OXFORD, Ohio - With only one week until the Miami University softball team begins Mid-American Conference play, the RedHawks look to tune-up with four non-conference contests. First Miami hosts Wright State on Thursday for a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. The RedHawks then travel to suburban Pittsburgh to take part in the RMU Colonial Classic on Saturday. Miami will face Siena at 1 p.m. and the host, Robert Morris, at 3 p.m.
IMPROVEMENTS FROM LAST YEAR SHOWING: As the RedHawks continue to jell as a team, they are seeing improved results in both their pitching and hitting over last year. Miami has scored 84 runs this season, an average of 4.00 per game. In 2013, the ‘Hawks finished with 199 runs, an average of 3.69 per game. This season, Miami has a team ERA of 3.63 in 139.0 innings pitched, a significant improvement over last season’s team ERA of 4.29 in 362.1 innings pitched.
ABOUT WRIGHT STATE: Wright State is 2-16 on the season. The Raiders have dropped their last four games, including games against Ohio, Toledo and Indiana last weekend. WSU has been led offensively by junior outfielder Jess Gorman. She is hitting .288 with two home runs and five RBI. Pitching has been a struggle for the Raiders. Their most often used pitcher is sophomore Montana Wear. She is 1-10 with a 5.56 ERA in 14 appearances (nine starts).
SERIES WITH WRIGHT STATE: Miami holds a 40-12-1 lead in the all-time series with Wright State. The Raiders have won three straight games against the RedHawks however. That includes a doubleheader sweep in Dayton last season on April 30. WSU won a pair of pitcher’s duels, taking the opener 2-1 and following it up with a 3-2 victory in the nightcap.
ABOUT SIENA: Siena is 6-10 on the season. The Saints have returned from spending the past week in Florida, where they went 5-7 at the Rebel Spring Games. In their last games on Saturday, they beat Army, 11-3, before falling to South Dakota, 7-0. Siena has been led offensively by junior infielder Stephanie Viggiano. She is hitting .396 with five RBI. Its top pitcher has been senior Jessika-Jo Sandrini. She is 4-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 10 appearances (eight starts).
SERIES WITH SIENA: This is the first meeting between Miami and Siena.
ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS: Robert Morris is 14-10 on the season. The Colonials went 2-4 at the Delaware Invitational last weekend. They earned victories over Delaware and Villanova, while they dropped games against the Wildcats, Cornell and two to St. John’s. RMU has been led offensively by junior outfielder Tess Apke. She is hitting .338 with four home runs and 13 RBI. It has a very strong pitcher in junior Nicole Sleith. She is 9-3 with a 0.93 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts). She threw an eight-inning no-hitter in leading the Colonials to a 1-0 victory over Villanova in her last start.
SERIES WITH ROBERT MORRIS: Miami has won both meetings all-time with Robert Morris. The teams last met on March 10, 2010 in Oxford at the Miami Invitational. The RedHawks struck for six runs in the first four innings as they took a 6-1 victory.
UP NEXT FOR MIAMI: The RedHawks begin Mid-American Conference play next weekend. But first they take on trip to Marshall Wednesday, March for a single game at 4 p.m. The RedHawks then open the conference at preseason MAC East favorite Kent State Friday, March 28 with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Miami follows with single games against Buffalo on Saturday, March 29 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 30 at 1 p.m.