Softball eyes top-tier OAC finish

Softball eyes top-tier OAC finish

The Muskingum University softball team, under the direction of Head Coach Kari Winters, will be looking to build upon last year's successful season, while competing for an Ohio Athletic Conference top-tier position.

This season, the Muskies return some core players to the field, including three All-OAC performers. Senior outfielder Krissy Hughes, senior pitcher/outfielder Rachel Eberling, and sophomore infielder Jaelyn Meade will guide the Muskies in their 2019 campaign.

Hughes captured her second First Team All-OAC accolade after leading the Muskies at the plate batting .457 with a team-best 64 hits, 41 runs, 14 doubles, 31 RBIs and five home runs. Hughes saw action in all 38 games last season and led the team with 19 stolen bases, which ranked second in the OAC.

Eberling earned her second All-OAC honor after making 38 appearances for the Muskies and posting a 3.55 ERA with 11 wins and 62 strikeouts. At the plate, she notched a conference-best nine home runs. She ended the season with 40 hits, 25 runs, nine doubles 37 RBIs.

Meade secured her first All-OAC award after an astounding start to her career. She saw action in all 38 games and finished the year with 45 hits, 18 runs, 25 RBIs, and 4 stolen bases.

Adding to the depth of the squad will be senior Kylie Zifer and sophomore's Riley Powers, Karsyn Shaffer, and Hannah Duff.

Zifer saw action in 12 games, while Powers ended the year with 17 hits, 5 RBIs, 5 stolen bases, and a career-best .321 batting average. Shaffer played in 37-of-38 games and registered 127 at bats. She finished the season with 53 hits, 4 doubles, 13 RBIs, and a batting average of .417. Duff pitched 70.1 innings and recorded 10 wins. She ended her freshman season with an ERA of 3.68.

Coach Winters will be relying on this year's recruiting class and veteran players to step up and make the necessary strides in order to achieve their championship goal.

The Muskingum softball team will start their season in Plant City, Florida at the D9 Sunkissed Games on Sunday, March 3. The first home game for the Muskies will be a doubleheader against non-conference opponent Ohio Wesleyan on Wednesday, March 20, and OAC play begins on Saturday, March 23 versus Wilmington