The Miami University softball team is set to face two Mid-American Conference (MAC) teams this weekend. The ‘Hawks will play Eastern Michigan University Friday and Central Michigan University Saturday and Sunday.
“Definitely looking forward to this weekend, beating Central Michigan will be key wins for us and Eastern is also a team we need to beat,” sophomore centerfielder Tiyona Marshall said. “Obviously [these wins] will give us a good seed in the MAC tournament that is coming up soon.”
The RedHawks are 10-4 in the MAC, 17-24 overall, whereas the Eastern Michigan Eagles are 2-12 in the MAC and 12-29-1 overall. The Central Michigan Chippewas sit in second place in the MAC West with an 11-3 conference record and 25-14 record overall. Miami is in first in the MAC East.
“[The game] is not about Eastern or about Central, it’s really about are we improving as a team, from a pitching, defensive and hitting stand point,” Head Coach Clarisa Crowell said. “The biggest thing right now is that it is not a matter of reinventing the wheel, but continuing to get better.”
Marshall said she feels prepared for the weekend and is excited and ready to go out and play.
“Personally I just want to continue to put the ball in play, and make the other team make a play,” Marshall said. “I feel I have been doing a pretty good job of that lately, just moving the runners and getting on base.”
Crowell said while on paper the Eagles may not be the best team, the numbers have little effect on whether a team shows up to a game ready to play.
“Eastern may be last in their division, but that doesn’t matter, for us it is about just going out there and playing at our level,” Crowell said.
From past experiences with Eastern Michigan, Marshall said a couple of their players hit the ball well and feels Miami’s pitchers should look out for them.
The RedHawks also face Central Michigan following the Friday doubleheader against Eastern, but the team is taking each game one at a time, so they have not been focusing their efforts on the games further into the weekend.
Last season Miami faced Central Michigan in the MAC Championship, and Marshall said they were a scrappy team, but for her having the experience with a team like Central Michigan helps eliminates the nerves because they know how the other team is going to play.
“Every game we play from here on out in conference, all of them are equally as important, we can’t take any team lightly and each game is of high significance,” Crowell said. “We have to get as many wins as we can.”