AKRON, OHIO– Led by Danielle Stiene's 11 strikeouts, and a clutch RBI single from Natalie Alvarez, the top-seeded Ohio Softball team (35-15) outlasted No. 8 Miami (24-24), 1-0, in the opening round of the 2018 Mid-American Conference Tournament inside Firestone Stadium. The Bobcats will take on No. 4 Kent State tomorrow (May 10) at 1 p.m.
Stiene's 11 strikeouts moved her to second all-time in Ohio history in career strikeouts.
"I'm extremely proud of Danielle Stiene for commanding the circle and working with runners on base," head coach Jodi Hermanek said. "I'm also extremely proud of clutch hitting and working to manufacture a run. We faced a very good pitcher today and I'm happy to get the first win of the tournament."
Miami would get runners on in the top of the first inning. With one out, Haeley Tran would reach on a single just over the head of the shortstop. She would then move to second on a wild pitch. Ashton Slone would then draw a walk to put runners on first and second with one out, but starting pitcher, Stiene (Loveland, Ohio) would strike out the next two RedHawks, ending the inning with the game still scoreless.
Ohio would get runners on the base in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) and Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) would draw back-to-back walks to put runners on first and second. However, the Miami defense would get the final two outs, sending the game to the second inning with it tied at 0-0.
Miami would get a runner on base in the top of the second inning when Morgan Lott reached on a two-out triple to leftfield. However, Stiene would get the final batter of the inning to strikeout to end the threat and send the game to the bottom of the second with it still scoreless.
After Miami left a runner on in the top of the third, Ohio would get their first hit of the game in the bottom of the frame, when Day hit a two-out triple to right center. However, the Miami defense would collect a deep fly ball to end the inning, sending the game to the fourth still tied at 0-0.
Miami would register another hit in the top of the fourth inning with a two-out double from Kaitlyn Gliha. However, Stiene would strike out the next batter, ending the threat and sending the game to the bottom of the inning with the game still tied at 0-0.
Ohio would strike in the bottom of the fourth inning. Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) would lead the inning off with a double to right center. She would then be replaced on the bases by Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio). Still with no outs, Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) would hit a single through the right side, scoring Cole from second. Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.) would enter to run for Alvarez and move to second on a sacrifice bunt, However, Miami would get the next two outs, sending the game to the top of the fifth with the Bobcats leading, 1-0.
After an uneventful fifth inning from either team, Miami would get another runner on in the top of the sixth. Slone would lead the inning off with a bloop single to left field. However, the Bobcat defense would get the final three outs of the inning, sending the game to the bottom of the sixth with Ohio leading 1-0.
After the Bobcats went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, Stiene returned to the circle, striking out the first batter, collecting a ground out and then striking out the final batter of the game to give the Bobcats the 1-0 win.
At the plate, Ohio scored one run on three hits. Day registered a triple, Geno registered a double and Alvarez registered a single and an RBI. Day and Yun both recorded walks as well.
In the circle, Stiene (24-6) pitched all seven innings, allowing no runs on four hits, walking two and striking out 11.
The Bobcats return to action Thursday, May 10 to face off against No. 4 Kent State in the second round of the MAC Tournament. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. inside Firestone Stadium. Fans can follow along on OhioBobcats.com where Jake Hromada will have the call.