Home Sweet Home: MC softball to play ONU in OAC home opener Friday

Nasty weather has wreaked havoc on the Marietta College softball team’s plans this week.

Marietta was originally scheduled to face Bethany College today in its home opener, but that game has been postponed and rescheduled for Wednesday. However, with the impending forecast, it is unlikely that that day will work out either.

As it stands now, it is looking like the Lady Pioneers will open up at home Friday against Ohio Athletic Conference foe Ohio Northern.

“There is no doubt we are looking forward to playing at home,” said MC head coach Jeanne Arbuckle. “We feel we have one of the best venues in the OAC in terms of the support we get from the community. Friday should be a good day for us. Ohio Northern will bring a good team.”

Marietta is off to a 10-4 start this season. A youthful pitching staff has been the team’s backbone so far in the early part of the 2013 campaign. Hurlers Alexis O’Hair, a sophomore, and freshman Lauren Larrick have accounted for 67 of Marietta’s innings on the mound. O’Hair is 3-2 with a 3.06 earned run average, while Larrick is 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA. Sophomore Courtney Kerwood has also thrown well in eight relief appearances, posting a sub-1.00 earnie and collecting three saves.

“We feel really good about our pitching right now,” Arbuckle said. “We are young on the mound. All of our pitchers are freshmen or sophomores, so we have a really young pitching staff. They have responded well. Our pitching can keep us in ballgames.”

At the plate, senior Trayla Liles leads the team with a .435 batting average and 46 at-bats. While contributing well on the mound, Kerwood has also done substantial damage in the batter’s box, producing a team-best 10 runs batted in and two home runs. As a team, the Pios are batting .282. Overall, Arbuckle is expecting improvement in the hitting department.

“I have to say, we did not hit as well as we expected down south,” the coach explained. “However, we saw a little productivity this weekend in Wilmington.

“We just need to keep playing,” Arbuckle said in reference to the weather, which has made it difficult to play multiple games in a week.

Once the weather gets better and the team is able to get on the field more consistently, Arbuckle expects her squad to find a rhythm and do some damage this season.

Hopefully for the Pioneers, that process will start Friday against the Polar Bears.

“We feel pretty good with where we are,” Arbuckle said. “We clearly have a lot of room for improvement to get to where we need to be.”