KNOXVILLE, TENN. –Led by a two-run homerun from freshman Katie Yun, and a dominating performance by freshman Madi McCrady to close out the last two innings of play, the Ohio softball team (39-16) defeated Monmouth (32-16), 4-0, for their first ever NCAA Regional victory, Saturday afternoon inside Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
In the top of the first inning, after Danielle Stiene (Loveland, Ohio) would strikeout the first Monmouth batter, the Hawks would threaten. Chloe Howerth would single to left, she would then move to third on a double by Katie Baron, putting runners on second and third with one out. However, Stiene would strikeout the next two batters to get out of the jam, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with it still scoreless.
Ohio would strike in the bottom of the first inning. Mikayla Cooper (Delaware, Ohio) led the inning off with a single to the shortstop. She would then move to second on a one-out sacrifice fly, outing a runner in scoring position with two outs. Yun (North Canton, Ohio) would come to the plate and demolish a two-run homerun, her ninth of the season, to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead going to the second inning.
Monmouth would threaten again in the top of the second inning. Alex Holzman would lead off with a walk. Then with one out, Deangle Jimenez would reach on a fielder's choice and Holzman would be safe on the play. After Stiene would strikeout a batter looking, the runners would move up a base on a passed ball, however, Stiene would get the last batter swinging, sending the game to the bottom of the second with Ohio leading 2-0.
Ohio would add on in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) would reach on a single through the right side. She would then steal second, and on the play, the Monmouth catcher would overthrow second and the ball would roll to the centerfield wall, allowing Englant to score and give Ohio a 3-0 lead going into the third inning.
Monmouth would threaten again in the top of the third inning. Howerth would lead off with a single. Then with one out, Kayla Rosado would single, putting runners on first and second with one out. However, Stiene would strikeout the next two batters, sending the game to the bottom of the third with Ohio leading 3-0.
Ohio would get a runner on in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) would draw a walk. She would be erased from the bases when Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) reached on a fielder's choice. However, the Bobcats would be unable to score and would go to the top of the fourth with the 3-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth inning, Monmouth would get runners in scoring position for the fourth-straight inning. Hopeck would lead off with a single. She then moved to second when Harrington walked with one out. With two outs, Howerth would single to load the bases. However, Stiene would get the last batter of the inning to fly out, leaving the bases loaded and sending Ohio to the bottom of the frame with the 3-0 lead.
Ohio would add on in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Michaela Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) would single. She would then move to third when MacKenzie Brunswick (Bellefontaine, Ohio) scorched a double down the leftfield line. Still with one out, Englant would reach on a fielder's choice where Dorsey would be thrown out at home. During the next at bat, Brunswick and Englant would execute the double steal where obstruction would be called on the play. Englant would then move up the third when Taylor Saxton (Circleville, Ohio) reached on an infield single. However, Monmouth would get the last out of the inning, sending the game to the top of the fifth with Ohio leading 4-0.
Kendall Meeks (Guysville, Ohio) would enter the game to start the fifth inning. After she hit Rosado on the first pitch, Rosado would move to second on a passed ball. Then Brooke Rice (Mason, Ohio) would pick off Rosado at second, registering the first out of the game. Amber Wozniak would then draw a walk and move to second on a passed ball, however Meeks would get the next batter to strikeout looking and the next one to ground out to end the inning, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio leading 4-0.
Ohio would get another runner on in the bottom of the fifth inning. Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) led the inning off with a single through the right side. However, the Hawks would be able to get out of the inning without an issue, sending the game to the sixth inning with the Bobcats leading, 4-0.
McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) would enter the game in the top of the sixth inning and would strike out the side, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio leading 4-0.
After Ohio went down in order in the bottom of the sixth inning, Monmouth would threaten to get on the board in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs, Monmouth would draw back-to-back walks. However, Ohio would get the final out, sealing the Bobcats' 4-0 victory.
At the plate, Ohio scored four runs on seven hits. Yun recorded a homerun, a run scored and two RBI. Cooper added a hit and a run scored, while Brunswick recorded a double and a run scored. Englant recorded a hit and a run, while Day and Dorsey both had hits a well.
In the circle, Stiene got the start, going four innings, allowing no runs on six hits, walked two and struck out nine. Meeks pitched one inning and did not allow a run, while walking one and striking gout one. McCrady closed out the game, pitching two innings, allowing no runs, no hits and struck out three.
The Bobcats are will take on James Madison Saturday evening in the elimination game set to begin at 5:25 and can be seen on ESPN3.