Wed, Mar. 27, 2013 - [Softball]
The Kansas Wesleyan Softball team opens Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Thursday as the Coyotes host the Ottawa University Braves at 2 p.m., at Bill Burke Park in Salina.
The Coyotes are 17-4 on the season heading into conference play, having done fairly well circumventing the harsh weather conditions which have wreaked havoc on spring sport schedules all across the region and have had teams scrambling to find available contests. Thursday's games will be just the third time this season the Coyotes have played true home games.
Wesleyan has won its last five games including a sweep of Nebraska Wesleyan on March 20 when the Coyotes won the opener 14-6 in five innings and then rallied to score the game winning run in the eighth to win the nightcap 6-5.
Kim Patterson leads the Coyotes with 28 hits, including a team best seven doubles and also leads the team with 21 RBI. She is batting .412 this season with a .603 slugging percentage. She is one of three players with over 45 at bats to have a batting average over .350 so far this season.
Daria Leid anchors the Coyote pitching staff with a 9-0 record in 10 appearances with a 1.45 ERA in 58 innings pitched. She leads the KCAC in ERA and is second in several other categories. Opposing batters are hitting .243 against Leid this season. Chelsea Reid is 7-2 on the season in 10 appearances, with 50 strikeouts in 55 innings pitched.
Ottawa is 13-6 on the season, and is receiving votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 Coaches' Poll released on Tuesday. The Braves last played on March 19, defeating NCAA Division II opponent Southwest Baptist 6-5 and 5-2.
Amanda Martinson leads the Braves with a .385 batting average. While Cady Blevins leads the team with 24 hits and Mikayla Oliphant leads the team with three homeruns. Morgan Shramek leads Ottawa in the circle with a 6-3 record and a 2.56 ERA in 54.2 innings pitched. Hailie Ray is 5-2 with a 3.81 ERA in 53.1 innings pitched for the Braves.
After Thursday's doubleheader with Ottawa, the Coyotes head to Hillsboro to take on Tabor College on Saturday, and then to Sterling on April 3 to take on the Warriors. The April 1 home games with Central Christian (Kan.) have been canceled.