***Wednesday's doubleheader has been PPD until Thursday due to forecasts of rain
TIFFIN, Ohio—The Heidelberg University softball team opens the final week of Ohio Athletic Conference play Wednesday when it hosts Otterbein University in the last home doubleheader on the league schedule. The first game is slated for 3:30 p.m.
Live stats for both games will be available here.
With just four games left on the OAC schedule, Heidelberg (15-17, 5-8 OAC) looks to challenge for one of four berths in the 2012 OAC Softball Tournament. Otterbein (23-13, 8-6 OAC) currently sits in third place, but holds just a 2.5-game lead over the Berg, which sits in seventh.
Heidelberg last played yesterday when it was swept in a non-conference doubleheader by Alma (Mich.) College. Despite the loss, five players had multi-hit games, including sophomore shortstop Erica Huffman (Strongsville), who was 3-for-4 with a solo home run and three runs scored. Senior first baseman Bessie Artino (Bellevue) belted her second grand slam of the season and sixth home run overall.
Artino (.395, 43 RBI, 6 HR, 25 R) leads the ‘Berg offense and the OAC in runs batted-in, is tied for fourth in home runs, is fifth in both hits (45) and slugging percentage (.658) and is ninth in batting average. She also has a team-high 13 games with two or more RBI. Sophomore center fielder Jami Wagner (Alvada/New Riegel) (.383, 10, 0, 34) is third in the league in runs scored and sixth in hits (44), leads the team with 17 stolen bases and has a team-best 16 multi-hit games. In addition to her mound duties, senior right hander Lexie Pinkelman (Metamora/Evergreen) (.294, 30, 7, 21) is third in the conference in homers, tied for fifth in RBI and is eighth in slugging (.635).
Three pitchers anchor the staff in the circle. Pinkelman (4.90 ERA, 62 K, 79.0 IP) is 5-6 in 15 appearances (13 starts) and is tied for seventh in the OAC with eight complete games and eighth in strikeouts. Junior lefty Ali Sayre (Sylvania/Northview) (3.39, 51, 79.2) is 5-7 in 14 appearances (11 starts) and is tied for 10th in the league with seven complete games. Freshman righty Christine Foster (Luckey/Eastwood) (5.91, 13, 35.0) is 3-2 in 10 appearances (two starts) with two complete games.
Otterbein has split each of its last four doubleheaders and last played Sunday when it won the second game against local non-conference rival Ohio Wesleyan University. The Cardinals are led at the plate by the tandem of Laura Basford and Casey Clarridge. Basford (.456, 19, 4, 40) leads the circuit in hits (57), is second in batting average and fourth in both on-base percentage (.489) and slugging (.696). Clarridge (.400, 27, 6, 40) is fourth in the OAC in hits (50), tied for fourth in home runs and eighth in RBI, and is seventh in slugging (.640). The duo both lead the conference in runs scored. Erin Carpenter (.297, 35, 4, 8) is second in the OAC in RBI.
Kelsey Long (3.36, 43, 85.1) anchors the pitching staff and is tied for third in the OAC with a 9-4 record in 20 appearances (18 starts) with four complete games and is 10th in the league in innings pitched. Natalie Zwicker (1.86, 30, 37.2) is 5-1 in 10 appearances (eight starts) with three complete games and leads the circuit in ERA. Maggie McMahan (1.96, 56, 71.1) is 6-4 in 19 appearances (eight starts) with three complete games and is second in ERA.
Following Wednesday’s doubleheader, the Berg will wrap up OAC play Saturday at John Carroll University before concluding the regular season Monday with non-conference foe The College of Wooster on Senior Night.