Notebook: OVC softball teams enter final non-conference stretch

Adam Tumino, Softball Reporter

Conference season begins in 10 days for the softball teams of the OVC. With limited non-conference play remaining, they will look to gear up for their conference opponents.

File Photo | The Daily Eastern News
Pitcher Hannah Cravens delivers a pitch in Eastern’s series loss against Southern Illinois in Spring 2019 at Williams Field. Cravens pitched 4.1 innings.

Non-conference season has been fruitful for much of the conference, with seven of the OVC teams posting records above .500, but no team has been nearly as successful so far as Eastern Kentucky.

The Colonels are 20-2 to begin the season and have won 16 games in a row. They have the fourth-highest batting average in the conference (.299) and have recorded the most hits in the conference (169). Eastern Kentucky also leads the OVC in home runs (26), runs batted in (108) and total bases (289).

But the Colonels are not just thriving on offense. They lead to OVC with a team ERA of 2.03, an opponent’s batting average of .194 and 143 strikeouts. Their defense also ranks first in the conference with a .974 fielding percentage.

Southeast Missouri leads the conference in batting average (.310), on-base percentage (.411) and slugging percentage (.528). The Redhawks are the only team in the OVC with an on-base percentage above .400.

The lowest-ranked offense in the OVC belongs to Tennessee State. They have the lowest batting average (.225), on-base percentage (.314) and slugging percentage (.319). The Tigers’ record of 7-9 has been salvaged by their pitching, which ranks sixth in the conference with a 3.21 ERA.

Morehead State owns the highest ERA in the conference (7.53) and highest opponent’s batting average (.353). But like an opposite version Tennessee State, the 6-8 Eagles are saved from a worse record by their offense. They rank fifth in the conference in batting average (.293) and slugging percentage (.413) and second in on-base percentage (.391).

Eastern ranks ninth in the conference in batting average (.256), 10th on-base percentage (.346) and seventh in slugging percentage (.405).

The Panther pitching staff ranks around the middle of the conference, ranking sixth in ERA (3.65) and opponent’s batting average (.278).

Individually, Southeast Missouri’s Rachel Anderson leads the OVC with .480 batting average, a .541 on-base percentage and .880 slugging percentage.

Eastern’s highest-ranking player is Mia Davis. She ranks 12th in the conference with a .395 batting average among players with 30 or more at bats.

Southeast Missouri also has the OVC’s top pitcher in Rachel Rook. Rook has started six games and pitched 40 innings with an ERA of just 0.70, the lowest in the conference by nearly half a run.

Eastern’s Jade Montgomery and Hannah Cravens rank 16th in 17th in the OVC in ERA respectively. Montgomery’s ERA is 3.57 and Cravens’ is 3.60.

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]