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Miami Softball earns the No. 1 seed and faces Toledo in MAC tournament

“It’s just really fun being able to do it with them and then being able to celebrate each other,” Spaid said.
“It’s just really fun being able to do it with them and then being able to celebrate each other,” Spaid said.

The 2024 softball MAC championship is here, and the Miami University RedHawks claim the No. 1 seed. The RedHawks were 45-7 (26-1 in conference play) in the regular season and will face the No. 4 University of Toledo Rockets (26-21, 15-10 in MAC play) today at noon at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. 

The RedHawks finished the regular season ranked No. 24 in the nation in an ESPN poll and were home to the nation’s leading scorers: senior infielder Karli Spaid (34) and junior outfielder Jenna Golembiewski (28). 

Under head coach Kirin Kumar, Miami has gone undefeated in the conference postseason, winning six straight MAC postseason games and claiming the championship in 2022 and 2023. 

A major role in the team’s success has been the pitching. The RedHawks can score, but without solid pitchers like Madilyn Reeves, the MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year, games would still slip from their grasps.

“I think that’s the key,” Kumar said. “We asked them [to] just keep us in games. When they are pitching like they’re doing, they’re hitting their spots, and it makes it even easier.”

Miami set program and conference records this season with 23-straight wins from March 9 to April 21. The 45-7 record established the best single-season record in program history, and its 26-1 conference record set the best single-season winning percentage in MAC history. 

The RedHawks also lead the nation in homeruns (154) and slugging percentage (.757) and are the top-scoring team with an average of 9.37 runs per game. 

For Spaid, the ability to achieve these accomplishments as a team is more important than the accomplishments themselves.

“It’s just really fun being able to do it with them and then being able to celebrate each other,” Spaid said. “I feel like we do a very good job with that, like we are genuinely excited for each other”

Miami proved that it can not only dominate the MAC, but it can hold its own against nationally-ranked teams. In March, the RedHawks faced the Oklahoma University Sooners, currently ranked No. 2 in the nation, where they put up seven points in a 9-7 defeat. Despite the loss, Kumar sees this as a highlight of the season.

“Oklahoma is the top,” Kumar said. “When you play like that against them, then if you do that every time, who’s gonna beat you?”

The RedHawks last played Toledo in a doubleheader at the end of April, where they swept the Rockets 8-0 and 10-4. In the first game, Reeves allowed three hits in five innings, Spaid tied the career RBI record in the MAC with 246 and Golembiewski set the new single season RBI record in the MAC with 74. 

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The tournament started yesterday with three games. The Rockets defeated the No. 5 Central Michigan University Chippewas 6-3, the No. 6 Ball State University Cardinals swept the No. 3 Western Michigan University Broncos 6-0 and the Chippewas ended the Broncos’ postseason 4-3. 

The RedHawks play at noon, and with the success they’ve seen in the regular season, a third straight MAC championship may be in the cards.