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'Hawks to host MAC East opponents

By Jordan Rinard
On April 18, 2014

After stumbling last weekend, the Miami University softball team hosts Mid-American Conference opponents Ohio University and the University of Akron. The Bobcats and Zips are first and third in the East Division, respectively. The RedHawks (17-20, 5-5 MAC) are 2-0 on the season against MAC teams with winning records (a doubleheader against Kent State University).

"We're focusing on the process," head coach Clarisa Crowell said.

"We need to continue to play and get better and not worry about the outcomes. We just need to play hard, have energy and have fun. We need to have good at-bats from our offense, and take it one pitch at a time and one play at a time on defense. There were some points where we got too worried about making plays instead of taking it one play at a time. As we told the girls, we're taking it brick by brick. There are 14 bricks in our clubhouse, one for each conference opponent and we need to take things one game at a time."

Ohio (22-18, 7-3 MAC) has lost four of its last five games, suffering defeats against Central Michigan University, the University at Buffalo and Ohio State University (twice). The Bobcat offense is led by senior infielder Alexandria Basquez, who leads the team with 35 RBIs to go with her .523 slugging percentage. Sophomore pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey has been crucial to the team's success as well, with a 2.46 ERA and 183 strikeouts. The team has a 4-8 record of on the road this season.

Prior to its sweep of the University of Toledo, Akron (19-10, 5-3 MAC) had dropped four of six games, getting swept by Kent State and falling to Youngstown State University and Bowling Green State University. Sophomore third baseman Shawna Mailloux has been doing it all for the Zips offensively as she leads the team with a .371 batting average, 17 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Sophomore pitcher Erin Seiler has been effective on the mound with a 2.10 ERA, a 12-4 record, 14 complete games and over six strikeouts per game.

Miami is 3-1 this season against MAC East teams. Offensively for the 'Hawks, senior catcher Kayla Ledbetter leads the team with a .329 batting average and a .418 on-base percentage while junior outfielder Bree Lipscomb has a team-high eight home runs and 34 RBIs. The pitching staff has been inconsistent this season with an ERA of 3.61 to go with an opponent batting average of .284 and 5.11 strikeouts per game. However, the RedHawks defense has been solid with a .962 fielding percentage and only committing 43 fielding errors so far this season.

"We're working on getting better," junior outfielder Taylor Shuey said. "We're working on getting our defense ready to go and getting hits. Our team is ready to do whatever it takes and we're looking for a sweep against our rivals."

Miami takes on Ohio in a doubleheader 1 p.m. Friday and face Akron 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

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