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Taylor Saxton and the Ohio dugout cheer on their teammates during Ohio's against Akron on April 13.

Softball: Grading the Bobcats as the stretch run approaches

As Ohio closes in on the end of the season, it is riding high. Fourteen games into conference play, the Bobcats only have one loss. They have three series sweeps and one midweek doubleheader sweep. All facets of the game seem to be clicking.  With that, The Post beat writers hand out grades of the team's performance so far. All stats are as of April 17.

Hitting: A-

In the Bobcats’ last five games, they have had 55 hits. Needless to say, the team can hit the ball. One-and-two hole hitters Mikayla Cooper and Alex Day have been a big factor in Ohio’s offensive success. With a combined 21 home runs, the two infielders have set the tone for the Bobcats and have allowed the confidence of other players to exponentiate.

As a team, Ohio holds a .284 batting average through 38 total games. While that’s good for only sixth in the Mid-American Conference, the Bobcats are second in slugging percentage (.471), fourth in on-base percentage (.368), third in RBIs (183) and second in home runs (40).

With the regular season dwindling to an end, Ohio can further push its offensive power on the conference’s less talented teams such as Miami (6-8 MAC) and Buffalo (6-8 MAC) as it prepares for the MAC Tournament and potentially the NCAA Tournament.

Pitching: B+

Senior Danielle Stiene has won the past three Mid-American Conference East Pitcher of the Week. In the last week, Stiene threw three complete games, two of them being shutouts.

Stiene has been the workhorse for Ohio all season, something she said that she wanted to do prior to the season. She has thrown 132 innings, the most on the team by 64 innings. 

Following her is freshman Madi McCrady. McCrady began the season strongly, but has fallen off of late. She is pitching to a 4.32 ERA on the season. As the Bobcats’ No. 2, McCrady has been counted on for strong innings, with a 7.31 strikeout per seven innings ratio.

Ohio’s other pitchers are Kendall Meeks and Desirae Villanueva. The two have provided solid innings for the Bobcats.

Meeks has become the de facto closer, as she has picked up the only three saves Ohio has on the season. It fits her well, as she has said she prefers closing. 

“I’m not a fan of being a starter,” she said. 

The Bobcat pitching staff have a 3.38 ERA on the season and with the strong offense, has been enough for the Bobcats so far. 

Defense: B-

Ohio has not needed its defense much due to all the strikeouts the pitching staff has thrown. The team has a fielding percentage of .951, which is ninth in the conference and has been slightly better since conference play began.

Katie Yun, the Bobcats' shortstop, has the most errors on the team with 15. Her partner up the middle, Taylor Saxton, has a fielding percentage of .969 while turning five double plays.

Ohio has made multiple errors in 15 games and only six ended in losses. 

In close games, a single error could decide the game. But with the offense scoring more than five runs every game and the pitching working around any trouble, it hasn’t mattered.

Opponents have only attempted to steal 30 bases on the Bobcats. Natalie Alvarez has thrown out five. The ability to throw out runners has limited opponents to only 12 stolen base attempts in conference play.





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