Howard Opens MEAC Play Against Top Seed
Ormond Beach, FL — The Howard University women's softball team will open against the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University on Thursday at 10 am at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex. The tournament is double elimination and the championship will be played on Saturday.
It is a tall task for the Lady Bison (17-24 overall, 8-7 in the MEAC), who come in as the Number 4 seed in the Southern Division. BC-U (28-23 overall, 12-0 in the MEAC), the defending champion, enters as the Number 1 seed in the Southern Division.
The Wildcats, who are riding a 12-game conference win streak and have captured 13-of-14 overall, are led by junior Allison Garcia, the 2011 MEAC Pitcher of the Year. Garcia compiled an impressive 21-10 mark on the mound and struck out 117 batters, second in the conference.
Garcia is also dangerous at the plate where she banged out 53 hits, including nine home runs.
Bethune-Cookman gets additional power from all-MEAC shortstop Aurelia Gamch, who hit six homers and speed and clutch hitting from junior second baseman Cesley Tafoya and senior outfielder Ashton Hinds, who stole 20 bases.
The Lady Bison rely on the power of senior Emily Johnson, a second team all-MEAC selection, who led the team with six home runs, seven doubles and two triples. Howard will also look to junior shortstop Rebecca Kirshner, who batted .392, banging out 10 doubles and driving in 28 runs.
Junior OF Lorae Robinson batted .357 and proved to be a factor on the base paths with 19 stolen bases. Senior catcher Crissy Sborz recorded 15 doubles and junior utility performer Marissa Coats, who added 30 RBI.
Senior Carly Martin posted an 8-4 record this season and struck out 46 batters.
Howard head coach Lauren McCoy, in her second season at the helm, will be facing her alma mater. McCoy is one of the top pitchers in Bethune-Cookman history.