If the Cleveland State Vikings are going to make a deep run in the Horizon League softball tournament, they’ll likely get contributions from Lorain County graduates.
Junior Cynthia Woodard, an Elyria graduate, and sophomore Alyson Broschk, a Keystone graduate, are the top two run producers for the Vikings, combining to drive in 49. Broschk has a team-high 25 RBIs.
“I always just look to hit to the right side of the field just to move them over,” Broschk said. “Even if it’s just a little hit to the first or second baseman, it usually can get them in as long as it’s on the ground. So I just look for an outside pitch and sacrifice myself so the other runners can score.”
Broschk won her first Horizon League player of the week honors on April 21 thanks to a 6-for-11 effort at the plate in four games. She scored four runs, had two home runs, two doubles and drove in seven, including four in a 5-1 win over UIC on April 14.
Woodard leads the team in home runs (nine), doubles (11) and slugging percentage (.643) while hitting .349.
“A lot of it has to do with me being more comfortable at the plate this year,” said Woodard, who is an occupational therapy major. “I’m not going up there trying to guess what she’s going to throw me. It was really just telling myself not to be in my head so much, just not being a mental case all the time and just relaxing and clearing my mind.”
The pair are just two of seven Lorain County alumni on the Vikings. Sophomore Darien Ward and freshmen Katelynn Thomas and Mel Woodard went to Elyria. Sophomore Alisha Silva graduated from Keystone and freshman Olivia Wulfhoop is a Wellington alum.
“It helps with the transition and making playing college ball a lot easier for us,” said Broschk, who is a criminology major. “We’ve played travel ball with each other growing up and Lorain County really has been able to build strong players coming out of high school.”
The Vikings begin their Horizon League Tournament run today against Youngstown State at Wright State.
- Cleveland State isn’t the only team in the Horizon League Tournament with Lorain County connections. Freshman pitcher Caitlyn Minney — an Elyria graduate — is 2-6 in six starts and 16 appearances for Youngstown State. She has 39 strikeouts in 40⅔ innings with a 3.96 ERA. Avon Lake graduate Alexis Thomas, a Wright State freshman, has 13 appearances and five starts, scoring three runs.
- Ohio State senior Melissa Rennie is hitting .175 in 43 games and 36 starts with a double, a triple and six runs. The Wellington graduate and the Buckeyes will take on Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday.
- Akron and Kent State combine to feature three local alumni in the Mid-American Conference Tournament starting today at Firestone Stadium in Akron. The Zips face Central Michigan and have a pair of sophomores from Keystone: MacKenzie Conrad and Erin Pond. Conrad is 4-5 in the circle with seven starts and 15 appearances. She has 37 strikeouts in 63⅔ innings with a 3.74 ERA. Pond is hitting .279 with 15 runs, four doubles and 10 RBIs.
- The Flashes have junior Kim Kirkpatrick of Olmsted Falls, who is hitting .295 and is second on the team with 33 runs and leads with 11 doubles. The Flashes take on Ohio University today.
- Elyria graduates Alyssa Barker and Alanna Williams, both sophomores, will compete in the MEAC Tournament on Thursday for Coppin State when the Eagles face Bethune-Cookman. Barker is hitting .333 and started all 35 games with 13 runs, nine doubles, a triple, a home run and 14 RBIs. She is 9-15 in the circle with a 4.38 ERA in 23 starts and 28 appearances. Williams is hitting .228 in 22 starts with six runs scored.
- Sophomore Jennifer Sutton and South Dakota State begin their Summit League Tournament run against South Dakota today. The Amherst graduate has a 5.98 ERA in 17 starts and 26 appearances with a 6-12 record and 52 strikeouts in 105⅓ innings.
- The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference held its softball tournament last week, with four teams claiming Lorain County graduates. Keystone sophomore Bri Buckley played in 42 games, hit .268 and scored 17 runs with a double and three triples. Ashland went 1-1 during the tournament.
- Findlay went 1-2 in the tournament. Admiral King senior Anna Britvec played in 39 games, scoring eight runs with a .139 average.
- Walsh went 0-1 in the tournament. North Ridgeville freshman Kendra Moore made one appearance on the season.
- Lake Erie did not qualify for the tournament. Vermilion sophomore Kate-Lynn Urgo appeared in 34 games, hit .310 and scored 11 runs.
- Wheeling Jesuit reached the consolation semifinals of the Mountain East Tournament before falling 5-3 to Urbana. Midview junior Sydney Mencke finished with a .133 average in eight games, five starts and scored two runs.
- Ursuline went 0-2 at the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament. Black River freshman Dagmar Smith made 14 appearances with six starts in the circle, compiling a 4.81 ERA. North Ridgeville sophomore Rachel Jaloweic played in 19 games with four starts and two runs scored.
- Baldwin Wallace junior Mackenzie Brua — an Avon graduate — was named first-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference after hitting .344 with 10 doubles, nine home runs, 29 RBIs and 36 runs. The Yellow Jackets did not qualify for the OAC Tournament.
- Freshman pitcher Samantha Dostall — a Firelands graduate — had an impressive debut for Baldwin Wallace. She went 4-4 in eight starts and 10 appearances, striking out 36 in 49⅔ innings with a 3.66 ERA. Also on Baldwin Wallace: North Ridgeville sophomore Nikki Gannon and Wellington sophomore Lauren Mims.
- Mount Union did not qualify for the OAC Tournament. Freshmen Kailey DeMarco and Brittany Helmink — both North Ridgeville graduates — combined for 15 appearances.
- Case Western won a share of the University Athletic Association championship in March — when all the teams played a double round robin in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Avon Lake graduate Annie Wennerberg, a freshman, won the UAA’s Nancy Gray Rookie of the Year award and was a second-team All-UAA selection after going 12-5 in the circle with 93 strikeouts in 120⅔ innings and a 2.96 ERA. She also had 25 runs, five home runs, 14 RBIs and hit .316.
- Freshman pitcher Kate Edgehouse and the Wooster Scots did not qualify for the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament. The Olmsted Falls grad finished 5-11 with a 3.98 ERA in 21 games and 19 starts. She struck out 57 in 100⅓ innings.
Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or email@example.com.