March 1, 2012
Contact: Tim Ertle
The Cleveland State softball team (1-8) will try and regroup after a tough 1-4 trip at the Frost Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn. last weekend when they participate in the fourth annual Georgia Bulldog Invitational Friday (March 2) through Sunday (March 4).
CSU picked up its first win of the season in a 2-0 contest against Tennessee Tech on Friday (Feb. 24) but dropped its other four contests, two of which were one-run losses in extra innings.
The Viking bats appeared to come alive during the Tennessee trip, led by junior Dara Toman who hit .467 (7-15) with a double, a homer, three runs scored and four RBI. She's hit the ball hard from the onset of the season and is third in the Horizon League with a .704 slugging percentage.
Two freshmen - Cynthia Woodard and Erica McNew - each hit at a .333 clip in Chattanooga. Woodard started all five games and the rookie shortstop was 5-for-15 with three runs scored. After a slow start to her collegiate career, McNew demonstrated why the coaching staff is high on her with three hits in nine tries in her three games played.
Megan Bashak was 3-for-9 at the plate to come away with a .333 batting average on the trip, but she was better in the circle.
Bashak was 1-3 despite an ERA of just 2.06 in four appearances - three of which were starts. She surrendered a home run in extra innings to Dayton to be dealt that loss, but her stats were much better than her record indicated. Through the first nine games of the season, Bashak is third in the league with a 2.03 ERA.
She allowed five earned runs - and nine runs total - in 17 innings pitched at the Frost Classic.
As a staff, the Vikings pitching staff allowed 15 runs which was the same number as the opponents. Errors did the Vikings in as Cleveland State committed nine errors and their opponents committed just five. That resulted in opponents scoring nine un-earned runs in five games while CSU scored just three off of defensive miscues.
They'll have to cut down on the errors this weekend with five teams who have combined for a record of 40-22 on the schedule.
Cleveland State opens with Minnesota (10-3) at 9:00 a.m. on Friday (March 2). Later that night, the Vikings will battle No. 7 Georgia (13-2) at 5:00 p.m.
The Vikings and Rutgers (4-3) are scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Saturday (March 3) with a game against Mercer (7-8) immediately following.
The weekend will conclude with an 11:00 a.m. game against Ohio (6-6) on Sunday (March 4).
The University of Georgia Sports Information Department will provide free live stats through GameTracker, available here.
The game with Georgia on Saturday evening will have free live audio, available here.