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September 21, 2023

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Softball heads to Illinois for two games against Huskies

After going 3-1 this past weekend, the BG softball team will begin conference play with two games against Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.

Due to Bowling Green’s home field conditions, the Falcons will travel to DeKalb, Ill. in order to play their four games, where they will be considered the ‘home’ team for MAC purposes.

“We see the conference play as a fresh start and a new season,” head coach Shannon Salsburg said. “We’re really excited for the opportunity, and now that we’ve finished our spring training, we are on to the major league season.”

Bowling Green, after a 9-14-1 start to the season, is looking to build on preseason strengths and capitalize on pitching and defense.

“We have played good defense overall and have made some real good softball plays,” Salsburg said. “Our pitching staff has been great, but our offense has been too inconsistent.”

Salsburg’s team only has two players hitting above .300, both senior captains Katie Yoho and Erika Stratton. This has resulted in 11 of 14 losses being within three runs.

“We have had an inconsistent approach. When we’re taking a lot of pitches, it’s a lot harder to hit regardless of how good you are, but when we’re aggressive we are very good offensively,” Salsburg said.

Northern Illinois and Western Michigan both have records under .500 with Western Michigan having lost 11 of their last 12.

The consistent arms of Jamie Kertes, 2.3 ERA, and Braiden Dillow, 3.20 ERA, should provide the offense with plenty of opportunities to be aggressive at the plate.

Stratton will look to lead this offense, carrying a four-game hit streak into the weekend. She collected at least one hit per game and six hits total at the UMBC Spring Classic.

“We need to stay focused on having better practices on our off days,” Salsburg said.

Salsburg has not made any definitive changes at practice, and instead looks to emphasize the strengths of the team as the Falcons begin conference competition.

“Nobody within our conference is really expecting us to do much, but we don’t get caught up in preseason rankings,” Salsburg said. “We have nothing to lose.”

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