Softball Hosts John Carroll Tuesday In A Battle Of First Place Teams

Kaylah Nieschwitz
Kaylah Nieschwitz

The Mount Union softball team begins a six-game home stand this week when it hosts John Carroll in a matchup of first place teams for an Ohio Athletic Conference double-header Tuesday at 3 pm at 23rd Street Field. 

Mount Union and John Carroll enter Tuesday's series with 5-1 records in the OAC. 

Mount Union enters Tuesday's matchup with a record of 15-4 overall. The Purple Raiders are coming of a weekend series with Baldwin Wallace where they lost the first game 2-0 but salvaged the split with a 12-5 victory in game two. 

The Raiders feature the OAC's No. 2 pitching staff with an ERA of 1.76 and are led by senior Rachel McAninch (West Jefferson/West Jefferson) who has a 7-1 record on the year and leads the conference in ERA (1.56), strikeouts (85) and is third in saves (2). 

As a team, the Raiders have a batting average of .287 and are led by senior Kristen Gromes (Navarre/Fairless) who has a batting average of .431 with three home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored and 9 stolen bases. 

Last season, Mount Union and John Carroll faced each other three times with John Carroll having a 2-1 record. 

John Carroll enters Tuesday's series with an overall record of 13-5. The Blue Streaks are coming off a sweep of Wilmington. 

The Blue Streaks feature the OAC's No. 4 pitching staff with an ERA of 2.89 and are led by Rachel Byrnes who is second in the conference in wins (9), has an ERA of 2.47 and has struck out 67. 

As a team, the Blue Streaks have a batting average of .343 and are led by Mackenzie Griffin, who ranks among the national leaders in batting average (.586), on base percentage (.648) and slugging percentage (.828). 

Last season, John Carroll had a record of 31-15 and earned the No. 2 seed in the OAC Tournament. They defeated Ohio Northern in the final and advanced to the NCAA regional round in Alma, Michigan where they had a 1-2 record. 

The homestand continues Thursday at 3:30 pm as Mount Union hosts Ohio Wesleyan in a non-conference double-header.