A force of nature

The BG women’s softball team (19-6, 4-2 MAC) was looking to come into this weekend’s play with experience against the No. 1 team in the nation, but Mother Nature had other ideas.

A double header slated for Wednesday at Tennessee was canceled due to an 80 percent chance of rain showers.

“Playing the No. 1 ranked team in the nation would have really tested us,” sophomore captain Hayley Wiemer said.

“It would have been a great opportunity,” coach Shannon Salsburg said. “We talked about [canceling it] and it stinks, but we instantly changed our focus.”

BG will face off twice against Miami (14-29-1, 4-4 MAC) today at 1 p.m. and once against Ball State (13-23, 4-4 MAC) on each Saturday and Sunday.

Miami is coming off a midweek double header against Purdue. In game one, the team lost 4-2 in eight innings and were run-ruled 13-0 in the second game. Ball State most recently lost 6-1 to Michigan on Tuesday. It will play a doubleheader at Toledo before meeting the Falcons tomorrow.

BG has won its last four games outscoring opponents 35-11. But the Falcons haven’t played since last Friday due to four consecutive games being canceled for snow or rain.

“We have had a couple of times during the season where we’ve been laid off for a week and we’ve come out stronger,” Salsburg said. “I’m not concerned about that at all.”

In the pitching circle, the Falcons have thrown 11 complete games and seven shutouts. They have given up just 43 earned runs and 30 walks in 169 innings while amassing 173 strikeouts.

The Falcon offense has also been impressive this season. The team has hit 25 home runs and is just five short of breaking the team record for a season. BG is out-hitting its opponents .283 to .202 on the year. Wiemer leads the team in several offense categories and, according to Salsburg, is a vital part of the team’s success.

“She’s a good leader for us,” Salsburg said. “She produces quite a bit for us so she has quite a few different roles.”

Wiemer has been recognized twice in the past week. She was recently named the Mid-American Conference’s Female Scholar Athlete of the Week for the second time and is being recognized by Toledo’s 92.5 KISS FM morning show today.

Andrew Z and the Morning Show invited Wiemer, band members, cheerleaders and the coaches to commemorate the Toledo Mud Hens home opener. All will watch as Wiemer throws pitches at the station’s interns who will have helmets strapped on and be wrapped in cardboard and bubble wrap.

“I hope they have plenty of bubble wrap,” Wiemer said.