ATHENS, Ohio– The Ohio softball team (29-14) opened their final home stand of the 2018 season on Wednesday, defeating Marshall (23-25-1), 10-2 in six innings at the Ohio Softball Field.
"To be honest, I'm really happy about the win, but I don't think it was our best day as far as our mentality and intentions," head coach Jodi Hermanek said. "We did what we needed to do to come in here and compete. And we did, but we didn't have our grind. We need to get better at that. I am proud of what we did here defensively and offensively. We got into deep counts and had timely defense to get out of innings. I just feel like our challenge today was mentally and I feel like we could have played up a notch."
Marshall would get on the board first. Elicia D'Orazio would lead the inning off with a walk and then would steal second and then steal third with one out. Then, after Aly Harrell drew a walk and stole second, D'Orazio would score on a fly out. Starting pitcher, Danielle Stiene (Loveland, Ohio) would get the final batter to strikeout, ending the inning with the Bobcats trailing 1-0.
Ohio responded in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) singled and then moved to second when Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) drew a walk. Day would then score on an RBI single from Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.), tying the game at 1-1. Michaela Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) would reach on a fielder's choice, where Geno would be safe at third on an error. Geno would then score a batter later on an RBI single from MacKenzie Brunswick (Bellefontaine, Ohio). Then with two outs, Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) would crush an RBI double over the head of the centerfielder, clearing the bases. Englant would be out at third trying to stretch the double into a triple, however, the Bobcats would take a 5-1 lead to the second inning.
After Marshall would strand a runner in the top of the second, Ohio threatened to add on in the bottom of the frame. Taylor Saxton (Circleville, Ohio) led off with an infield bunt single. She then moved to second when Mikayla Cooper (Delaware, Ohio) drew a walk. Ohio would load the bases when Geno drew a walk. However, the next Bobcat batter would hit into a double play, ending the inning with Ohio leading 5-1.
After an uneventful bottom of the third for Ohio, Marshall would get a runner on in the top of the fourth inning, when with one out, Grayson Radcliffe would single through the left side. However, the Ohio defense would get the final two outs, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Ohio would threaten again. With one out, Cooper would single through the left side. She would then move to second on a single through the left side from Day. Ohio would load the bases again when Geno drew her third walk of the game. Alvarez would crush a two-RBI single to center, scoring Cooper and Day, giving Ohio a 7-1 lead after four.
Marshall would get a run in the top of the sixth inning, when Harrell hit a homerun to rightfield. Taylor McCord would then reach on a single. However, the Ohio defense would get a one out, ground ball double play to end the inning, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio leading 7-2.
The Bobcats would wrap up the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Cooper would single and then move to second on a fielder's choice by Day. Geno would then single through the right side to load the bases. With still one out, Dorsey would then crush a double to the centerfield wall, clearing the bases and giving Ohio the 10-2, six-inning victory.
In the circle, Stiene (19-5) got the start, pitching four innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out four. Kendall Meeks (Guysville, Ohio) would pitch two full innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out one.
At the plate, the Bobcats scored 10 runs on 12 hits. Alvarez and Dorsey both went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI. Day went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, while Cooper went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Geno went 1-for-1 with a run scored, while Saxton added a base hit and Englant went 1-for-3 with three RBI.
The Bobcats conclude the home portion of their schedule this weekend when Ohio returns to Mid-American Conference play April 27-28 when they host Buffalo. The Bobcats and Bulls will play Friday, April 27 at 4 p.m. and will wrap up the series with a doubleheader on April 28 that is set to being at 1 p.m. This weekend will also serve as Senior Weekend, so get to the OSF early on Saturday for all the fun festivities.