Softball earns 7-seed in KCAC Tournament, faces No. 2 seed Ottawa on Wednesday


Kansas Wesleyan Softball is the No. 7 seed in the 2024 KCAC Tournament and will open the tournament against the No. 2 seed Ottawa University at Noon on Wednesday at the Great Bend Sports Complex in Great Bend.

KWU reached the tournament thanks to a sweep of the Bethany Swedes in the final series of the regular season last week. KWU went 11-3 over its last 14 conference games after starting the season 2-10 in KCAC play to reach the conference tournament.

The Coyotes are 24-18 overall and finished KCAC play with a 13-13 record this season.

Sydnee Fordham paces the Coyotes with a .377 average for the season, leading the team with 49 hits and 21 doubles which leads the KCAC. Josie Buhr is hitting .360 on the season with 31 hits. Trenity Miller has 42 hits and leads the team with 30 RBI.

In conference play this season, Fordham has excelled with a .435 average and a 1.115 OPS with 37 hits and 15 doubles, leading the KCAC in conference play, along with a .647 slugging average. Buhr is hitting .409 with 18 hits, but missed nine conference games with an injury.

Caitlyn Collier leads the Coyotes with a 1.43 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in the circle with a 7-4 record in 19 appearances with nine complete games in 93 innings. Miranda Fogal is 7-7 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 666 and two-thirds and Jewell Henry is 7-5 with a 1.52 WHIP and a 3.21 ETA in 76 and a third innings.

Ottawa is 36-14 overall and finished KCAC play with a 20-6 record in the KCAC.

Addison Spencer leads the Braves with a .375 average in 50 games for the Braves and leads the team with 63 hits.

The Braves have a three-pitcher rotation led by Ashlyn Mercer with a 15-7 record in 25 appearances and 148 innings with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Madison Carney is 9-1 in 11 appearances with a 2.61 ERA and 1.23 WHIP and Takiya Hill is 11-4 in 21 appearances with a 1.14 WHIP and a 4.14 ERA in 95 and two-thirds innings.

Ottawa swept KWU in the regular season meetings winning 4-3 and 9-0 on March 23 in Salina.

The winner of the Ottawa / KWU match up will play the winner between Friends and Oklahoma Wesleyan at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The loser plays an elimination game against the loser between top-seeded Evangel and 8-seed Tabor at 7:30 on Wednesday.

Evangel is the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Ottawa is the No. 2 seed, Friends is the No. 3 seed, Saint Mary is seeded fourth, Avila fifth, Oklahoma Wesleyan sixth, KWU seventh, Tabor eighth.

The KCAC tournament runs through May 3. The tournament champion will receive one of two automatic berths to the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round May 13-16 at campus sites around the country. The NAIA Softball World Series is May 23-29 in Columbus, Ga.