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Amanda Dalton prepares for a pitch as her teammates watch on in the Bobcats’ game against Marshall on Sept. 26. The Bobcats won 5-0 at the Ohio University Women’s Softball Complex. 

Softball: Ohio University schedule released for 2016 season

Ohio softball coach Jodi Hermanek announces the Bobcats 2016 schedule. 

Ohio softball released its 2016 schedule Tuesday, via coach Jodi Hermanek.

The Bobcats face a daunting non-conference schedule that includes three teams from the ACC, two teams from the SEC, two from the Big 10 and one from the Big 12. Five of those teams that Ohio will play went to last year's NCAA Tournament and the Bobcats have two huge home doubleheaders against Kentucky and Ohio State on March 29 and April 19, respectively. 

“We are excited to travel to some new sites, Texas Tech and NC State, for example, and compete against teams outside of our region, and teams who competed in the 2015 Regional and Super Regional tournaments,” Hermanek said. “I look forward to seeing some of these teams in post-season play in 2016.”

Another big game is Ohio's season opener against Longwood on Feb. 19, in the South Carolina Classic. The series on March 25 against Western Michigan is the Bobcats' conference season opener, while a March 16 game against Wright State will serve as their home opener.

After that series with the Broncos, and the doubleheader against Kentucky, Ohio play reigning Mid-American Conference champion Ball State in Muncie, Indiana on April 1 and 2. 

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Before the MAC season starts, the Bobcats will participate in four tournaments before facing the Broncos and play team's like McNeese State, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, all of which sit within the top 50 teams in the country. 

But with redshirt junior ace Savannah Jo Dorsey and junior catcher Madison Claytor back to lead the team's defense and a solid group of underclassman providing the bats, the Bobcats look to be in good position this season.

News of Dorsey coming back from injury will be especially welcome to Ohio fans, as her absence from the team last year forced then-freshman Mikayla Cooper and others into the circle when the only other established pitcher was then-senior Lauren McClary. 

Now that McClary is gone, Dorsey will once again be expected to carry the team through many of these games with freshmen Morgan Geno, Jamie Wren and transfer sophomore Danielle Stiene there to relief. 

After last season's underwhelming 15-32 record, in which the Bobcats lost more than they won at Ohio Softball Field, Bobcat fans will be in search of new hope this season. 

"Our motto is “PTJ” – Play Through June – because we have the mindset, locker room talk, and the preparation that takes us not just to the MAC Championship tournament, but to Regionals and Super Regionals,” Hermanek said. “We aspire to be a team who is winning games in June on the biggest stage that there is in our sport."

@kellenbecoats

kb749012@ohio.edu

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