ATHENS, Ohio – A two homerun day from senior Morgan Geno would lead the Ohio softball team (24-11, 5-1 MAC) to an 8-4 victory against Mid-American Conference West foe Northern Illinois (15-17, 2-3 MAC) Saturday (March 30) afternoon at the Ohio Softball Field. The victory gave the Bobcats the series victory over NIU.
After NIU would go down in order to open the game, the Bobcats would jump on the board first. Sophomore Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) would lead the inning off with a single to left field and then steal seconds. Sophomore Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) would then follow that up with a single of her own, allowing Englant to move to third. Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) would then crush a ball to deep right field, that would allow Englant to score, giving Ohio a 1-0 lead after on innings.
After a scoreless second inning from both teams, NIU would threaten in the top of the third, getting runners on second and third with one out. However, the Bobcats' defense would get a runner out at home and end the inning on a fly out, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio's 1-0 lead intact.
After a scoreless inning from Ohio in the bottom of the third, NIU threatened in the top of the fourth inning, loading the bases with two outs. However, starting pitcher sophomore Madi McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) would get the final batter of the inning to strikeout, securing the Bobcats' 1-0 lead.
Ohio would add on in the bottom of the frame when senior Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) hit a solo homerun to right center, giving Ohio a 2-0 lead after four innings.
NIU would get on the board in the top of the fifth inning, getting two runs to tie the game at 2-2 going into the bottom of the fifth.
Ohio would respond in the bottom of the fifth inning. Freshman Caroline Spacek (Beaumont, Texas) would lead off with an infield single and move to second on a ground out. Spacek would then move to third after Englant reached on a single of her own. Spacek would score after an RBI single from Yun, setting up Alvarez's RBI double, putting Ohio up 4-2.
The Bobcats' weren't done yet. On the first pitch after an NIU pitching change, Geno would demolish her second homerun of the game, this one to left center, putting Ohio up 7-2 after five.
After a scoreless inning from NIU in the top of the sixth, Ohio would add on in the bottom of the frame. Senior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) would reach first after being hit by a pitch. She would then move to second on a ground out and third on a passed ball, allowing junior Alexa Holland to lay down a perfect squeeze bunt, scoring Cole from third and putting Ohio up 8-2.
NIU would get two runs in the top of the seventh inning, but McCrady would get the final Huskies' batter to strikeout looking, sealing the 8-4 victory for Ohio.
Overall, Ohio scored eight runs on nine hits and committed two errors, while NIU scored four runs on eight hits and did not commit an error.
Individually, Geno went 2-for-3 with two homeruns, two runs scored and four RBI, while Yun went 2-for-4 with a run scored and one RBI. Alvarez went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI, while Englant went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Spacek added a hit and a run scored for Ohio, while Holland recorded an RBI.
In the circle, McCrady pitched seven innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits, while walking one and striking out seven.
Up next, Ohio heads to Kent, Ohio for some midweek #MACtion on Tuesday, April 2. The Bobcats and Kent State will face off in a doubleheader set for to start at 1 p.m. at the Diamond at Dix.