This Weekend in MAC Softball

Updated 4/8/2011

Friday, April 8 Saturday, April 9 Sunday, April 10
NIU at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (DH)
Toledo at CMU, 1 p.m. (DH)
BGSU at EMU, 2 p.m. (DH)
WMU at KSU, 1 p.m. (DH)
BSU at Miami, 2 p.m.
Toledo at EMU, 2 p.m

BGSU at CMU, 2 p.m.
NIU at KSU, 2 p.m.
Akron at Ohio, 2 p.m
WMU at Buffalo, 2 p.m.
WMU at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
BSU at Miami, 1 p.m.
NIU at KSU, 1 p.m.
BGSU at CMU, 1 p.m.
Toledo at EMU, 1 p.m.
Akron at Ohio, 1 p.m.

Teams Notes

Akron Game Notes
The University of Akron softball team saw its three-game winning streak snapped in midweek action at Niagara University on Thursday afternoon. The Zips (16-13) dropped a pitcher's duel in game one 1-0 and lost the second game by a margin of 7-3 as the Purple Eagles (10-10) completed the sweep. In game one, senior Alex Riedeman had a solid outing despite picking up the loss. She went 6.0 innings and gave up six hits and no walks while fanning six. The Snohomish, Wash. native is now 8-4 on the season. At the plate, Akron managed only four hits off of Julie DiMatteo. Senior Alex Feltes had two of those, going 2-for-3. The other two hits came from Alissa Birkhimer and Cassie Gleisner.In game two, Niagara did all their scoring in the first two innings to put the Zips in a big hole. Andrea Arney (0-1) was saddled with the loss, as she pitched 4.1 innings in relief and gave up four hits and one run. Each team recorded eight hits for the game, but Akron was not able to get timely hits to bring runners home, leaving a total of 10 runners on base.

Ball State

Ball State Game Notes
The Ball State softball team returns to action this weekend as the squad travels to Oxford, Ohio for a pair of weekend contests with Miami (OH) at the MU Softball Complex. As a team, Ball State owns a .328 batting average, while its opponents are batting .266, in addition to scoring 198 runs (5.5 runs/game), while allowing 132 runs (3.7 runs/game). Alyssa Collins leads the Cardinals offensively with a .412 batting average, in addition to four doubles and 17 RBI. Senior shortstop Alicia Barkley (Oklahoma City, Okla./Putnam City) ranks second on the squad with a .408 batting average with seven doubles, seven triples, 11 RBI and a team-high 15 stolen bases. From the circle, sophomore Audra Sanders (Lynnville, Ind./Tecumseh) leads the team in 23 appearances with a 2.88 ERA in 124.0 innings.

Bowling Green

Bowling Green Game Notes
Bowling Green's .965 fielding percentage ranks fifth in the MAC and the Falcons would be much higher if not for the five-error game to close out last weekend against Buffalo. Outside of that contest, BGSU's defense has been strong as the team has turned five double plays (fifth in the league) and thrown out 11 would-be base stealers (tied for fourth in the conference). Prior to that contest, Bowling Green had not committed more than two errors in a game all year and had only done that four times. The Falcons have nine errorless games this year. Senior pitcher Melissa Bott pitched well in the conference openers during the past week but still went 0-2 on the weekend. She had a 1.91 ERA in 14.2 innings but the defense surrendered eight unearned runs in her three appearances. She ranks eighth in the MAC in ERA in conference games only.


Buffalo Game Notes
Freshman Tori Speckman was named the MAC East Pitcher of the Week, the conference office announced on Tuesday afternoon. Speckman helped lead the Bulls to a 3-1 overall record this past weekend, which was their first in conference play. Speckman becomes the first UB player this season to be recognized by the Mid-American Conference. Speckman went 3-0 on the weekend, picking up the win in all three of UB's conference victories. She had just a 1.50 ERA on the weekend, striking out 15 batters. In UB's two victories over Bowling Green, Speckman allowed just one run in 12 innings as she pitched two complete games. Speckman is now tied for the team lead with four victories. After allowing three earned runs in her first appearance last Friday, Speckman followed it up with 12 straight innings against Bowling Green where she did not allow an earned run. In the first game against the Falcons, Speckman had seven strikeouts, her second highest total on the season. She allowed just eight combined hits in the two games against Bowling Green.
 Central Michigan

Central Michigan Game Notes
The Chippewas opened their current six-game homestand with a sweep of Detroit on Wednesday, outscoring the Titans, 21-0, in the two games. CMU, who played just nine games at home last season, will play a total of 16 games at Margo Jonker Stadium this season, including eight of the next nine on their schedule. Heading into the second weekend of conference play, CMU's pitching staff currently sits atop the conference rankings in team ERA (2.32), batting average against (.209), hits allowed (129), runs allowed (66) and earned runs (56). The 1-2 punch of Kara Dornbos (1.16) and Kari Seddon (2.12) rank first and fifth in individual ERA, while Dornbos entered the week with the league's lowest batting average against (.183). Junior Molly Coldren hit her 20th and 21st career home runs in a doubleheader versus Detroit on Wednesday, becoming CMU's all-time leader in home runs. Coldren also holds CMU's single-season home run record with 11, which she set during the 2010 campaign. 

 Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan Game Notes
After playing its first 22 games of the 2011 season on the road, the Eastern Michigan University softball team will finally play within the friendly confines of Varsity Field this weekend as they play host to both Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo for Mid-American Conference action. The Eastern Michigan University softball team kicked off Mid-American Conference play last weekend when they traveled to DeKalb, Ill. for a doubleheader with the Huskies and to Kalamazoo, Mich. for a Saturday doubleheader to tangle with the Broncos. The Eagles split with the Huskies on Friday, dropping the opening matchup 8-6 after giving up five unearned runs. The Green and White would bounce back in game two, plating 10 runs in a convincing 10-1 win over the Huskies. Against the Broncos, Jenna Ignowski (Niles, Mich.-Niles) picked up her first career no-hitter in a near-perfect performance. The sophomore hurler was hanging on to a perfect game before giving up a walk in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Eagles pulled away with the 16-0 victory. The Green and White's offensive statistics in game one landed in the ranks of a number of categories in the EMU softball record books. On April 29, McKenna Russ went for an impressive 9-for-9 on after showcasing an outstanding offensive outing in a non-conference doubleheader sweep over the Detroit Titans. The junior belted four home runs on the day, two in each game, to record her first career mulit-home run performance. In her nine at bats, Russ knocked in eight RBI and scored five times for a slugging percentage of 2.444.

Kent State

Kent State Game Notes
Kent State will put its 4-0 conference record on the line this weekend, hosting Western Michigan in a doubleheader Friday and Northern Illinois Saturday and Sunday at the Diamond at Dix. The Golden Flashes began conference play by scoring 44 runs in 22 innings last weekend at Toledo and Bowling Green. Since 2006, Kent State has gone 87-21 in conference play. Last weekend, KSU hit .369 with eight doubles and six home runs in its first four conference games. The run rule took effect in three of KSU's wins. Mary Holt, Beth Cinadr and Shannon Laughlin all hit .400 or better on the weekend. Saturday at Toledo, the Flashes scored 20 runs in a game for the first time since 1980. Jess Carmichael's two home runs on the week raised her team-leading season total to nine and her career total to 34, just two shy of KSU's career record.


Miami Game Notes
The RedHawks own a 16-13 overall record after dropping their home midweek contest to the IPFW Mastadons, 4-2. Freshman Kayla Ledbetter, a native of Gahanna, Ohio, leads Miami's charge, batting .375, including six doubles, one triple, one home run and 14 RBI. Pitcher Jessica Simpson, from North Canton, Ohio, has made 25 appearances and owns a 14-8 record on the season with a 1.70 ERA in 152.1 innings of work. Junior pitcher Jessica Simpson (North Canton, Ohio) is a four-time winner of the MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week award this season. Including Paige Myers' win on Mar. 29, Miami pitchers have won the award five times this year. Currently Simpson is 14-8 with a 1.75 ERA. Simpson leads the MAC in wins, strikeouts (159), innings pitched (148.0), shutouts (8) and complete games (19). Despite being only a freshman, Kayla Ledbetter (Gahanna, Ohio) is already a two-time winner of the MAC East Division Player of the Week award (Mar. 1 and Mar. 15). She is second on Miami with a .357 batting average. She also leads in the MAC in walks (21) and on base percentage (.516).

 Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois Game Notes
The Northern Illinois University softball team continues its five-game road trip when the Huskies travel to Buffalo and Kent State to resume Mid-American Conference action this weekend. The Huskies (13-16, 3-1) will take on the Bulls (8-20, 3-1) in a doubleheader Friday starting at 12 p.m. CST and will play single games against Kent State (14-17, 4-0) Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's game begins at 1 p.m., while Sunday's finale is set for 12 p.m., both times Central. Leading the way for NIU Huskies last weekend were Carly Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) and Adriana Sanchez (San Fernando, Calif./Alemany). The duo led the team offensively, combining to hit three home runs, driving in 11 RBIs and scoring five runs. Norton also chipped in a stolen base along with going 6-for-9 at the plate. In the circle, Morgan Bittner (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) had a pair of quality starts going 2-0 while striking out eight and giving up 2 earned runs in 11 innings of work. 


Ohio Game Notes
In their last game The Ohio softball team dropped a 3-0 decision to Miami in a Mid-American Conference (MAC) game on Sunday afternoon at the Ohio Softball Field. Jenna McGivney hit a two-run home run in the fourth to lift the Red Hawks to the win. Junior Alexis Joseph (Alvin, Texas) and senior Emily Wethington (New Palestine, Ind.) each went 2-for-3 in the game for Ohio, and accounted for four of the Bobcats' eight hits in the game. The Bobcats put two runners on in the seventh with one out, but could not convert. Runners were left on first and second when the final out was recorded. Ohio (12-16, 1-3 MAC) left nine runners on base in the game including five in scoring position. The Bobcats loaded the bases with one out in the second inning, but a Paige Kemezis (Hackensack, N.J.) ground out ended the threat.


Toledo Game Notes
After a brief six-game homestand the University of Toledo softball team - who began the season with 21-straight road games - will commence yet another long road stretch of ten games. The first set of away contests begins with a mid-week doubleheader at Youngstown State, followed by a pair of MAC matchups at Central and Eastern Michigan this weekend. The Rockets (5-22, 1-3 MAC) opened conference play at home this past weekend with a 1-3 mark against Buffalo and Kent State. After beginning the weekend with a 6-2 win over Buffalo in Game One of a doubleheader, the Rockets couldn't complete a comeback bid in Game Two's 4-5 loss. Against Kent State, the Rockets were unable to stall the potent Golden Flash offense and dropped a pair of high-scoring affairs. Despite the early conference setbacks, several Rockets have been picking up steam at the plate, led by the recent play of sophomore DP Erinn Wright . Over the course of a week, Wright improved her batting average by nearly .100 points, and has collected hits in eight of her last 10 games. Sophomore RF Lindsey Tobias also continues to be one of the Rockets' most consistent hitters. She now leads Toledo in nearly every offensive category, including average (.346), home runs (5) and RBI (16). 

 Western Michigan

Western Michigan Game Notes
The Western Michigan softball team traveled to Oakland University for a mid-week doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon and came away with a split against the Golden Grizzlies. WMU scored a season-high 13 runs in the opener as Courtney Rousseau belted her first home run of the season en route to a career high six RBIs. The Broncos scored early as Lexi Jager opened things with an infield single and later scored when Gracie Barstad reached on an error at first base. It was one of a career high four hits for Jager as the senior was 4-for-4 with three runs scored in the first game. WMU opened the game up in the top of the third with six runs on six hits all coming with two outs in the inning. Jager collected her second infield single and Tara Buchanan followed with a walk on four-straight pitches. Barstad singled to first base, scoring Jager from second base. Myranda McDonald singled through the left side to set things up for Rousseau. Western Michigan scored two runs off the bat of Tara Buchanan in the top of the first inning and tacked on another in the second to defeat Notre Dame, 3-2, at Melissa Cook Stadium on Tuesday evening. The win, WMU's first over the Irish since 2004, snaps the fifth longest home win streak in the country at 21 games. Gracie Barstad enters this week as the team's leader in batting average (.281), hits (18) and double (4). She has started 20 of 22 games at first base, starting once at third base and once more as the designated player. Kayla Houston and Meredith Whitney have taken on the bulk of the pitching duties through WMU's first 22 games. Houston has amassed 77.0 innings and 75 strikeouts. Opposing batters are managing just a .193 average against Whitney during her 40.1 innings in the circle.