OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University softball team looks to qualify for the Mid-American Conference Tournament during the final weekend of the regular season. The RedHawks host Eastern Michigan on Friday for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Miami then welcomes Central Michigan to Oxford for single games on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
PARKING NOTE FOR SATURDAY: Due to multiple athletic events occurring around Yager Stadium and Miami softball, please take note of the following parking information. Fans are reminded to park in the West Millett Lot for Saturday’s softball game. West Millett Lot can be accessed only through Gate 1 located off of East Sycamore Street. Weeb Ewbank Hill will be closed to vehicular traffic from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
HONORING THE SENIORS: Prior to Sunday’s game against the Chippewas, Miami will hold its annual Senior Day ceremony. Kristy Arbour, Brandi Hernandez, Allie Larrabee, Kayla Ledbetter and Paige Myers will be honored for their contributions the past four years. As a class they have been apart of 113 wins, and helped lead the ‘Hawks to a 2012 MAC Tournament Championship and a victory in the NCAA Tournament over fifth-ranked Tennessee.
QUALIFYING FOR THE MAC TOURNAMENT: Miami needs a good weekend to get into the MAC Tournament. The RedHawks are still very much alive for a bid into the eight team event, with six teams bunched up looking for the final three spots. Thanks to the harsh winter and several cancellations, teams will be ending the regular season having played different amounts of games. The eight qualifying teams for the MAC Tournament will be determined based on winning percentage, with ties decided on head-to-head, followed by the better record against the highest seeds. Here is how the MAC shapes up going into the weekend:
|1. Ball State||9-3||.750|
|2. Kent State||10-4||.714|
|6. Central Michigan||9-7||.562|
|8. Northern Illinois||8-10||.444|
|9. Bowling Green||7-11||.388|
|10. Western Michigan||7-11||.388|
|12. Eastern Michigan||3-13||.187|
REDHAWKS IN TOP FIVE NATIONALLY: In the latest national statistic release (released on Monday), several Miami players found themselves ranked among the top five in the country in certain statistical categories. Senior second baseman Kristy Arbour is the second-hardest player in the nation to strike out. She has struck out only twice this season, an average of once ever 67.5 at-bats. Arbour is also second in the country in successful sacrifice hits per game at 0.40. Right behind her in that category is junior third baseman Remy Edwards, who is third in the country at 0.37 sacrifice hits per game. Finally, junior outfielder Bree Lipscomb ranks fourth in the country at 0.42 doubles per game.
ABOUT EASTERN MICHIGAN: Eastern Michigan is 12-34 overall and 3-13 in the MAC. The Eagles have won three of their past five league games after starting conference play 0-11. In their last two contests, they were swept in a non-conference doubleheader by IPFW on Tuesday. EMU is led offensively by sophomore infielder Abby Davidson. She is hitting .287 with one home run and 11 RBI. Its top pitcher is junior Lindsay Rich. She is 5-14 with a 4.74 ERA in 35 appearances (15 starts).
SERIES WITH EASTERN MICHIGAN: Eastern Michigan leads the all-time series with Miami, 43-36. The Eagles swept a doubleheader in Ypsilanti last season on April 26. EMU won the opener, 8-4. It came back with a 4-2 victory in the nightcap.
ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Central Michigan is 31-17 overall and 9-7 in the MAC. Last weekend, the Chippewas swept a doubleheader against Bowling Green on Friday, but dropped two games to Toledo over the weekend. CMU is led offensively by junior third baseman Trista Cox. She is hitting .340 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI. Its top pitcher is freshman Rachael Knapp. She is 12-3 with a 2.04 ERA in 23 appearances (11 starts).
SERIES WITH CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Central Michigan holds a 63-28 lead in the all-time series with Miami. The teams split a two-game series in Mt. Pleasant last season. On April 27, the Chippewas earned a 4-2 win. The next day, Jenna Modic threw a two-hit shutout as the RedHawks came back for a 2-0 victory.
UP NEXT FOR MIAMI: The RedHawks season will continue if they qualify for the 2014 MAC Tournament. The double-elimination event begins on Wednesday at Firestone Stadium in Akron. The winner of the MAC Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.