COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's softball team was picked to finish second in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Coaches' Poll presented by Under Armour as announced by the conference office on Thursday.
The Panthers accrued 148 points with three first place votes while Cedarville topped the poll with 157 points and five first place votes. Findlay was projected third and accounted for 144 points and the remaining four first place votes while Hillsdale (129) and Trevecca Nazarene (125) rounded out the top five.
The Panthers return 15 players who played including 13 players who started multiple games from a year ago to a team that finished 35-21 and at one point held a 19-game winning streak.
Leading the Panthers in the circle this season will be senior Abby Lamping (Cleves, Ohio), the G-MAC pitcher of the year a year ago, finished the season with a 16-8 record and an earned run average of 2.05. Lamping led the Panther pitching staff with 160.2 innings pitched where she gave up 47 earned runs with 93 strikeouts.
Juniors Cameron Barber (Powell, Ohio) and Taylor Farmer (Mt. Blanchard, Ohio) also made appearances in the circle for the Panthers. Barber appeared in 26 games with 24 starts and finished with a record of 15-7 in 144.1 innings pitched and an ERA of 2.86. Barber led the Panthers with 104 strikeouts on the season. Farmer appeared in 19 games in the circle with a record of 3-5 in 61 innings pitched and an ERA of 3.44 with 37 strikeouts.
Barber and Farmer also lead the Panther offense as they both earned second team all-conference honors a year ago.
Barber earned the honor as a designated player after hitting .333 while leading the conference in home runs with nine, ranking third in the conference in slugging percentage at .618, sixth in runs batted in with 34, seventh in doubles with 12 and fifth in walks with 18.
Farmer earned her second team honor at first base where she hit .337 while ranking second in the conference in RBI's with 40, second in home runs with seven, and third in sacrifice flies with three.
Sophomore outfielder Kristen Bales (Pickerington, Ohio) picked up all-conference honorable mention honors a year ago as she hit .310 at the plate with 27 RBI's with seven doubles and six triples.
Senior Kelly Mix (Baltimore, Ohio) will handle the duties behind the plate for the Panthers as she played in 51 games a season ago where she threw out 14 runners and hit .270 with 29 RBI's.
The Panthers will open their season in Huntsville, Alabama in the Charger Chillout with six games stating on Friday, February 8 against Union (TN.) and West Alabama. ODU plays 16 games in February and do not play a home game until Sunday, March 17 against Grand Valley State.