LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Ohio softball team (9-9) completed the second day of the 2018 Liberty Softball Classic, hosted by Liberty on Saturday afternoon, splitting the day's action. Ohio would take the first game of the day, 8-0 in six innings, against Delaware (3-14). Ohio would then fall in the final game of the day to host Liberty (17-7), 2-1.
GAME ONE: Ohio 8, Delaware 0 (Six Innings)
After the Bobcats opened the game by sending Delaware down in order in the top of the first inning, the Bobcats went to work in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Mikayla Cooper (Delaware, Ohio) doubled down the left field line. Next up, Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) would also double, but this time to right field, putting runners on second and third with one out.
The next batter, Michaela Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) would then work a 3-1 count before smashing her third home run of the season to left center, putting Ohio up, 3-0, still with one out. Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) would then draw a walk. Alvarez would move to second on a ground out, putting another runner in scoring position with two outs. However, the Delaware defense would be able to get the final out, sending the game to the second with Ohio leading, 3-0.
After starting pitcher Danielle Stiene (Loveland, Ohio) sent the Blue Hens down in order, the Bobcats would try to add on in the bottom of the second. With one out, Taylor Saxton (Circleville, Ohio) would reach on a single up the middle. Then Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) would reach on a fielder's choice, erasing Saxton on second. Then with two outs, Cooper would single to center field and advance to second on a throw, putting runners on second and third. Then Yun would draw a walk, loading the bases with two outs. Unfortunately, the Delaware defense would get the last out of the inning, ending the Ohio threat with the Bobcats still leading 3-0.
Delaware would get a runner on in the top of the third inning when Ali Davis drew a walk. However, Stiene would get the last batter to strike out, ending the inning with Ohio leading 3-0.
After Ohio went down in order in the bottom of the third, the top of the fourth inning saw UD get their first hit of the game, when with one out, Mariah Kondravy singled to left field. Julia Solderitch would enter the game to run for her, and then with two outs, she would be caught trying to steal second, ending the inning with the Bobcats up 3-0.
Ohio would try to add on in the bottom of the fourth inning, with then two outs, Day would single up the middle and then move to second on a wild pitch. However, the Delaware defense would get the final out of the inning, ending the frame.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Ohio defense would send the Blue Hens down in order. In the bottom of the inning, Ohio would add on. Yun would lead off with a walk. Then with one out, Alvarez would single to left and then move to third on the throw, putting runners on second and third with one out. Next, Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) would single. She would then move to second on an error that allowed the two runners to score, putting Ohio up 5-0.
Then the next batter, MacKenzie Brunswick (Bellefontaine, Ohio) would crush a home run to left center, clearing the bases. The UD defense would get the final two outs of the inning, but the Bobcats would take a 7-0 lead to the top of the sixth.
The Ohio defense would make quick work of the UD offense and send the game to the bottom of the sixth with Ohio leading 7-0. Ohio would wrap up the game in that frame, when with two outs, Yun would double to right field and then score on a Dorsey RBI double, sending Ohio home with the 8-0 victory.
At the plate, Ohio scored eight runs on 11 hits. Leading the way was Dorsey who went 2-for-4 with a home run, double, four RBI and one run scored. Yun went 2-for-2 with two doubles and three runs scored. Cooper went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Saxton, Cole, Alvarez and Day all added base hits, while Brunswick added a home run and two RBI.
In the circle. Stiene got the start, going six innings and did not allow a run on one hit while striking out 10.
GAME TWO: Liberty 2, Ohio 1
In the second game of the day against Liberty, Ohio would strike first in the top of the first inning. With one out, Cooper would triple down the right field line. Then with two outs, Cooper would score on a Dorsey RBI single through the left side, putting Ohio up 1-0 after the first frame.
Liberty would tie the game up in the bottom of the first. Autumn Bishop would double to left center to lead off the inning. She would then move to second on a wild pitch and then score when Amber Bishop singled up the middle. The Ohio defense would then get the next three outs to end the inning with the game tied 1-1 after one inning.
After Ohio went down in order in the top of the second, Liberty tried to add on after Alexia Taylor singled through the right side. She then moved to third on a double to right center from Kaitlin McFarland. However, the Ohio defense would get the next two outs, stranding the runners in scoring position, keeping the game tied going to the third inning.
After an uneventful third and fourth innings from both teams, Ohio would try to break the tie in the top of the fifth. With one out, Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) would reach on an error. Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.) would then enter the game to run for Geno. With two outs, Saxton would single to the left side, putting runners on first and second. Day would then draw a walk, loading the bases with two outs. Unfortunately, the Liberty defense would get the final out of the inning, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with the game tied at 1-1.
Liberty would break the tie in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Tori Zavodny would single down the left field line. She would then move to second on a ground out. Jaclyn Amader would then register and RBI single, scoring Zavodny and putting the Flames up 2-1 after five innings.
In the top of the sixth inning, Yun would reach first with a leadoff single to left field and then move to second after a successful sacrifice bunt from Dorsey. However, the Flames would be able to get the next two outs, stranding Yun at second.
Liberty would try to add on in the bottom of the sixth inning. When with one out, Taylor Hoffman would single to third base. She would then advance to second when Autumn Bishop drew a two-out walk. However, the Bobcats would get the final batter of the inning to foul out, ending the threat.
Ohio would try to tie the game up in the top of the seventh inning when Brunswick drew a leadoff walk. She then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Saxton. However, the Liberty defense would get the final two outs of the inning and the Bobcats would fall by the final of 2-1.
At the plate, the Bobcats scored one run on four hits. Cooper registered a triple and a run scored, while Dorsey recorded a single and an RBI. Yun and Saxton both recorded base hits for the Bobcats.
In the circle, Kendall Meeks (Guysville, Ohio) would get the start, pitching two innings and allowing one run on four hits. Madi McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) would enter the game in the third, pitching three innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out two. Stiene would pitch the sixth inning, allowing no runs on one hit and struck out two.
The Bobcats wrap up play at the 2018 Liberty Softball Classic on Sunday, March 11 when they take on Delaware in the final game. First pitch is set for 10 a.m.