
||Ohio Game Notes
Conference Tournament positioning is on the line as Ohio softball wraps up the regular season on the road this weekend. The `Cats will take on rival Miami in a 1 p.m. Friday doubleheader before battling West Division leader Ball State Saturday and Sunday. Ohio (18-27, 13-5 MAC) enters the weekend in second place in the MAC East at 13-5, a game behind Kent State, who is tied with Ball State for the best record in conference play. The `Cats could conceivably end up anywhere from the first to the fourth seed for next weekend's conference tournament in Akron. Lauren Gellerman and Emily Wethington were named the MAC EAST Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, in a release by the league office Tuesday. It is the first career weekly awards for both players ... Gellerman terrorized opposing pitchers, hitting .643 (9-for-14) with six extra base hits, including four doubles and two homers, five RBI and a 1.357 slugging percentage. Included in the freshman's extra-base hits were a walk-off double against Toledo and a game-tying homer in extra innings against BGSU ... Wethington went a perfect 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 10 innings, including a complete game in a run-ruled contest, during the weekend. The junior gave up just two earned runs and held opponents to just a .171 average against her. She also hit a grand slam to help cap off a seven-run inning against Bowling Green.
||Toledo Game Notes
Toledo's softball team enters the final weekend of the regular season clinging to a shot at qualifying for the MAC Tournament. The Rockets are three games out of the eighth and final tournament spot with four games to play, sitting with a 4-14 conference record (12-35 overall). UT must climb past Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Buffalo (all 6-12 in the MAC) as well as Akron and/or Bowling Green (both 7-11) to earn the tourney bid. The Rockets have had their chances this season, but are now 4-9 in one-run games and 2-5 in extra inning affairs after splitting their two contests that went beyond regulation. Toledo continues to have one of its most prolific seasons at the plate in recent history. The Rockets have 181 RBI, which is tied for third-most in school history. The team's .372 slugging percentage would also rank second on the single-season list. The team has scored 194 runs, second only to plating 203 in 2008 for most runs in the past 10 years. UT has 28 homers, the most since hitting a school-record 30 in 2005, and Toledo's 57 steals also equal the 57 the team swiped in 2005.Individually, Spink's 36 RBI are the most by a player this decade and has her just two away from fourth on the school's single-season list, and Sanchez is two RBI away from joining Spink as the first Rocket teammates with 30 RBI in the same season this decade.
| Western Michigan
||Western Michigan Game Notes
Western Michigan University enters Friday's doubleheader with an 11-24 overall record and tied for ninth with EMU and Buffalo with a 6-12 mark in Mid-American Conference play. Much like the Eagles, a lot rides on WMU's two-game series Friday in terms of itself a chance in the MAC tournament race. The Broncos have dropped six straight games including five in a row to conference opponents and most recently to No. 2-ranked Michigan on the road. Gracie Barstad leads the team with a .347 batting average and 20 RBI on the season. Meredith Whitney is the team's top pitcher, making 20 starts this season while completing 11 of those to compile an 8-12 record this year. She has 109 strikeouts in 116 innings.