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Savannah Jo Dorsey throws a pitch in Ohio's game against Marshall on Sept. 26. Dorsey has been named MAC East Division's Pitcher of the Week. 

Ohio heads to South Carolina again to play 5 games in 3 days

Ohio (3-1) will face La Salle (0-0), Furman (5-6) and Virginia Tech (1-8) this weekend, and it will play Virginia (3-7) twice.

Most Ohio University students are ready to be home for spring break.

Ohio isn't though, because it will be in South Carolina for the second-straight weekend to play five games in three days. The weekend will include double-headers Friday and Saturday.

Ohio (3-1) will face La Salle (0-0), Furman (5-6) and Virginia Tech (1-8) this weekend, and it will play Virginia (3-7) twice. Coach Jodi Hermanek said the early season non-conference schedule was thought out carefully.

"This year, the strength of schedule isn't as strong as we've had had in the past," Hermanek said. "After coming off a season like last year, we just need to come out here and collect wins and figure out how to get to our 'A-game' early."

Ohio finished its 2015 season at just 15-32. 

Hermanek said Ohio will play about one "really good team" per weekend because of the many double-headers on the schedule.

Last weekend, Ohio learned why the hard way, losing 8-0 to South Carolina (ranked 32 in RPI, which ranks teams based on record and strength of schedule) on the second part of a double-header despite having ace pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey on the mound. 

"It's a learning thing," Hermanek said. "That's the first time (Dorsey) has gotten hit like that in a long time, and she's got to learn from it, not just sit on it."

Hermanek said South Carolina is one of the better offensive teams Ohio will see early in the season, and a team she would expect to see in NCAA regionals in May.

"Our process of preparation this week is 'how are we going to beat teams like South Carolina,' " Hermanek said. "When we prepare for the teams like that, the rest of it is going to take its course."

For the pitchers like Jo Dorsey, Hermanek said that means being more careful with their spot selection in the strike zone because the hitters on better teams have less holes in their swing.

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Even though the schedule doesn't have as many major conference teams on it, there are still some teams like Virginia, and Hermanek thinks it will be helpful in the long run.

"Knowing what it's going to take to beat a team like (some of the teams on our schedule) and being able to already start preparing our minds and our physical game is definitely an advantage if we take advantage of it," Hermanek said.


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