BOWLING GREEN, Ohio –The Ohio softball team (32-15, 18-3 MAC) continued Mid-American Conference play on Friday (May 4), falling to Bowling Green (26-24, 8-12 MAC), 3-2 on a blustery day in Bowling Green, Ohio. Despite the outcome, a loss by Toledo clinched the 2018 MAC Regular Season Championship for the Bobcats. It is the first time since 1995 that Ohio has won the regular season. Ohio also earns the top seed in next week's MAC Tournament.
After Ohio went down in order in the top of the first, Bowling Green would get on the board first in the bottom of the frame. Alex Sorgi would reach first on a bunt single. She would then move to second on a passed ball and then score on a fielding error that put Sammy Dees on second. With one out, Dees would move to third on a passed ball. Ohio would then get the next batter to fly out the left and then get the runner out at home as she tried to tag up from third, sending the game to the top of the second with BGSU leading 1-0.
The Bobcats would get a runner on in the top of the second inning. Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) would reach first of an error to lead off the inning. She would be removed from the bases when Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) reached on a fielder's choice. Unfortunately, the next batter would line into a double play, ending the inning with the Bobcats trailing 1-0.
Bowling Green would get another runner on in the bottom of the second inning, when with one out, Parker would double to rightfield. However, starting pitcher Danielle Stiene (Loveland, Ohio) would strikeout the next batter and get the past batter to foul out, ending the inning with Ohio trailing 1-0.
Ohio threatened in the top of the third inning. Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.) would get hit by a pitch. Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) would then reach on a single to shallow leftfield, and then Taylor Saxton (Circleville, Ohio) would reach on an error, loading the bases with no outs. Unfortunately, the Bobcats would be unable to get a run across and the game would go to the bottom of the third with Ohio trailing 1-0.
After Stiene sent the Falcons down in order in the bottom of the third, Ohio would get a baserunner on in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, MacKenzie Brunswick (Bellefontaine, Ohio) would reach on an infield single. However, Bowling Green would get the final out of the inning, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio trailing 1-0.
Bowling Green would get another runner on in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Kali Holcomb would double to leftfield. However, the Bobcat defense would hold steady and send the game to the top of the fifth with Ohio trailing just 1-0.
The Bobcats would take the lead in the top of the fifth inning. Englant would reach on an error and then move to second on the throw. She would then move to third on a perfect bunt from Saxton. Then with one out, Englant would score when Mikayla Cooper (Delaware, Ohio) reached first on an RBI bunt single, tying the game at 1-1.
Cooper would then move to second on a sacrifice bunt from Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio), putting another runner in scoring position with two outs. Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) would then draw a walk and then Alvarez would be hit by a pitch to load the bases. Yun would then drive an RBI single up the middle, scoring Cooper. Geno would be thrown out at home trying to score to end the inning, but not before the Bobcats took a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the frame.
Ohio would try to add on in the top of the sixth inning, when with two outs, Englant reached on an infield single. However, Bowling Green would get the next batter to ground out, ending the inning with Ohio leading 2-1.
Bowling Green would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Sorgi would reach first on an error to lead off the inning. She would move to second and then score on a one-out RBI double from Aspen Searle. However, Stiene would get the next two Falcon batters to strikeout to end the inning, sending the game to the seventh tied at 2-2.
Ohio would try to retake the lead in the in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Day would single through the right side. However, the Falcon defense would get the final two outs of the inning to send the game to the bottom of the frame with it tied at 2-2.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Parker would lead the inning off for the Falcons with a single. She would then move to second on a sacrifice bunt and then move to third on a single by Sarah Gonzalez, putting runners on the corners with one out. The Bobcats would then intentionally walk Taylor Blevins to load the bases with one out. The Bobcats would then get the force out at home for the second out of the inning. unfortunately, the next Falcon batter would draw a bases loaded walk to end the game and give Bowling Green the 3-2 victory.
At the plate, the Bobcats scored two runs on six hits. Englant went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Cooper and Yun both added a hit and an RBI, while Brunswick and Day both added singles as well.
In the circle, Stiene pitched 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on two on six hits, walked two and struck out seven.
The Bobcats wrap up the regular season Saturday, May 5 when the Bobcats take on Bowling Green in a doubleheader set to begin at 1 p.m.