Softball set to play ball

Elliott Schreiner and Elliott Schreiner

The Bowling Green softball team will look to return to Mid-American Conference prominence this season after a 2002 season in which they didn’t qualify for the MAC tournament. The Falcons will get a chance to show what they’re made of in Las Cruces, N.M. this weekend as they get a chance to play teams from all over the country in the New Mexico State Tournament. They start the weekend with a game against San Jose State this morning and finish the weekend on Sunday with a game against Indiana.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with games against Marshall, South West Texas State, and host New Mexico State. Bowling Green appears to be sitting pretty coming into the weekend as they return ten letter winners, four of which have won three letters.

“This team is focused and determined to do the little things,” coach Leigh Ross-Shaw said. “They are focusing on getting better every day.”

Like most teams, the Falcons’ success will depend on their pitching.

After losing three pitchers to graduation, the Falcons still feel confident in what they have.

Senior McKenna Houle will be the staff ace and she will be followed in the rotation by junior Jody Johnson.

Houle, an All-MAC first team selection her sophomore year, struggled through last season, going 7-11 with a 3.25 E.R.A. “McKenna struggled last year,” Ross-Shaw said. “But she ended last season on a positive note and has worked hard on her pitches this year. I think she will be back to her old self this season.”

Another area of the Falcons’ game that needs to be strong in order to return to MAC prominence will be their hitting, which they have a lot of.

The Falcons return four of their top five hitters in seniors Kandice Machain and Libby Voshell, junior Jenifer Kernahan, and sophomore Marla Murphy.

Machain, Voshell, and Murphy all batted over .300 with Kernahan finishing the season at a .298 clip.

The defensive side of the Falcons game should be as strong as any part of their game.

Voshell will lead the defense, as she has for the past three seasons, starting 141 games.

“Libby will be our anchor in the infield,” Ross-Shaw said. “She has always performed well in big games, and really rises to the occasion.”

In the end, the Falcons know they have the talent to win, they just need to stay focused.

“I think we just have to worry about ourselves. Last year we got away from that a bit,” Ross-Shaw said. “We need to keep our focus. If we do that, the success will come.”