YPSILANTI, Mich. -The Miami University softball team has a chance to clinch a spot in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament this weekend when it takes a trip to the state of Michigan. The RedHawks will face Eastern Michigan in a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 1 p.m. Miami then heads to Central Michigan for single games on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. The Red and White will complete their month-long, 13-game road trip with a non-conference doubleheader at Wright State on Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m.
ALMOST IN THE TOURNAMENT: With a 10-4 MAC record, Miami is close to clinching a spot in the MAC Tournament. The RedHawks are five games in front of current ninth-place team Buffalo with eight games to play. If Miami were to win all four games this weekend, it would secure its spot in the tournament which takes place May 8-11 at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. Follow the Miami softball twitter handle @MiamiOH_SB over the weekend for the latest on the ‘Hawks MAC Tournament scenarios.
CURRENT TOURNAMENT STANDINGS: The top eight teams (regardless of division) make the upcoming double elimination MAC Tournament May 8-11 in Akron, Ohio. There is an added benefit to finishing as high as possible in the standings, as the top two seeds get a double-bye head start, while the third and fourth seeds get a single bye. Here are how the MAC teams stand if the tournament were to start today:
1. Ball State 13-1
2. Central Michigan 11-3
3. Miami 10-4
4. Kent State 11-5
5. Northern Illinois 7-7
6. Bowling Green 7-9
7. Ohio 6-8
8. Toledo 6-10
9. Buffalo 5-9
10. Western Michigan 4-8
11. Akron 4-10
12. Eastern Michigan 2-12
ABOUT EASTERN MICHIGAN: The Eagles are 12-29-1 overall and 2-12 in the MAC. They split a doubleheader with Toledo last Friday, before losing a pair of single games to Bowling Green over the weekend. Eastern Michigan is led offensively by junior infielder Amanda Stanton. She is hitting .325 with five home runs and 31 RBI. Its top pitcher is senior Jenna Ignowski. She is 7-7 with a 5.36 ERA in 28 appearances (16 starts).
SERIES WITH EASTERN MICHIGAN: EMU holds a 41-36 advantage in the all-time series with Miami. The RedHawks have won seven straight against the Eagles, including a pair of shutouts last season in Oxford. On April 21, the ‘Hawks came away with an 8-0 win in six innings. They improved upon that the next day, defeating Eastern Michigan, 10-0, in five innings. No Eagle runner reached third base in either game against the Miami defense.
ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN: The Chippewas are 25-14 overall and in second place in the MAC with an 11-3 record. Last weekend, CMU swept a doubleheader with Bowling Green on Friday, before splitting single games with Toledo on Saturday and Sunday. Central Michigan fell to ninth-ranked Michigan, 11-0, in five innings in non-conference action on Tuesday. The Chippewas are led offensively by senior outfielder Macy Merchant. She is batting .405 with seven RBI from the leadoff spot. They have a strong pitching staff led by senior Kara Dornbos. She is 10-9 with a 2.28 ERA in 21 appearances (19 starts).
SERIES WITH CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Central Michigan holds a 62-27 lead in the all-time series with Miami. The teams met five times during the 2012 season, with the RedHawks winning three of those games. On April 20 in Oxford, they split a doubleheader with Miami winning the first game, 4-0, and CMU taking the nightcap, 2-0. On May 10 in the MAC Tournament, the Chippewas won, 1-0, putting the ‘Hawks on the brink of elimination. Miami won three straight elimination games to reach the championship game against Central Michigan. Needing to beat CMU twice, the RedHawks won the first game, 2-0, and the second game, 4-0, to earn the MAC Tournament crown.
ABOUT WRIGHT STATE: The Raiders are 9-31 overall and 6-9 in the Horizon League. They play a doubleheader against Toledo on Thursday and weekend series against Detroit before facing Miami on Tuesday. Wright State is led offensively by sophomore outfielder Jess Gorman. She is hitting .286 with two home runs and eight RBI. Its top pitcher is junior Krystian DeWitt. She is 6-12 with a 2.42 ERA in 27 appearances (21 starts).
SERIES WITH WRIGHT STATE: Miami holds a 40-10-1 lead in the all-time series with Wright State. The Raiders won a 1-0 pitchers’ duel in Oxford in their last meeting on March 27, 2012.
UP NEXT FOR MIAMI: Miami completes the 2013 regular season with a pair of home series. On Friday, May 3, the RedHawks host Kent State for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Miami will then take on Buffalo in single games on Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, May 5 at 1 p.m. Sunday’s game will be Senior Day and will feature a pregame ceremony honoring the ‘Hawks lone senior, Shannon Tillett.