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MAC Bandwagon Podcast, ep. 96: The 2022 MAC Softball Tournament Special!

The boys discuss a number of stories from the week, including a new athletic identity at Akron and a preview of the MAC Softball tournament!

Illustration: James H. Jimenez; photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, James H. Jimenez, Kenneth Bailey

Welcome back to another episode of the Bandwagon folks! As always, we’re thankful for the support and are glad you stopped by.

The boys open up the show this week with a number of news stories from around the conference, leading off with the athletic re-brand at Akron. The Zips announced a new athletic identity on Monday, replacing their eight current logos with a stylized “A.” The reaction from the fan base has been mixed, as these things tend to be. We saw it last year with the Western Michigan re-brand, and the Zips fan base seems to be similarly split. Zack and Zach give their thoughts on the new identity.

Next up, the boys discuss the recent and sudden passing of Eastern Michigan assistant football coach Freed Reed. Reed had been in Ypsilanti for the last seven seasons and most recently served as the defensive pass game coordinator and safeties coach. Coach Reed spent 25 years coaching college football and clearly made an impact at every stop he made. A veteran of the MAC, Reed also had stints on the coaching staff at Ohio and Buffalo in addition to his time in Ypsilanti. Our thoughts are with his family and the entire EMU football program.

A great story from the conference this past week is the Central Michigan women’s lacrosse team, who in just their seventh season of competition won the MAC and qualified for their first NCAA tournament. Their reward? The Chippewas will face perennial power Northwestern, who has won seven national titles since 2005. CMU will travel to Evanston for a 5:00 pm start on Friday.

The main event of the weekend in the MAC is the softball tournament, which is being held for the first time since 2019. Miami is clearly the favorite here, having won the MAC going away with a 24-5 record in the conference. They will be the top seed and host for the conference tournament, and will host fourth seeded Bowling Green in one of the semifinals on Thursday. While Miami has the best offense in the MAC, the Falcons have strong armed Payton Gottshall on the mound, who leads the MAC in ERA, opponent batting average, wins and strikeouts. In the other semifinal, Ohio will take on Central Michigan. The Bobcats took two of three from the Chippewas in their only series this season.

To close out the show, the boys recap the week that was in MAC baseball. Ball State maintained their slim lead on first place, taking three of four games from Kent State over the weekend. Central Michigan kept pace, taking three of four themselves from Western Michigan. Qualification for the MAC tournament is still up for grabs - Ohio and Toledo currently sit in third and fourth place, but there is a group of four other teams still in contention. Ohio especially has a big series this weekend, traveling to Muncie to take on first place Ball State.

Thanks again for stopping by this week folks. Have a great weekend and a great week ahead, and we’ll see you back here next week!