CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Ohio softball team (7-4) opened up play in Carbondale, Ill. on Friday (Feb. 22), falling to host Southern Illinois, 3-0 in game one, before bouncing back and taking down Evansville, 5-0, in the second game.
GAME ONE: SIU 3, Ohio 0
Sophomore Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) singled to left field to lead off the first inning for Ohio. With two outs, Yun advanced to second on a passed ball however the Bobcats could not capitalize leaving Yun stranded to end the frame. With one out, Southern Illinois singled on a bunt and drew a walk that advanced a runner to second base. Ohio forced a pop up to second base for its second out of the frame but, Southern Illinois would double to right field for a two-run RBI. The runner advanced to third base on an error but, Ohio would force a fly-out to end the frame, trailing 2-0.
With two outs in the top of the second inning, senior Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) singled to center field however she would be left stranded as Ohio grounded out to the shortstop to end the frame. Southern Illinois' first batter drew a walk that later advanced to second on a sacrificial bunt and advanced to third base on a single to right field. With runners on first and third, Ohio forced a fly out to center field, scoring the runner at third, putting SIU up 3-0.
The top of the third inning opened with a quick three and out for the Bobcats on two ground outs and a pop up to the short stop. Southern Illinois would threaten to add again as they singled to left field and later advanced to second on a single to left field with one out. However, with runners on first and second, Ohio recorded back-to-back strike outs to end the third inning.
Trailing 3-0 with one out in the top of the fifth inning, Day singled to left center and later advanced to second on a single to center field by junior Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.). Redshirt senior Michaela Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio), in her first game of the season, pinch hit for freshman Taytum Hargrave (Warsaw, Ind.) and reached on a fielder's choice, advancing Day to third base. Ohio would ground out to third base stranding Day on third and Dorsey on first to end the frame. Dorsey would sub in to right field. The Salukis singled to center field and later advanced to second on a sacrificial bunt to third base. Ohio forced a fly out to center-field but, Southern Illinois would advance to third on an error. With two outs, the Salukis stole second to place runners on second and third. Ohio forced a ground out to first base escaping yet another Southern Illinois threat.
In its final attempt to get on the board, senior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) singled to the shortstop with one out. Day would go on to reach on a fielder's choice but, Cole would be called out at second. Unfortunately, the Bobcats would be unable to get a run around, falling to SIU, 3-0.
Overall, Ohio scored no runs on five hits and registered two errors, while Southern Illinois scored three runs on seven hits and registered no errors.
Individually, Day went 2-for-3 while Holland went 1-for-2. Yun and Cole both went 1-for-3 for the Bobcats.
In the circle, freshman Mackensie Kohl (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) pitched six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out four batters.
GAME TWO: Ohio 5, Evansville 0
After the Bobcats forced Evansville to lead two runners on in the top of the first inning, Ohio would get a baserunner on in the bottom of the frame. Yun would lead the inning off with a single up the middle, however, the Bobcats would be unable to get her around, sending the game to the second scoreless.
After a scoreless second inning and top of the third, the Bobcats struck in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, Yun singled up the middle before freshman Caroline Spacek (Beaumont, Texas) drew a walk. Still with two outs, senior Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) would single through the left side, loading the bases. That would bring up senior Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio), would demolish her second homerun of the season, a grand slam, giving Ohio a 4-0 lead.
After Evansville stranded a runner in the top of the fifth, Ohio tried to add on in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Day singled and then Hargrave reached on a fielder's choice, however, the Bobcats would be unable to get a runner across, keeping the score, 4-0.
After a one-two-three inning from Evansville in the top of the fifth, the Bobcats would add on when Spacek would send a ball over the fence for her first career homerun, putting Ohio up 5-0. With one out, Geno would single up the middle and then move to second on a ground out and third on a passed ball. However, the Bobcats would be unable to get her home, sending the game to the top of the sixth with the Bobcats leading, 5-0.
Evansville would get a runner on in the top of the sixth, but would be unable to score. After Ohio would go down in order in the bottom of the frame, the Ohio defense would get the final three outs of the game, securing the 5-0 victory.
Overall, Ohio scored five runs on seven hits and had one error, while Evansville did not score on two hits, while committing one error.
Individually, Ohio was led by Geno who went 2-of-3 with a run scored, four RBI and a grand slam. Yun went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Spacek added a homerun and two runs scored. Alvarez added a hit and a run scored, while Day also recorded a base hit for the Bobcats.
In the circle, sophomore Madi McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) pitched seven innings, allowing no runs on two hits, walked three and struck out a season-high 10 batters.
Up next, the return to action on Sunday, Feb. 24 when the Bobcats take on SIU. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.