This Weekend in MAC Softball

Updated 4/1/2011

Friday, April 1 Saturday, April 2 Sunday, April 3
EMU at NIU, 1 p.m. (DH)
CMU at WMU, 1 p.m. (DH)
Miami at Akron, 1 p.m. (DH)
Buffalo at Toledo, 1 p.m. (DH)
BSU at Ohio, 1 p.m. (DH)
KSU at BGSU, 1 p.m. (DH)
BSU at Akron, 2 p.m.
Buffalo at BGSU, 2 p.m.
EMU at WMU, 2 p.m.
Miami at Ohio, 2 p.m.
KSU at Toledo, 2 p.m.
CMU at NIU, 2 p.m.
BSU at Akron, 1 p.m.
Buffalo at BGSU, 1 p.m.
EMU at WMU, 1 p.m.

Miami at Ohio, 1 p.m.
KSU at Toledo, 1 p.m.
CMU at NIU, 1 p.m.

Teams Notes

Akron Game Notes
The University of Akron softball team will open home action with the first Mid-American Conference games of the season this weekend as they welcome Miami and Ball State to Lee Jackson Softball Field. Friday, April 1 will see a doubleheader with Miami beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Akron will then play Ball State on Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, April 3 at 1 p.m. Heading into the weekend, the Zips lead the league in slugging percentage (.468) and stand second in batting average (.318) and home runs (17). Individually, Hegedus is tied for the most home runs with seven on the season, while Earley and junior Alex Helfrich share first place with 14 stolen bases apiece. Excelling in multiple categories, Feltes ranks third in batting average (.437), fourth in total bases (46), fifth in on-base percentage (.481), and sixth in both hits (31) and slugging percentage (.648). 

Ball State

Ball State Game Notes
Ball State, the defending MAC Tournament champion, is 19-13 overall and will play a doubleheader at Ohio on Friday to open MAC play before heading to Akron. Alicia Barkley is their leading hitter with a .409 average and 45 hits. She is also first on the club with 14 stolen bases. On the mound, Audra Sanders has started 17 games and holds a record of 11-7 with a 2.80 ERA, 11 complete games and two shutouts. Second on the staff with 55.1 IP, Audrey Workman is 6-5 in 14 appearances with an ERA of 4.81.

Bowling Green

Bowling Green Game Notes
The University of Michigan used a three-run fifth inning to come-from-behind for a 4-2 win in upstart Bowling Green's upset bid Wednesday afternoon. In a game that looked like a mismatch on paper, the Falcons led for much of the contest and battled the Wolverines throughout. Michigan came into the game at 31-2 on the year and ranked No. 3 in the country, while BGSU was 4-12 entering the contest. Bowling Green's .971 fielding percentage is on pace to be the best single-season in program history. The Falcons fielded at a .940 clip a year ago and set the team record with a .966 fielding percentage during the 2005 season. Sophomore infielder Andrea Arney has begun to heat up at the plate. She is 4-for-6 with five runs scored in the past two games and is batting .500 in the last five contests (6-for-12). Arney had just six hits in the team's first 11 games total but has raised her average to .300 on the season. Senior pitchers Melissa Bott and Zada Lines have both thrown in 13 of the team's 16 games this year. Freshman Erin Greenwalt has been just about as reliable, hitting the mound 11 times on the season.


Buffalo Game Notes
The University at Buffalo softball team heads to Northwest Ohio for it's first four Mid-American Conference games this weekend as it will play a doubleheader on Friday at Toledo and then play two single games this weekend at Bowling Green. UB enters MAC play with a 5-19 record, but has not played a game since March 20, due to weather in the Northeast. UB got a boost off the bench in it last weekend from freshman Kelli Gleiser, who leads the team in hitting at .429. Sophomore Jessica Griffin leads the squad with 11 runs batted in and 16 hits. On the mound, junior Holly Johnson has recorded four of UB's five wins this season.
 Central Michigan

Central Michigan Game Notes
CMU boasts the best pitching staff in the Mid-American Conference, sporting a team ERA of just 1.79. The Maroon and Gold lead the league in runs allowed (47) and earned runs (37) and have pitched the most shutouts (8). Sophomore Kara Dornbos has picked up where she left off from her All-Freshman season a year ago, leading the conference in ERA (1.16) and earned runs (8). Freshman Chelsea Sundberg continued the stellar start to her collegiate career by picking up her fourth win of the season in complete-game fashion versus Wright State on March 19. The freshman threw seven innings, giving up just two hits after giving up two early runs in the first. Sundberg is 4-1 on the season with a 3.03 ERA. Junior Molly Coldren tied former Chippewas Christina Novak 's record of 19 career home runs with a three-run blast versus South Florida on Mar. 12. With her next home run, she will move into sole possession of first place in program history. She also owns the school record for home runs in a season with 11 last season.

 Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan Game Notes
The Eastern Michigan University softball team will kick off Mid-American Conference play this weekend when they travel to DeKalb, Ill. for a doubleheader with the Huskies and to Kalamazoo, Mich. for single games on Saturday and Sunday to tangle with the Broncos. EMU ranks in the top-five of several statistical catagories in the Mid-American Conference. As a team, the Eagles have the highest winning percentage in the MAC (.688). and are third in pitching (2.62 ERA). Individually, sophomore hurler Jenna Ignowski (Niles, Mich.-Niles) and senior shortstop Stacie Skodinski rank in a slew of catagories. Ignowski is second in the MAC in ERA (1.18), has the fourth best mark in wins (seven) and is tied for third in complete game shutouts with two. Her 45 strikeouts is tenth best in the MAC, averaging 6.65 a game. She has held her opponents to a meager .199 batting average, representing the fourth best mark in the conference. Skodinski leads all hitters in the MAC with a .452 batting average, and is tied for third in home runs with five. Her 15 RBI tie her for eighth, and is second in the conference in on-base percentage (.538). The senior also boasts the best slugging percentage in the MAC at .905, nearly .200 more than the second place mark. (All stats are current as of March 25).

Kent State

Kent State Game Notes
Kent State opens Mid-American Conference play this weekend with a doubleheader at Bowling Green Friday, followed by single games Saturday and Sunday at Toledo. The Golden Flashes have won MAC regular season titles in three of the last four seasons and have captured MAC East crowns in each of the previous five seasons. During that five-year run, KSU has gone 83-21 in conference games. Offensively, the Golden Flashes are off to their best start in 20 years. KSU is hitting .293 as a team with 59 extra base hits in 25 games. Despite a 9-16 record, KSU has scored the same number of runs as their opponents this season (138-138). In Kent State's 11 games during the month of March, senior Beth Cinadr is hitting .512 (21-for-41) with seven doubles and 11 runs batted in. Four of those doubles came at the South Florida Invitational, including two in a 4-1 win over Rutgers. Cinadr went 3-for-3 against the Scarlet Knights with an RBI.


Miami Game Notes
Miami begins its quest for a Mid-American Conference Championship with the beginning of league play this weekend. First up is a trip to Akron to take on the Zips in a doubleheader Friday that begins at 1 p.m. The RedHawks will then move on to Athens to face the rival Ohio Bobcats in single games on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. 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 last week, Miami pitchers have won the award in all five weeks that they have played games. Currently Simpson is 12-6 with a 1.86 ERA. Simpson leads the MAC in wins, strikeouts (139), innings pitched (120.2), shutouts (6) and complete games (15). Junior Jessica Simpson is now up to 55 career victories in a Miami uniform. She is only eight wins away from tying the RedHawk career record of 63 victories held by Jackie Poggendorf (2002-05).

 Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois Game Notes
Freshman Stephanie Tofft is one of six Huskies that will be making her MAC debut this week and she's a big reason for the Huskies' success offensively of late. The native of Lincoln, Calif. leads the team in eight categories including batting average (.441), RBIs (20) and hits (30). She earned MAC Player of the Week honors earlier this season and is riding a 12-game hitting streak. Another pair of young players that have contributed early this season are sophomore Alexandra Wulbecker (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates) and Amanda Sheppard (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest). They are second and third on the team in batting with Wulbecker averaging .346 and Sheppard hitting .333. Wulbecker is second on the team in RBIs with 13, while Sheppard is second on the squad with seven doubles.


Ohio Game Notes
Ohio softball begins Mid-American Conference (MAC) play Friday with a home doubleheader against the West Division's preseason favorite Ball State. Ohio is coming off a 10-game road trip that leaves the `Cats with an 11-13 record heading into conference play. The Bobcats, picked second in the MAC East Division, are led by senior Emily Wethington (New Palestine, Ind.) who is batting .367, with three homers, and a .448 on base percentage. Also, Wethington is dominating the circle with a team-low 2.96 ERA in 85 innings pitched, and completed a perfect game against Morehead State earlier this season. Seniors Melissa Bonner (Kings Mills, Ohio), Jordan Paden (Walla Walla, Wash.) and Paige Kemezis (Hackensack, N.J.) also lead the Ohio attack, batting over .300 with a combined 69 total bases for the season.


Toledo Game Notes
After 21 consecutive road games to begin the season, the University of Toledo softball team will finally open their home schedule with six games this week. The Rockets (4-17) will host Cleveland State a home-opening doubleheader on Wednesday before welcoming MAC opponents Buffalo and Kent State over the weekend. This past weekend, the Rockets finished 1-3 at the Miami Invitational, highlighted by a big 13-0 win over Marshall and a nailbiting 1-0 loss to the Big 10's Purdue. Freshman hurler Jen Solanics continued her stellar performance in the circle as of late, tossing two complete games and allowing just one earned run. Over her last six appearances, Solanics holds a sparkling 1.97 ERA, surrendering just six earned runs in 21.1 innings pitched while punching out eight and holding opposing hitters to a .238 clip.

 Western Michigan

Western Michigan Game Notes
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.