OVU softball to open season Friday

PARKERSBURG – The way Mother Nature has been lately, perhaps Ohio Valley University head softball coach Rob Graham has the right idea and that’s to leave town and see if things are better elsewhere.

After getting confirmation on Wednesday afternoon from host Claflin University, OVU will attempt to begin its season starting Friday at the two-day Hampton Jordan Classic in Orangeburg, S.C.

“The tournament is on and we are going to try and go,” said Graham, whose squad went 19-25 last year during its final season of play in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference before joining the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.

“We’re going to head down there. Friday looks good and Saturday is a 40 or 50 percent chance of rain. They want to get it in, so we are heading down.”

Ohio Valley is scheduled to face Limestone at 3 p.m. on Friday and then take on Brenau at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the Fighting Scots have three games on the slate.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played a game before I’ve come back from spring break,” added the coach. “It’s been like the third week of March before we played a game.”

Hopefully, that is going to change this season.

After the trip to South Carolina, the Fighting Scots will play host to Glenville State on March 5. The Pioneers of head coach Mandy Sansbury recently were picked to finish fifth in the Mountain East Conference.

OVU’s spring break is set for March 8-14 in Myrtle Beach at the Fast Pitch Dreams.

“What I am hoping on doing is going down there for this early tournament and make any adjustments before we go on spring break,” Graham added. “It would be nice to see what we have before we walk into spring break.”

Graham, like all other Division II coaches, is allowed to work with his student-athletes 20 hours a week. OVU uses both the gym and its indoor facility to prepare for the season since the weather is far too inclement to get outside.

“If we are in the gym we’ll throw and do defense and we’ll go work on our hitting indoors and the pitchers will throw live,” he said. “We’ll work on situations and work on bunts and hitting away.”