Softball: Ohio Athletics Gears Up For Friday Afternoon Slugfest

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Ohio Softball is hosting a friendly competition Friday featuring participants among the entire Athletic Department to see who can hit the dinger…the moonshot…the quadruple…

The home run.

“We, as a softball staff, wanted to do something that could bring a little student athlete camaraderie, a little competition, kind of allow the student athletes to come together and have some fun,” said softball head coach Jodi Hermanek.

As Ohio heads into the thick of its conference schedule in the coming weeks, this event looks like an opportunity for the players to blow off some steam and enjoy a relaxing evening with their fellow student athletes and coaches.

“So far we’ve got (participants from) wrestling, men’s basketball, soccer, field hockey,” said Hermanek about the expected turnout. “And when we opened it up to the student athletes to participate, a lot of the coaches and staff members were like, ‘Hey we wanna do it,’ so we opened it up for student athletes and coaches to get on the field and test their hitting skills.”

So, here’s the breakdown:

The event will take place Friday afternoon toward the end of practice, around 4:00.

There will be a men’s competition and a women’s competition.

Participants include several student athletes and coaches from out-of-season sports across the athletic department.

The winners will receive the coveted “Golden Bat” award.

The “Whiffle Bat” award will be given to the person who whiffs the most.

There will be free pizza.

It appears as though this could really be a success. The idea of throwing some lighthearted folly in the midst of an enduring season seems good on paper, and the element of competitive spirit allows for a few lucky members of the Athletic Department to walk away with bragging rights while others bury their heads in shame. It essentially makes for a nice concoction.

The way it sounds, things could even get pretty heated in the men’s competition. When asked about any intriguing names expected to take part in the festivities, Hermanek mentioned strength and conditioning coach Zac Brouillette and wrestling coach Joel Greenlee as odds-on favorites based on their stature. Furthermore, the Ohio men’s basketball team is expected to send about three people to represent the 2012 MAC Champions and NCAA Tournament Darlings on the diamond. And look out for field hockey coach Neil Macmillan as a potential dark horse competitor. Macmillan reportedly ventured to the softball field Tuesday for a couple practice swings and hit a 300-foot tape measure shot.

Macmillan was also said to be holding tryouts for his field hockey players to compete in the women’s derby after their successful 2011 campaign. They will receive some serious competition from the soccer team, which is well represented with about seven of its players signed up to participate, just before it kicks off its spring season.

If the turnout is as good as expected on Friday, Hermanek believes this competition will be an every year occurrence down the road.

“I think it will be a good opportunity for us to annually have something where the student athletes can interact together,” said Hermanek. “It’ll just be fun. For us, it’s about interaction and camaraderie more than anything.”

But before the Friday evening slugfest, there is some work to be done. Ohio currently sits at 15-18 (4-4 MAC) after losing two heartbreakers to Miami over the weekend. The Bobcats will be looking for redemption in Huntington, W. Va., as they take on rival Marshall (22-16, 10-5 C-USA) in a Wednesday double header.