Miami University’s softball team continued to excel at home over the weekend, winning three of four games in Oxford.
The ‘Hawks split a Friday doubleheader with the University of Toledo before sweeping Bowling Green State University with wins Saturday and Sunday.
Miami’s record stands at 23-20 overall and 8-6 in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The Red and White have a record of 11-5 at home and a 12-15 record in road or neutral site games.
“I think it’s just the atmosphere,” sophomore pitcher Jessica Simpson said. “We’ve been able to get a pretty good amount of fans at our home games. It’s just fun to be able to play in front of our friends and families.”
In the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, Toledo took the early lead with a solo home run in the top of the second. Miami responded quickly with three runs in the bottom of the inning highlighted by sophomore third baseman Daniela Torres’ fourth home run of the season.
The RedHawks would tack on six more runs in the bottom of the third, which was plenty of scoring to earn a victory for senior pitcher Meredith Linch as the ‘Hawks won 10-1 in five innings.
In the nightcap, Miami jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Simpson gave up a three-run homer to Toledo in the fourth inning that tied the game.
The Rockets would essentially win the game in the sixth with eight runs, due to two Miami errors that kept the inning alive. The RedHawks fell 11-6.
In Saturday’s game against the Falcons, Miami used another strong outing from Linch and timely hitting to win 6-3.
The RedHawks led 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth, and were able to add three runs to secure a victory, highlighted by senior shortstop Sarah Billstrom’s single that drove in two runs.
In the weekend’s finale, both teams battled wet conditions, but Miami won 3-2. Simpson fought through the weather en route to a complete game victory, giving up one earned run on seven hits while striking out seven.
“(The weather) wasn’t too much of a problem, I just had to make sure I got a new ball every time it got wet and I was fine,” Simpson said. “Luckily it wasn’t raining ridiculously hard.”
Simpson gave up an unearned run in the first inning and then was able to settle down and shut out the Falcons until a solo home run in the top of the seventh finished their scoring.
“I had faith in my team that we would eventually score,” Simpson said. “I just had to shake that inning off and know that I would pitch better and we would play better defense the rest of the game.”
As the ‘Hawks get closer to the MAC Tournament, Head Coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly stressed the importance of finishing the regular season strong as they look to repeat as tournament champions.
“I am a firm believer of teams gaining momentum heading into the tournament,” Schoenly said. “So, in our next 10 games, we have to continue to gain confidence in our offense and work to shut teams down defensively. The team has been putting the work in at practice to feel that confidence so I expect they will be ready when the time comes.”
The Red and White play next in a doubleheader at Western Michigan University April 30.