The Ohio softball team came into their second home series of the season against Canisius looking to end a five-game losing streak and notch its first home victory of the current campaign.
After winning both games of the doubleheader by scores of 4-0 and 7-6, the Bobcats are ready to tackle Mid-American conference play.
The Ohio Bobcats (15-10) will be hoping to get off to a strong start in MAC play when they welcome the Kent State Golden Flashes (9-11) to the Ohio Softball Field on Friday for a doubleheader that will begin at 1 p.m.
Coming into the doubleheader with their rivals, the Bobcats have lost seven of their past 10 games. Despite their recent struggles, senior catcher Lauren Gellerman is not the least bit concerned.
“It’s a little frustrating not playing at our best,” she said. “We just won our last two games, which is what we needed to do to end non-conference play.”
After the Friday doubleheader, the Bobcats will go on the road for six straight conference games. Gellerman believes that a strong start is needed if the team wants to reach their goals.
“It’s really important (to get off to a strong start in conference play) because anything can happen,” she said. “We want to get a good seed entering the MAC Tournament. It’s good to start off strong and play well.”
Ohio will need to continue to pitch well if they want to earn a sweep of the doubleheader. Gellerman has confidence in probable starters Lauren McClary and Savannah Jo Dorsey.
“I have high expectations for both of them,” she said. “They have been performing really well. If they are on and we play well offensively, we have a good chance to sweep them.”
Unlike Ohio, the Golden Flashes are playing their best softball of the season. They have won six of their last nine games, including a 5-3 win against Delaware State on March 10 and a 4-3 road win against Radford last Saturday.
Ohio must account for three Golden Flash players. Pitcher Emma Johnson, outfielder Kim Kirkpatrick and outfielder Dani Ramos. Johnson is 7-6 with a 1.87 earned run average. She also has 82 strikeouts in 78.2 innings pitched. Kirkpatrick and Ramos both have a .317 batting average and 19 hits apiece. Kirkpatrick has gone deep twice, while Ramos has three runs batted in.
Gellerman gave her thoughts on what the Bobcats need to do to sweep their MAC home opener.
“We need to play strong defense, get a bunch of hits and score some runs,” she said. “It makes it easier for the pitchers to do their job if the offense is doing what it’s supposed to do.”