DH at Youngstown State [5-16, 0-0 Horizon]
YSU Softball Complex • Youngstown, Ohio
Tuesday, March 21 • 3 p.m.
Live Stats: www.GoZips.com
at Northern Illinois [11-10, 0-0- MAC]
Mary M. Bell Field • DeKalb, Ill.
Friday, March 24 • 3 p.m.
DH on Saturday, March 25 • 1 p.m.
Live Stats: www.GoZips.com
Akron opens the week with a doubleheader at Youngstown State on Tuesday, March 21, at 3 p.m. at the YSU Softball Complex.
Akron then travels to DeKalb, Ill., for the Mid-American Conference opener. On Friday, March 24, UA takes on Northern Illinois at 3 p.m. On Saturday, March 25, the Zips and Huskies will meet for a doubleheader 1 p.m. All games will be played at Mary M. Bell Field.
MEET THE ZIPS
The Akron Zips, under the guidance of 11th-year head coach Julie Jones, stand 10-12 overall after going 1-1 last week in Morehead, Ky. The Zips secured a 3-1 victory against Oakland, and fell to Morehead State, 1-0. The Zips return 10 letterwinners, including four starters. UA welcomes four freshmen.
After 22 contests, junior OF Ashley Sims (Brooksville, Fla.), is the Zips' top hitter, batting .348 with 20 runs, 24 hits, and 23 stolen bases. Junior OF Savannah Fruin (Delray Beach, Fla.) follows at .333 with 21 RBI, 20 hits, and four home runs.
In the circle, freshman lefty Lexie Handley (Mogadore, Ohio) has a 3.15 ERA. She stands 9-6 overall, throwing 84.1 innings with 78 strikeouts and 29 walks. Junior Nicole Best (Broadview Heights, Ohio) is 1-3 overall and has a 4.55 ERA. She has pitched 40.0 innings with 14 strikeouts and 23 walks.
SCOUTING YOUNGSTOWN STATE
The Penguins, under ninth-year head coach Brian Campbell, stand 5-16 overall after going 2-2 last weekend at the UNC Wilmington Tournament. Junior OF Cali Mikovich is the Penguins' top hitter, batting .312 with 17 hits and 7 RBI. In the circle, freshman Maddi Lusk is 3-6 with a 3.22 ERA. She's thrown 67.1 innings with 49 strikeouts, and 25 walks.
SERIES VS. YOUNGSTOWN STATE
In series action, Akron and Youngstown State have met 76 times with Akron holding a 50-26 all-time series advantage. Last season, the Zips and Penguins split a doubleheader with an 8-0 Zips' victory and a 11-8 loss.
IN MAC OPENERS
Since Akron began Mid-American Conference play in 1993, the Zips stand 9-15 in MAC openers. Last season the Zips won the MAC opener with a 4-3 victory over Eastern Michigan.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS
The Huskies, under fifth-year head coach Christina Sutcliffe, stand 11-10 overall after going 2-0 last week at the Iowa Tournament. Sophomore Jessica Rio is the Huskies' top hitter, batting .355 with 22 hits, 15 runs, and six stolen bases. In the circle, freshman Alex Frenz has seen the most action pitching 53.2 innings. She stands 6-2 on the season with 38 strikeouts and 19 walked batters.
SERIES VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
In series action, Akron and Northern Illinois have met 45 times with NIU holding a 27-18 all-time series advantage. In MAC games only (since 1991), the Huskies hold an 8-16 series edge. Last season, the teams split a two-game series with the Zips claiming a 1-0 victory and a 2-4 loss.
The Zips played in Morehead, Ky., on March 18, going 1-1. UA secured a 3-1 victory over Oakland and lost to Morehead State, 1-0.
In the circle, freshman Lexie Handley (1.14) ERA went 1-1, throwing 12.1 innings, fanning 12 and walking three batters.
FRUIN HITS HOME RUN MILESTONE
With her home run in the 3-1 win over Oakland, senior OF Savannah Fruin recorded her 26th career home run. She moved into the fourth spot on Akon's all-time career list. Kelli Metzger (1996-99) is the career leader with 57 home runs.
HEAD COACH JULIE JONES
In her 11th season at Akron, head coach Julie Jones has mentored 17 All-MAC honorees, five NCAA All-Mideast Region selections, 28 Academic All-MAC student-athletes, eight Academic All-District selections, and two Academic All-Americans, the 2014 MAC Pitcher of the Year, and the 2016 prestigious MAC Nan Harvey award winner. Her complete bio is on page 6.
With the 1-0 shutout of Fort Wayne in the final game of the Black & Gold Tournament, Jones recorded her 250th win at Akron. She ranks second on Akron's coaching lists for all-time wins (255) and games coached (538). Jones is just ONE win shy of 500 for her career.
Akron opens MAC play at Northern Illinois on March 24.