MAC Softball Weekly Preview

Updated 3/26/2013


MacKenzie Conrad got her first career start in the circle but the Akron offense struggled to provide help as the Zips fell to St. John’s (N.Y.) 6-0 in the Capital Invitational finale Sunday morning.  Conrad (0-1) was handed her first decision of the season in the complete game effort, striking out three but givingi up a three-run home run in the top of the seventh that allowed St. John’s to stay on top.  UA (11-12) is slated to open Mid-American Conference play this weekend with a doubleheader at Buffalo on Friday beginning at 3:00 p.m., followed by single games at Kent State on Saturday (2:00 p.m.) and Sunday (1:00 p.m.).
Ball State
The Cardinals won the only game they completed in the three-day tournament, scoring a 15-5 victory over Marist Friday morning.  Ball State and the hosts Rams had started their Friday afternoon game, but the snow started to fall heavily in the top of the third inning and forced the postponement and eventual cancellation of the game.  The Ball State softball team now turns its attention to league play next weekend, when it is scheduled to play a Friday doubleheader at Bowling Green (1 p.m.) and single games at Toledo Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).
Bowling Green
The Bowling Green State University softball team (12-7) swept Wright State Friday evening, beating the Raiders by a score of 2-0 and 2-1 to push the Falcons’ winning streak to four games.  The Falcons put their four-game winning streak on the line against Michigan on Wednesday, March 27, taking on the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.  The Mid-American Conference announced Monday afternoon that sophomore Paris Imholz was once again named the MAC East Pitcher Of The Week. Imholz recorded two wins this past weekend against Wright State.  Imholz has earned an overall record of 9-1 this season, appearing in 18 games with eight starts. She leads the Falcons with 76.1 innings pitched this season, allowing just 14 earned runs over that span for a 1.28 ERA. Imholz has helped Bowling Green to a 12-7 overall record this season, giving the Falcons a .631 winning percentage, the best in the MAC.
The University at Buffalo softball team will have to wait a little bit longer for the its home opener to the 2013 season as Wednesday’s game against Canisius has been postponed due to unplayable field conditions.  The game will be made up on April 23 at 4:00 pm.  The Bulls will look to begin conference play this weekend when they host Akron for a doubleheader on Friday afternoon beginning at 1:00 pm.
Central Michigan
Central Michigan swept day two of the Hoosier Classic with victories over Michigan State and Wright State.  Central Michigan’s final game of the Hoosier Classic against Wright State, scheduled for March 17, was cancelled due to cold temps and snow. The Chippewas will be back in action on March 27 for a double header at IPFW. Central Michigan will be looking for redemption after dropping an extra innings contest to the Mastodons earlier this season at the USF Under Armour Tournament, 10-6.
Eastern Michigan
The Eastern Michigan University softball team completed its first 20 games of the season, compiling an 8-12 record before returning home to take on a pair of in-state rivals at Varsity Field this week.  First, EMU will welcome former EMU head coach, Connie Miner, who is now the head coach at Oakland University back to Ypsilanti for a twinbill Wednesday, March 27.  Next, the Eagles will begin the grueling 22-game Mid-American Conference schedule Saturday, March 30, when Central Michigan University makes the 135-mile trek from Mount Pleasant to faceoff with the Green and White. Eastern will complete the two game set with the Chippewas Sunday, March 31, with a 1 p.m. tilt at Varsity Field.
Kent State
Kent State (9-11) opens Mid-American Conference play at home with weekend series against East Division rivals Ohio and Akron. Winter weather has not been a friend to the Golden Flashes, who have had six games canceled due to unplayable field conditions in the past week. The home opener at the Diamond at Dix against Youngstown State was postponed last Tuesday, Sunday’s doubleheader at the Radford Invitational was canceled, and Tuesday’s doubleheader at Virginia has been canceled.
Due to inclement weather in the Oxford area, Tuesday’s softball doubleheader against Morehead State has been postponed. The doubleheader will be made up on Tuesday, Apr. 9 with the first game beginning at 3 p.m.  The Miami University softball team returns to action on Friday when it travels to Toledo for a doubleheader to begin Mid-American Conference play. The first game will begin at 1 p.m.
Northern Illinois
Due to inclement weather in the DeKalb area, the Northern Illinois University softball team’s home opener with Loyola, originally scheduled for Mar. 27, has been moved to a doubleheader April 10 starting at 2 p.m. at Mary M. Bell Field.  The teams will play a doubleheader with the first game starting at 2 p.m. and the second game to follow.  The Huskies return to the diamond Mar. 29 when NIU welcomes Western Michigan to DeKalb for the home and Mid-American Conference opener. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. Central Time. 
Ohio snapped a five-game losing streak by sweeping Canisius in a doubleheader on Saturday … The Bobcats hit .313 as a team on Saturday, collecting 15 hits in 48 at bats … Five Bobcats recorded multiple hits on Saturday afternoon, with four Ohio student-athletes hitting home runs … Sophomore pitcher Lauren McClary recorded her fourth complete game of the season and third shutout of the year in Ohio’s 4-0 win over Canisius in game one … Ohio opens Mid-American Conference play at Kent State on March 29.
Toledo (5-15) travels to Youngstown State (3-11) for a pair of non-conference games on Wednesday, March 27 at McCune Park. First pitch in the opening contest is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. with the nightcap slated for a 5:00 p.m. start. UT took both games last season in the Glass City and leads the all-time series 19-16.  The Midnight Blue & Gold are coming off a 10-day break and seek to put an end to their eight-game losing streak tomorrow. UT recorded its last victory back on March 6 with a 7-3 triumph over Maine in Clearwater, FL.  Following Wednesday’s twinbill, UT is scheduled to host Ball State on Friday for the home opener at Scott Park and first MAC contest of the season.
Western Michigan
The 2013 home opener against Notre Dame has been postponed due to poor weather conditions scheduled to be in the area on Wednesday, March 27.  A make up date for the game is yet to be determined.  WMU’s new home opener is not scheduled until a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan on Friday, April 12.   The Broncos open the 2013 Mid-American Conference schedule this weekend when they travel to Northern Illinois for games on March 29-30, at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET, respectively.  WMU closed out the 2012 MAC season at home against the Huskies, sweeping NIU, 5-3 and 4-2.