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Softball falls to Kentucky in first game of Lexington Regional

The Toledo softball team opened the NCAA Lexington Regional May 17 with a 7-2 loss to Kentucky in Lexington.

Toledo took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on five consecutive singles, but the Wildcats countered with four runs in the bottom of the first and added three more in the fifth to clinch the victory.

Sophomore pitcher Erin Hunt struck out four Kentucky batters May 17 in the NCAA Lexington Regional.

Toledo’s eight hits in the contest matched Kentucky’s, but the Rockets were not able to get any timely hits after the first inning.

Sophomore Erin Hunt took the loss, pitching well for much of the game despite the final score as she struck out four batters on the day.

“The better team came out on top, but we’re proud that we showed that we can we play with this type of team,” Head Coach Joe Abraham said. “Because of the way we played in the [Mid-American Conference] Tournament last week, we were confident throughout this whole game, even going into the seventh inning.”

The Wildcats finished the regular-season ranked 16th in the NCAA RPI with a 34-22 overall record and 14-10 ledger in the Southeastern Conference. Despite being a powerhouse, Abraham and the Rockets weren’t phased coming into the game.

“In that first inning, we weren’t the least bit intimidated, so it didn’t surprise me that we came out with two runs in the first,” Abraham said. “Our girls can flat out rake. I’m surprised we didn’t get more, frankly.”

Toledo saw eight of nine batters record a hit, and runs were brought in from sophomore Bekah Yenrick and junior Morgan Paaverud.

The Rockets’ next game is Saturday, May 18, at 2:30 p.m. when they’ll face Illinois in an elimination game. The winner of that contest will play the loser of the Kentucky-Virginia Tech game, which will be played May 18 at noon.

Toledo softball player named to Great Lakes Region Second Team

University of Toledo senior third baseman Katie Cozy was named to the Great Lakes Region Second Team, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced May 16.

Cozy is the only player out of the Mid-American Conference to make the region’s second team, and she is one of three MAC players to earn a spot on one of the three Great Lakes Region teams.

Senior third basemen Katie Cozy was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Great Lakes Region Second Team.

“It’s awesome,” Head Coach Joe Abraham said. “It’s a huge honor to get on the all-region team and it takes a great season to earn a spot, so we’re absolutely thrilled for Katie. She’s had a great year, and she deserves it.”

Cozy also earned a spot on the MAC’s All-Tournament team this year after being an offensive standout all week for the Rockets, going 5 for 22 (.227) with five runs, three RBIs, two homers and four walks.

The Louisville, Ohio, native also was named to the All-MAC second team at the conclusion of the regular season.

Cozy paces the Toledo lineup with a .317/.379/.519 slash line with 58 hits, 13 doubles, eight homers, 33 RBIs and 14 walks.

Her 41 career doubles are tied for third most at Toledo, and her 18 home runs are tied for sixth.

Rocket softball team prepares to open NCAA Regionals against Kentucky

The Toledo softball team (29-26) will face No. 14 seed Kentucky (33-22) at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, in Lexington, Ky., in first-round regional action of the 2019 NCAA Softball Championships.

The game from John Cropp Stadium will be carried on ESPN3.

The 2019 MAC Champion Toledo Rockets will play No. 14 seed Kentucky in the second game of the NCAA Lexington Regional.

The Rockets are coming off a weekend in which they won the first Mid-American Conference Tournament title in program history. Toledo won six games in the tournament as the No. 7 seed, including a five-game tear in the loser’s bracket, taking down No. 4 Northern Illinois, No. 2 Kent State, No. 1 Miami and No. 3 Ohio.

Toledo most recently won the MAC regular-season title in 1992, but this was the first MAC Tournament crown for the program.

The winner of the Toledo-Kentucky game will play the winner of the Illinois-Virginia Tech game Saturday, May 18, at noon. The first-round losers will meet at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

The champion will be determined by one or two games Sunday, May 19.

The NCAA Regionals are played in a double-elimination format, meaning it takes two losses to be eliminated from the tournament.

Go to the NCAA website to see the full tournament bracket.

Toledo golfer ties for 12th place at NCAA Louisville Regional

University of Toledo senior Duncan McNeill closed out his collegiate career by tying for 12th place at the 2019 NCAA Louisville Regional.

The tournament, which included five top 25 teams and 16 of the top 100 players in the nation, was held at the par-71, 7,217-yard University of Louisville Golf Club.

Senior Duncan McNeill tied for 12th place at the NCAA Louisville Regional.

“It was great competing at regionals again, and it’s always nice to play in such a high-quality field,” McNeill said. “It’s a nice way to end my college career, and it will always be something cool to look back on.”

McNeill finished with a two-under par 211 (73-67-71), marking the lowest 54-hole totals of his collegiate career. He finished second in the 75-player field with 40 pars and registered just two bogeys over his final 45 holes.

He finished five shots behind medalist Tripp Kinney of Iowa State. Kinney carded a seven-under par 206 (69-65-72) and was the only individual to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships.

“It was a really fun battle to be in today,” Head Coach Jeff Roope said. “Having something to play for and to be in the fight is always where you want to be. Duncan played solid, and his putting was still outstanding. There was fight in him the whole week, and he can be proud of his effort. I know the rest of the Rockets are proud. I know the rest of the team is anxious to follow in Duncan’s footsteps at the national level and compete with the best the NCAA has to offer.”

In Wednesday’s round, McNeill posted birdies on No. 4 and No. 14 and had to settle for bogeys on No. 8 and No. 18.

McNeill is the third Rocket to compete in the NCAA Regionals as an individual. Chris Selfridge tied for 25th place in 2013 and 10th place in 2015, while Otto Black tied for 55th place in 2016.

No. 1 Oklahoma State captured the regional title with a 14-under par 838 and will be joined at the NCAA Championships by No. 11 Auburn (842), No. 25 Baylor (845), No. 21 Louisville (859) and No. 13 North Florida (860).

UToledo golfer fires career-best round to jump to 10th place in NCAA Regional

University of Toledo senior Duncan McNeill fired a career-best four-under par 67 in Tuesday’s second round to leap up to 10th place in the individual standings at the 2019 NCAA Louisville Regional.

The tournament is being hosted by the University of Louisville at the par-71, 7,217-yard University of Louisville Golf Club.

Senior Duncan McNeill is tied for 10th place at the NCAA Louisville Regional.

McNeill tallied four birdies during a bogey-free round May 14 and has posted a 36-hole total of two-under 140. Only two other golfers in the field posted a score lower than McNeill’s 67 Tuesday, and he has played his last 36 holes of the tournament at six-under par.

“Duncan put himself in some OK places off the tee,” Head Coach Jeff Roope said. “He wasn’t always in the fairway, but was almost always some place he could score from. His lag putting continued to be solid, and he hit at least 15 or 16 greens today. Getting comfortable with the speed of the greens has been a plus for him.”

McNeill opened his round with a birdie on No. 1, a par-four, 453-yard hole. After six straight pars, he birdied the par-three, 166-yard eighth hole. Following another six consecutive par stretch, McNeill birdied No. 15 (par-four, 407 yards) and No. 17 (par-five, 508 yards) to finish at four-under.

The field includes five top 25 teams and 16 top 100 players. The top five teams and the top individual not associated with those squads will advance to the 2019 NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

McNeill currently ranks third among individuals who are not members of a team that would qualify for the NCAA Championships. Arizona’s Trevor Werbylo is tied for second place at six-under 136 (67-69), while UConn’s Jimmy Hervol is tied for fourth place at five-under par 137.

Iowa State’s Tripp Kinney is leading the field with an eight-under par 134 (69-65), two strokes ahead of Werbylo and Louisville’s Matthias Schmid (66-70).

No. 11 Auburn is sitting atop the team standings with a 15-under par 553 (276-277) with No. 1 Oklahoma State in second place at seven-under par 561 (278-283).

The third and final round will be held Wednesday, May 15, with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Toledo softball team to face Kentucky in NCAA Regionals

The Toledo softball team (29-26) will face No. 14 seed Kentucky (33-22) at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, in Lexington, Ky. in first-round regional action of the 2019 NCAA Softball Championships.

The Rockets are bracketed alongside Virginia Tech (45-9) and Illinois (32-23), and are making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1992.

The Rockets react when they learn they will play Kentucky in the 2019 NCAA Softball Championships. The team watched the selection show in the Savage Arena Sunday night.

“We were pretty sure it would be Kentucky, so it didn’t surprise me,” Head Coach Joe Abraham said. “They’re a good SEC team, so it’s obviously going to be very difficult, but we played Florida State close, so anything can happen. All of those teams have good pitchers, so the key for us is good, solid pitching and to make all of the plays. Any game is winnable for us. Yeah, we’re an underdog, but not so much of an underdog that we can’t win games.”

“This is just exciting,” senior second baseman Megan Choate said. “We just won the MAC, and I think the team isn’t really over that. Being in the room tonight, you could just feel the vibe, and it was really exciting. Knowing that I get to play a few more games with this team moved me to tears. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, but now we have at least two more games. It’s just exciting being able to put the uniform on and play with the girls a little bit more.”

The Rockets are coming off the Mid-American Conference Tournament, where they won the first tourney title in program history after going on a five-game tear in the loser’s bracket as the No. 7 seed, taking down No. 4 Northern Illinois, No. 2 Kent State, No. 1 Miami and No. 3 Ohio.

Toledo most recently won the MAC regular-season title in 1992, but this was the first MAC Tournament crown for the program.

The NCAA Regionals are played in a double-elimination format, meaning it takes two losses to be eliminated from the tournament. The winner of the Toledo-Kentucky game will play the winner of the Illinois-Virginia Tech game Saturday, May 18, at noon. The first-round losers will meet at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The champion will be determined by one or two games Sunday, May 19.

The games will be carried on ESPN3; game times may change for TV.

Rockets to host evening with football coach May 29

University of Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle and his staff will host a reception at the world-famous Inverness Club Wednesday, May 29, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Craft beer and wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be availble for fans and supporters of the Rockets at the Toledo golf club, 4601 Dorr St.

There will be a live auction; items will include a trip for two to the game at Colorado State, a complete game-day experience with the team for selected home games, and NFL packages and gifts.

Proceeds will benefit The University of Toledo Rocket Fuel Program.

Donation levels are $1,000 for a table (seating for 10 and event recognition), $200 for a couple, and $125 for an individual. A portion of the ticket is tax-deductible.

Register on the UToledo Alumni Association website, or contact Andrew Terwilliger at andrew.terwilliger@utoledo.edu or 614.580.9978.

Toledo softball team wins MAC Tournament for first time in program history

The No. 7 seed Toledo softball team continued its run of upsets with three wins Saturday in Akron to claim the first Mid-American Conference Tournament title in program history and earn an automatic qualifier spot in the NCAA Regionals.

The Rockets took down No. 1 seed Miami and swept No. 3 seed Ohio in a doubleheader May 11 en route to claiming the title. Toledo most recently won the MAC regular-season title in 1992, but this was the first MAC Tournament crown for the program.

The Toledo softball team won its first conference tournament title in program history by beating Ohio twice and Miami Saturday, May 11, in Akron.

Toledo is the lowest seed in MAC Tournament history to win the softball title.

“I’m in a state of disbelief that we got it done,” Head Coach Joe Abraham said. “It was a team effort… We have a bunch of battlers. Literally one week ago, we were fighting to get into the tournament. It was such a good feeling to beat Central Michigan and make it in. One week later, here we are the MAC Champions, and I literally can’t believe it.”

Toledo claimed the title in dramatic fashion, rallying from a five-run deficit to defeat Ohio, 6-5, in Saturday’s second game to set up a winner-take-all battle with the Bobcats. That game was no contest, with the Rockets demolishing Ohio, 9-2.

The Rockets began the tournament with a 4-2 win over No. 2 seed Kent State Thursday before falling 7-1 to the Bobcats Friday.

Fighting through the loser’s bracket in the double elimination-style tournament, the Rockets had to defeat each of the top four seeds to come out on top. All together, Toledo outscored the competition 33-14 in its last five games.

The Rockets were led in the circle this week by sophomore Erin Hunt, who tossed 37.1 innings with four complete games, striking out 28 batters over the four days. Her efforts earned her a spot on the All-Tournament Team, and she also was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Hunt was joined on the All-Tournament Team by seniors Katie Cozy and Kaitlyn Bergman, who were offense standouts all week. Bergman went 6 for 20 with four runs, six walks, two homers, and seven RBIs while catching every game for the Rockets. Cozy was 5 for 21 with five runs, three RBIs, two homers and four walks.

The Rockets will find out their first-round NCAA Regional opponent Sunday. The NCAA Softball Selection Show will air at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

Four Toledo teams lead MAC in academic scores

The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) figures May 8, and once again The University of Toledo received very impressive scores across the board.

For the four-year period from 2014-15 to 2017-18, all 16 Rocket varsity sports had at least a 957 score, well above the NCAA’s cut point of 930, with women’s golf, men’s tennis and women’s tennis leading the way with perfect 1,000 marks. Those three sports plus football (981) had either the highest APR score or were tied for the highest score in the Mid-American Conference.

Six other Rocket teams were within five APR points of the league leader: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s swimming and diving, and women’s volleyball.

“These impressive APR numbers are a reflection of the terrific job our student-athletes are doing in the classroom,” said UToledo Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien. “Strong APR numbers are a very good indicator that our student-athletes are on track to graduate, so it was no surprise when we saw 77 Rocket student-athletes receive their diplomas at spring commencement last week.”

APR is a gauge of every team’s academic performance at a given point in time. Points are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis for eligibility, retention and graduation of scholarship student-athletes. 1,000 is considered a perfect score. Sports that fail to reach the cut point (930) can be penalized with the loss of scholarships, practice restrictions and post-season bans.

The APR data released May 8 is a cumulative figure taken from the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.

The University of Toledo Academic Progress Rates
Toledo Four-Year APR#

Baseball — 986

Men’s Basketball — 979

Men’s Cross Country — 957

Football — 981* 

Men’s Golf – 985

Men’s Tennis — 1,000* 

Women’s Basketball — 996 

Women’s Cross Country — 982

Women’s Golf — 1,000*

Women’s Soccer — 998 

Softball — 972

Women’s Swimming — 996 

Women’s Tennis — 1,000*

Women’s Track & Field — 976

Women’s Volleyball — 995
NCAA Cut Point — 930

#Four-year data from academic years 2014-15 through 2017-18

*Highest APR score or tied for highest score in the Mid-American Conference

Toledo fans can order football tickets at Kentucky, Colorado State, Bowling Green

Orders for away-game tickets for the 2019 University of Toledo football season are being taken at the Toledo Athletic Ticket Office, online or by phone.

Ticket orders are being taken for games at Kentucky Saturday, Aug. 31 ($53); at Colorado State Saturday, Sept. 21 ($38); and at Bowling Green Saturday, Oct. 12 ($25). Tickets will be mailed at a later date.

Tickets for the Rockets’ remaining away games will go on sale at a later date.

To purchase season tickets, single-game tickets, or away-game tickets, stop by the Athletic Ticket Office, located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex in Savage Arena, go to the Toledo Rockets’ website, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Season tickets start at just $70. Go to the Toledo Football Ticket Central website.