The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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EIU freshman softball pitcher earns third straight OVC honor

Freshman pitcher McKenzie Oslanzi leads Eastern in ERA with 0.80 and is 6-0 in games played this season. (Sia DeyKoontz)

Freshman pitcher McKenzie Oslanzi has been named Ohio Valley Conference pitcher of the week for the third time in her first three weeks with the Panthers.  

Oslanzi leads the OVC in ERA with 0.80, wins with six, innings pitched with 43.2, batting average against with 0.158 and strikeouts with 53. She is also undefeated this season and, as only a freshman, she is helping lead the Panthers to a 9-6 record.  

Oslanzi is also tied for seventh in the NCAA in wins, eighth in strikeout-to-walk ratio with 13.25, tied for 40th in ERA, 45th in strikeouts per seven innings with 8.5 and 50th in hits allowed per seven innings with 4.01 

Over the weekend, Oslanzi went 3-0 with three complete five-inning games. She had 15 strikeouts in those games and allowed eight hits and one walk. 

Against Saint Louis University on Saturday, she allowed one hit and no walks in an 8-0 win. She had another shutout the day before against the University of Detroit Mercy where she allowed four hits and one walk and had eight strikeouts. 

“I really like having a presence when I’m pitching, and I feel like we all have a good presence on the team,” Oslanzi said. “So, I feel like seeing that from everybody helps myself. Having my teammates have confidence gives me confidence.”  

Oslanzi isn’t just a pitcher, though. She has been able to keep a 0.226 batting average and four RBIs.   

Oslanzi said she was able to complete these feats due to her training. The team works on everything during practice from pitching to hitting.  

Another reason was due to her teammates, said head softball coach Tara Archibald. 

“Being a freshman, it takes a minute to adjust to the level of competition and the speed of the game, but she seems to have settled in really quickly and gotten comfortable quickly,” Archibald said. “I think that’s a huge testament to her teammates and how comfortable she feels with her teammates.” 

Some freshmen don’t get to make an impact on their team right away, but Oslanzi has.  

“I’m very grateful for it,” Oslanzi said. “I didn’t really expect it coming on as a freshman.” 

Despite Oslanzi winning pitcher of the week, the Panthers only won one game during the tournament.  

“I mean, I thought we were working well together,” Oslanzi said. “It’s just some things just don’t end up how we wanted to, but I feel like we tried our best.”   

Even though Oslanzi is already winning pitcher of the week, she still has a lot to grow on, said Archibald. 

“She’s just going to keep growing,” Archibald said. “Like, as good as she’s been, she and I both know there’s still a lot of ways she can keep growing, and it’s exciting to think about it that way too.”   

  

Patrick Schmitz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 

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Patrick Schmitz, Sports Reporter
Patrick Schmitz is a freshman sports media relations major. This is his first year at The News. 

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