Like the popular Willie Nelson song, the Bobcats are “On the road again” as they travel to two states this weekend and continue Mid-American Conference play.
Ohio (14-16, 3-3 MAC) visits Northern Illinois (16-17, 6-2 MAC) in the first of its three games. This is the first time the Bobcats have travelled since the 10 games they played in California during spring break.
Senior pitcher Emily Wethington said she does not see any major differences in the team’s play when they are away instead of at home.
“The only difference for us is the fact that we don’t have home-field advantage,” she said. “Other than that, we put our uniform on the same way, (and) we go out the same way ... (but) our mentality changes because we take it one game at a time.”
Wethington, the reigning Mid-American Conference East Division pitcher of the week, said the team uses long bus rides to bond as a family, as well as catch up on schoolwork they have missed.
“We have a lot of time on the bus – we have a long time to talk with each other,” she said. “So that makes us stronger, which carries us along into the game. It’s trusting your teammates and trusting yourself.”
The Bobcats will play a doubleheader today against the Huskies, who are coming off of a 7-0 loss to Illinois-Chicago. After the games today, Ohio will travel three hours to Western Michigan (4-4, 10-24 MAC) to play the Broncos in a two-day series in Kalamazoo. Wethington said the extra time between games with travel often helps her rest better before she pitches again.
“I know that I will have a lot of time to rest and relax and get my body ready for the game,” she said. “For me personally, I get more rest and sleep on the weekends when we travel than when I am at home.”
Hectic schedules and classes often make her feel more rushed when she has home games and practice, she said.
“I would normally be coming from class to get ready for a game or I would be coming from class to get ready for practice.
“But when I am on the bus, our weekend is just about the games.”