Other than the success we’ve already seen this year, spring may end up being the most successful season of sports for both men and women.
Both baseball and softball have shown they have what it takes to win the MIAA, and maybe more.
Baseball has been the scariest team in the league pretty much all season. The (27-5) Griffons are a pitcher’s nightmare. They have been leading for much of the season in almost every statistical batting category.
They have knocked in 275 runs, the most by any team this season, which is 48 more runs than the Central Missouri, the team in second. They have the most hits, 382 total, which is 72 more than the team in second, Fort Hays State. They’ve cranked out 40 home runs. Northeastern State is the closest to that mark with 32, and only four teams behind them have hit over 20. Every other team has hit home runs in the teens or even fewer.
If you just took the home runs from Western’s hitters Grant Fink and Bubba Dotson, they would have 22. That would be enough to be ranked No. 6 in the MIAA.
They are also leading the MIAA in the most doubles, RBIs, slugging percentages and batting averages. Their batting average as a team is an amazing .391. Most hard hitting teams and players also seem to get paired up with the most strikeouts. Western has chosen not to follow those guidelines. Despite being the hardest hitting team, they are currently tied for the second fewest strikeouts as a team.
It’s not just the batting that is getting it done. Give just as much credit to the pitching and the defense.
The pitching has the lowest ERA in the MIAA at 3.74. All other teams are four and above. They have given up 195 hits this season, and are the only team to have given up fewer than 200.
They are clearly the team to beat in the MIAA.
Softball hasn’t gotten off to the best start they could have had, but it’s nothing they can’t move on from. Despite letting a few winning chances slip away, this team still has what it takes to beat anybody.
Currently with a record of 26-10, they are No. 4 in the MIAA.
They aren’t leading in every category, but they are among the top in batting.
Home runs are the trending thing for Western this year. They have 37 home runs of their own, more than any other team. They’ve stolen 48 bases, the second in the conference, and amazingly have only been caught stealing twice, the fewest by any team. They are sitting in the top five in the MIAA in batting average, runs, hits, triples and slugging percentages.
The pitching has the second lowest ERA at 2.23 and is tied for second for the most wins. Every other pitching category is among the top five.
Fort Hays State and Central Missouri are the toughest opponents in softball this year. They both have only lost one game in the MIAA. Western has to prove they can handle those teams if they plan on winning the conference.
They have yet to beat either of them. Western lost to Central Missouri 1-2 and 0-2. They hung with the nationally ranked No. 18 Fort Hays State for 12 innings to lose it 1-2. They got blown out of the water in the second game 3-11.
Both softball and baseball are in the top of the conference and have a chance to go far in the post season. Both being lead by arguably the greatest pitchers in Western’s history at their sport, Jackie Bishop in softball and Brandon Simmons in baseball. If these teams can live up to their expectations, this could easily be the most well-rounded, winning time of the year for the Griffons’ athletic program, and possibly one of the best spring sports seasons in Western’s history.