Softball Heads to OAC Tournament Friday; Raiders Play Ohio Northern at 1pm

Mount Union's softball team plays in the 2011 Ohio Athletic Conference Tourament this weekend at Ohio Northern University in Ada.  The No. 4 seed Purple Raiders play top-seed and regular season co-champion Ohio Northern at 1 pm.

Mount Union (19-15) is the No. 4 seed and making its 20th appearance in the OAC's post-season event.  The 20 tournament trips are second only to the 26 trips made by Muskingum.  The Raiders have a 26-36 record in the OAC Tournament with a title in 2008 and a record 10 second place finishes.

The other first round matchup in the double elimination touranment pits No. 2 seed and regular season co-champ John Carroll against No. 3 seed Baldwin-Wallace.  The winners of both first round games meet in a semifinal game at 3 pm Friday while the losers face off in an elimination game at 5 pm.

By OAC rule if either Ohio Northern or John Carroll make Saturday's championship game then they claim the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament regardless of championship game result.  If both of them or neither of them make the game then the tournament winner gets the automatic bid.

Mount Union's Sandy Douglas is in her 26th season as head coach and enters the tournament with a career record of 597-359 (.624).  If she wins three games at tournament, she will become only the second coach in OAC history to win over 600 games.

Key Player Profiles

Shelby Carmichael (2B, Fr., Dalton/Dalton)

  • Played in 30 games and started 24 games this season.
  • Tied for team in lead in home runs (3).
  • Second on the team in batting average (.333), hits (26), doubles (5).

Kristen Gromes (OF, So., Navarre/Fairless)

  • Started all 34 games so far this season
  • Leads team with .367 batting average, 33 hits, 22 runs scored
  • Letterwinner this past fall on Mount Union volleyball team

Rachel McAninch (P, So., West Jefferson/West Jefferson)

  • Has made 18 appearances, 15 starts, 12 complete games and three shutouts this season.
  • 9-5 record with a 2.23 ERA
  • 80 strikeouts and 24 walks in 100.2 innings pitched.
  • 2010 OAC Pitcher of the Year and OAC Rookie of the Year.

Mara Palombaro (C, Sr., Boardman/Cardinal Mooney)

  • Started all 34 games so far this season
  • Leads team with 21 RBI and three home runs
  • 2008, 2009 All-OAC Second Team
  • 2009 Academic All-OAC

Jill Rader (OF, Sr., Ashland/Ashland)

  • Played in 31 games and started 30 this season.
  • Third in batting average (.320) and doubles (4)

Bre Willis (P, Jr., Navarre/Fairless)

  • Has made 19 appearances, 18 starts, 13 complete games and two shutouts on the season.
  • 9-8 record with a 3.17 ERA
  • 93 strikeouts and 27 walks in 114.2 innings pitched.
  • 2009 All-OAC Honorable Mention

2011 OAC Softball Tournament
Ohio Northern University - Ada, Ohio

Friday, May 6

  • Game 1 - #3 Baldwin-Wallace v #2 John Carroll, 11 am 
  • Game 2 - #4 Mount Union v #1 Ohio Northern, 1 pm
  • Game 3 - Game 1 Winner v Game 2 Winner, 3 pm
  • Game 4 - Game 1 Loser v Game 2 Loser, 5 pm

Saturday, May 7

  • Game 5 - Game 3 Loser v Game 4 Winner, 11 am
  • Game 6 - Game 3 Winner v Game 5 Winner, 1 pm
  • Game 7 - Game 6 Winner v Game 6 Loser, If Necessary, 3 pm
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