Senior softball player receives league honors

Devin Boatwright, Staff Reporter

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Mikayela Marciniak, a senior outfielder on the softball team was recently named the Horizon League Player of the Week. With her performance against Bowling Green, she looks to end what may be her final year here at Oakland University with a bang.

Marciniak is the first Golden Grizzly softball player to receive league honors this season. This past week, Marciniak maintained a .500 batting average and a .684 slugging percentage. She also recorded an on base percentage of .619 scoring six runs and 5 walks.

During the game at Bowling Green, Marciniak was active on the offensive end, contributing with an RBI and two runs.

Marciniak helped the Golden Grizzlies garner a 3-2 record over the weekend. Along with these other stats, she drove in eight RBI’s overall.

“I perform my best when I go through my routine before entering the box and clear my head,” she said. “Coach Lauren tells us, you are as prepared as you possibly could be for this moment and to trust your preparation. This sticks with me and allows me to relax in the box and just do what I do because I know that I am prepared for it. Also, I am able to step into the box confidently and clear headed because I know my team has my back, so I am not afraid to make a mistake because they will pick me up.”

The next weekend against the Youngstown State Penguins, she knocked in another two runs in the second game of a double-header. Oakland was unable to defeat Youngstown State however, losing all three games in the series

Since 2016, like her senior counterpart Brittney Miller, Marciniak has started in 40 plus games. She has played many different positions on the field, becoming a versatile player in the lineup. Softball has been a part of her life for over a decade.

“I began playing competitive travel softball when I was 7 years old,” she said. “So, softball has always been a part of my life in some way. Therefore, I feel as though softball is a passion of mine. This sport has brought me some of my best friends, coaches, and mentors that I know I will have for years and years.”

In 2016, Marciniak started 44 games at left field, in 2017 she started in all 46 games at first base and DP, and in 2018 she started in 45 games as the designated hitter. In 2017, Marciniak ranked fourth in the league in RBI’s, seventh in doubles, and ninth in hits and total bases.

She also performed in the classroom, becoming a part of the Horizon League Honor Roll in 2016, which awards students who have completed at least three semesters at their university and attained a 3.2 grade point average or higher. Marciniak also was selected to the Horizon League’s All-Academic team in 2017.

Her accomplishments have stretched farther than just seasonal highs and league highs, she has broken into the career top 10 for Oakland softball as well. In her junior year, she reached top 10 in multiple categories, including: walks (fifth; 45), doubles (sixth; 28), on base percentage (10th, .357), slugging percentage (10th; .405) and triples (10th; five).

The past two seasons, the softball team has had a winning record in Horizon League play, and last season they ranked third in the conference with a 13-8 record. They finished as the runner-ups, placing second behind only the University of Chicago-Illinois (UIC).

The softball team looks to rebound from a winless weekend in Youngstown, and will face off against rival Detroit Mercy March 26 and 27 starting at 4 p.m.. The Titans are 3-0 in conference play after a weekend sweep of Wright State, so a series victory by the Golden Grizzlies would bring the two rivals closer together in the standings.

Her advice to younger softball players: enjoy your time.

“This may sound cliché, but enjoy every minute you have playing the game, being with your team, and being coached by your coaches,” Marciniak said. “The four years go by quicker than you can imagine. Learn as much as you can from one another, the coaches, and the whole athletic department. Always give 100%, you do not want to leave after your 4 years regretting that you didn’t give your all when you could. Yes, you are going to have off days but come back from that stronger giving all you have.”