MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – The Ohio softball team (2-2) returned to action on Saturday, Feb. 17 in the second day of the EMU Madeira Beach Invitational, with the Bobcats dropping their two contests, falling to Lipscomb (5-0), 12-4 in nine innings, and then falling to UMass (3-4), 7-2 in the final game of the day.
GAME ONE: Lipscomb 12, Ohio 4 (9 innings)
After the first inning, which was uneventful for both teams, Lipscomb would get the first hit of the game on a single to center. However, the Ohio defense would be able to record the next two outs to send the game to the bottom of the second tied at 0-0.
In the bottom of the inning, freshman Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) reached first on an error by the shortstop. However, she would be caught stealing and the Bobcats would be unable to score.
After the second inning, there was little action until the top of the seventh inning when Lipscomb would break the 0-0 tie. With one out, Caitlin Plocheck would double to center and then advance to third on a single to right from Yeager. Then the next batter, Ward would reach on a bunt single, scoring Plocheck and putting runners on first and second with one out. However, starting pitcher, senior Danielle Stiene (Loveland, Ohio), would get the next two batters out, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio trailing 1-0.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Bobcats refused to go quietly. With one out, freshman Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) reached on an error and then advanced to second when senior Mikayla Cooper (Delaware, Ohio) walked. Englant would then score on the next play when junior Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) reached first on an error, putting runners on first and second with one out. However, the Lipscomb defense would hold strong and send the game to extra innings with the score tied at 1-1.
In the top of the eighth, Lipscomb would start with a runner on second due to the international tie-breaker rule. With Caitlin Turner on second and no outs, Abby Fenichel would be hit by a pitch and then move to second when Turner stole third, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Lipscomb would score a run when Sarah Higgins singled to center, scoring Turner, but in the process, Fenichel would be thrown out at home for the first out. Then with two outs, Jordan Fortel would hit a two-run home run to put Lipscomb up 4-1 entering the bottom of the frame.
In the bottom of the eighth for Ohio, junior MacKenzie Brunswick (Bellefontaine, Ohio) would be placed on second, however she would be thrown out at home trying to score on a single from redshirt junior Michaela Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio). Dorsey would then advance to third when freshman Brooke Rice (Mason, Ohio) singled to center and then advanced to second on a throw. Dorsey and Rice would score when redshirt senior Taylor Saxton (Circleville, Ohio) reached on an error. Then with one out, junior Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) would double to left field, scoring Saxton and tying the game at 4-4. The Bobcats however would be unable to push another run across and the game would go to the ninth inning.
In the top of the ninth, the Lipscomb offense would add on, with them scoring eight runs to take a 12-4 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, the Bobcats would be unable to overcome the deficit and would fall by the final of 12-4.
At the plate, Ohio scored four runs on three hits. Day would register a double and an RBI, while Dorsey had a hit and a run scored, as did Rice.
In the circle, Stiene would pitch eight innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out six. Freshman Madi McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) would not register an out and would allow seven runs on two hits while walking four. Sophomore Desirae Villanueva (Surrey, British Columbia) would pitch a third of an innings, allowing one run and two walks, while Sophomore Kendall Meeks (Guysville, Ohio) would pitch two thirds of an inning and did not allow a run on a hit and would record a strikeout.
GAME TWO: UMass 7, Ohio 2
After an uneventful first two innings, the Bobcats would strike first in the top of the third inning. With one out, Day would double down the right field line. Then with two outs, Cooper would single to left field and advance to second on a throw that would allow Day to score, giving Ohio a 1-0 lead.
UMass would respond in the bottom of the frame tying the game up with one out on a single from Kaitlyn Stavinoha that scored Jena Cozza. Then with two outs, the Minutewomen would score three more runs to take a 4-1 lead after three innings.
Ohio would cut the UMass lead in half in the top of the fourth, when Yun would reach on an error by the first baseman. Yun would then move to third with Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) singled to right. Yun would then score when Brunswick reached on a fielder's choice. With two outs, Brunswick would advance to second on a wild pitch, followed by Saxton drawing a walk to put runners on first and second. However, the Bobcat bats would be unable to get a run across and the came would go to the bottom of the frame with Ohio trailing 4-2.
UMass would add another run in the bottom of the fourth inning after a triple from Cozza, who would then score on a sacrifice hit, giving UMass the 5-2 lead.
After the Bobcats would fail to get much action going in the fifth and sixth innings, UMass would add two more runs, including a solo homerun from Cozza, giving the Minutewomen the 7-2 lead going into the top of the seventh.
Ohio would try and mount a comeback, with junior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) leading off with a single to the pitcher. She would then advance to second on a ground out. Then with one out, Day would strikeout, but reached first on a dropped third strike, which allowed to move Cole to third. However, the Bobcats would be unable to push a run across and would fall by the final of 7-2.
At the plate, the Bobcats would score two runs on five hits. Cooper registered a hit and an RBI, Day recorded a double and a run scored. Geno, Cole and Alvarez also recorded a hit, while Yun registered a run scored and Brunswick an RBI.
In the circle, McCrady (1-2) got the start, pitching five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and six strikeouts. Meanwhile, Meeks pitched an innings, allowing one run on two hits.
The Bobcats return to action for the final day of the Madeira Beach Invitational Sunday, Feb. 18 when the Bobcats take on Jacksonville State. First pitch is set for 9 a.m.