COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican softball begins its postseason journey this weekend when it travels to Findlay, Ohio, to battle Malone University in the opening round of the 2021 Great Midwest Athletic Conference softball tournament.
The Panthers make their third appearance in the postseason tournament. The Black and Gold have never missed an appearance in the G-MAC Tournament since they joined the league in the 2018 season.
ODU comes into Thursday's contest with a record of 24-16 overall and 13-9 in conference play. The Black and Gold are winners of three of the last five contests, including a victory over the fifth-ranked University of Indianapolis.
SCOUTING OHIO DOMINICAN
The Panthers head to Findlay looking for offensive production and will turn to senior Carson Hackerd (Frankfort, Indiana) for just that. The senior leads the Black and Gold with a batting average of .362 this season and was top of the pack in extra-base hits with 15. Hackerd was second on the team in runs-batted-in with 22 on the season, trailing only sophomore Braxton Downs (Prospect, Kentucky) in that statistical category.
Speaking of Downs, the Panthers third basemen finished the season with 11 home runs, which is fourth-most in the G-MAC. The second-year Panther also finished in the top-five in RBI with 36 on the campaign.
In the circle, ODU has enjoyed success with two of its own being ranked in the top ten in the league in ERA. Junior Sydney Long (Ashland, Ohio) and Olivia Rettke (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) hold spots in the fourth and eighth spots in the rankings. Long boasts an ERA of 2.07, while Rettke has an ERA of 2.68 this season.
The junior pitcher also has the third most innings pitched in the G-MAC with 135.0 this spring, while striking out 116 batters.
It's been a terrific season for the Pioneers as they finished in the third position in the G-MAC with a record of 24-9-1 overall and 15-7 in conference play. The combination of Bailey and Kelsey Byers has been electric for Malone this season.
Bailey Byers finished the season tied for the best batting average in the G-MAC, hitting .495 for the campaign. She also was tops in slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
Her sister, Kelsey, has contributed in the circle, striking out 223 batters this season. She also is near the top of the leaderboard in many pitching statistical categories.
Both teams previously met earlier this season, splitting a doubleheader back on April 9. ODU claimed a 2-1 victory in Game One, and Malone took Game Two by the score of 2-0.
The 2021 Great Midwest Athletic Conference softball tournament begins May 6 and concludes on May 8. Tickets for each day are $10 for adults, while students with valid identification and children five and under are admitted free.
An all-tournament pass is available for $25 and grants admission into every game of the tournament.
Contact: Ralph Schudel