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Softball: Broken finger marks end of season for catcher
It seemed harmless enough when Bobcats catcher Jordan Paden was plunked in the hand in the second inning of a 4-2 loss to Central Michigan back on April 22. Paden took her base and finished out the second inning, but she has not played an inning since.
On Tuesday coach Jodi Hermanek confirmed the senior and co-captain won’t play for the rest of the season.
X-rays revealed that Paden suffered a “clean break” on a finger in her throwing hand. Hermanek said she’s listed as week-to-week for check-ups, but with the regular season wrapping up this weekend and the Mid-American Conference Tournament next week, the window for her return appears boarded up.
Freshman Alexandria Basquez, a third baseman by trade, will be behind the plate for the remainder of the season. Since Paden’s absence she has driven in three runs and hit her first career home run this past Sunday, all while providing a pleasant surprise with her defensive prowess.
“Obviously Jordan was something special for us,” Hermanek said. “…But Alex has done great and been tenacious behind the plate. She’s gotten a few good throw-outs for us, too.
“We have no choice but to be comfortable with her and she has no choice but to step in and do the job for us. She’s taken it on like a champ.”
Paden is the second catcher the Bobcats (20-20, 9-7 in the MAC) have lost this season. Lauren Gellerman, who has recovered after suffering a knee injury from a collision at the plate in late March, will not resume catching duties this season.
No time for gloating
A trio of wins last weekend buoyed the Bobcats to second in the MAC East – a spot that would guarantee a trip to the conference tournament.
With only Bowling Green (9-31, 3-14 MAC) and Toledo (8-35, 3-13 MAC) remaining on the slate, it would appear the Bobcats can punch their tickets to Akron already, but Hermanek said her squad is anything but comfortable.
“BG has been playing some good softball as of late and Toledo is just a club that’s going to take their hacks at you,” Hermanek said. “We have to really focus on our game and make sure we’re doing all the routine and small things correctly but it’s not just going to be a walk in the park.
“They’re going to make us earn everything.”