Softball Faces Ohio Northern Saturday

Freshman Andi VanSickle
Freshman Andi VanSickle

The Mount Union softball team hosts Ohio Northern in an Ohio Athletic Conference series Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at 23rd Street Field in Alliance, Ohio. 

Saturday's game will also Celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day. The event will take place from 12:30- 3:30 p.m. Aside from watching the softball game FREE of charge, participants can meet and interact with Mount Union female student-athletes from a variety of the Purple Raiders' 11 varsity women's teams and a tent will be set up with assorted games and activities.

Mount Union enters Thursday's series with an overall record of 16-5 and is currently tied with Marietta and John Carroll for first place in the OAC with a 6-2 record.  The Purple Raiders are coming off a split with John Carroll in their last match. The Raiders fell 9-0 (6 innings) in the first game but salvaged the double-header with a dramatic 6-5 victory (10 innings) in the second game.

As a staff, the Raiders feature the No. 2 pitching with an ERA of 1.96. Senior Rachel McAninch (West Jefferson/West Jefferson) leads the Raiders with a 9-3 record on the season and leads the conference in ERA (1.51) and strikeouts (93). 

At the plate, the Raiders have a batting average of .284 and are led by junior Brittany Papp (Uniontown/Green) who leads the team with a batting average of .417. Senior Kristen Gromes (Navarre/Fairless) leads the team in runs (19), hits (27), RBI (14), stolen bases (9) and is tied for the team-lead in home runs (4) with sophomore Leigh Siedlak (Westerville/Westerville South).

Ohio Northern enters Saturday's series an overall record of 5-9 and is currently in seventh place in the conference standings with a 4-4 record. The Polar Bears are coming off a sweep of Heidelberg in their last series. 

As a staff, Ohio Northern has an ERA of 5.59 and is led by Abbey Bensing who leads the team with a 7-3 record and an ERA of 4.32. 

At the plate, the Polar Bears have a batting average of .298 and are led by Christin Miller who leads the team with a batting average of .404, runs (12), hits (21) and stolen bases (5). 

Last season, the Polar Bears finished the season with a 31-14 record, where they earned the No. 1 seed in the OAC tournament but fell in the finals to John Carroll. They received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the World Series where they fell to Luther (Iowa.) 2-1.  

Ohio Northern leads the all-time series between the two schools with a record of 42-36. Last season, Mount Union split the two regular season games it played with Ohio Northern winning the first game 5-0 and falling in the second game 9-5. The Raiders defeated the Polar Bears in game two of the OAC tournament 6-1 but fell 11-5 in game five.