On a roll

Ohio senior pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey was named a CoSIDA All-Academic All-District First Teamer this week, and has helped the Bobcats take the lead in the MAC East Division.

When it comes to a college softball career, Ohio University senior Savannah Jo Dorsey has done just about everything.

Dorsey achieved another distinction this week as she was named a 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection. Dorsey is the first Ohio softball player to land on the list since 2013.

As a pitcher for the Bobcats’ softball team, she’s simply been the best in program history. As Ohio (33-14, 14-7 Mid-American Conference) enters the final weekend of the regular season, Dorsey is on track to be the conference pitcher of the year.

Dorsey is 20-6 on the season with a 1.23 ERA and two saves in 31 appearances. She leads the MAC in wins, strikeouts (298), opponent batting average (.140) and Innings pitched (187.1), wile ranking second in the MAC with 22 complete games.

Dorsey has an astounding 298 strikeouts on the season, and is the first player in Ohio history to log more than 1,000 strikeouts during her career (1,132). She’s now 126 strikeouts away from tying the MAC’s career record of 1,258.

In the classroom, Dorsey has finished her undergrad work in Biological Studies with a 3.43 GPA and is set to begin medical school next fall.

The CoSIDA Academic All-District™ Teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. The teams are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada, with District 5 comprising all student-athletes from Division I schools in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. To be nominated, a student-athlete must hold at least sophomore status, be a starter or key reserve, and carry a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher. Team members are selected by a vote of CoSIDA members within the district.

Dorsey can add to her resume, and the Bobcats can perhaps claim a MAC regular-season title this weekend. The Bobcats begin the final weekend with the MAC East Division Lead, and trail overall MAC leader Central Michigan (34-13, 16-5 MAC) by two games.

Ohio will play three games at Buffalo (9-43, 3-18 MAC) beginning on Friday with a 3 p.m. start, followed by a scheduled doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.

If Ohio sweeps the series, it will have a chance at the regular season title and the No. 1 seed for the MAC Tournament, and could finish no lower than second in the overall standings. With two wins, Ohio would clinch the MAC East title.

Behind CMU and Ohio, Northern Illinois and Ball State (13-8 MAC) are also in contention for one of the top two seeds for the MAC Tournament. Ohio leads Kent State and Miami (both 12-9 MAC) in the MAC East.

The MAC Tournament is set for May 9-12 at Firestone Stadium in Akron. Seeding, and the complete bracket, will be available after the conclusion of the weekend’s games.

Baseball in a fight to the finish

Despite positive big-picture numbers, the Bobcats haven’t been able to solidify a spot in the top eight of the MAC standings — and thus a spot in the conference tournament — yet.

Ohio (20-23, 6-9 MAC) begins the weekend tied for eighth place in the overall standings, and has little separation from other teams trying to also climb up.

The Bobcats are tied with Buffalo (6-9 MAC). Both teams lead Miami (5-10) by just one game, and Bowling Green (6-12 MAC) is only 1.5 games behind.

The four MAC East teams all are at least two games behind Western Michigan (8-10 MAC) for seventh place with nine conference games remaining.

Ohio’s plight is a bit puzzling. The Bobcats rank among the nation’s best defensively — seventh in fact — with a 0.982 fielding percentage. Ohio also has a solid pitching staff; the Bobcats are third in the MAC in ERA (4.69), second in walks per nine innings (4.27), third in strikeouts per nine innings (8.2) and fourth in hits allowed per nine innings (9.42).

But it hasn’t come together, yet, for Ohio. This weekend could be a great opportunity to see it happen however.

Ohio faces Bowling Green (11-28) in a three-game set inside Bob Wren Stadium. Friday’s opener is set for a 6 p.m. start, with a 3 p.m. first-pitch on Saturday and a 1 p.m. start on Sunday scheduled.

If Ohio wins the series, it would effectively eliminate Bowling Green as a threat to move Ohio out of the final eight for the MAC Tournament. But if the Bobcats struggle this weekend, they could have more than one team to climb over for a chance in the conference tournament.

Email at jarkley@athensmessenger.com; follow on Twitter @JasonAmessenger

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