Ohio's Kaylin Clarke earned her first career win on Friday against Saint Joseph's
Feb. 17, 2012
Box Score (Game One) | Box Score (Game Two)
BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Ohio Softball split its first two games at the 2012 Hampton Inn Invitational, defeating Saint Joseph's in the early afternoon before falling to host Campbell in the evening. The Bobcats relied on solid pitching and timely hitting to earn a win in the first game and saw a comeback bid fall just short in the final inning of the second game.
While last weekend's USC Upstate Classic proved to be an offensive showcase, the first day of this tournament was more about solid defensive performances. Ohio's solid pitching only limited its first opponent to four hits and the Bobcats (4-2) did not commit a single error throughout the two games.
The `Cats began Friday in a positive manner, earning a 2-1 win over Saint Joseph's in their first game of the day. This game was a defensive battle, as the teams combined for ten hits and no errors throughout the seven innings. Brooke Morgart (Wayne, Ohio) led the way for the Green and White, collecting two hits and one RBI in the game.
Recent MAC East Pitcher of the Week Lauren McClary (Pasadena, Texas) began the game on the mound for the Bobcats and promptly retired the first three batters she faced. The freshman got into a spot of trouble in the top of the second inning but was able to pull herself out of it, earning a two-out strikeout with a runner on third base. She then retired the next five consecutive batters.
Ohio found the scoreboard first, scoring a run in the third inning. With one out, Jillian Van Wagnen laid down a nice bunt single to get the rally started. Alexis Joseph grounded out to second on the next play, allowing Van Wagnen to advance to second base. She was then driven in when Morgart drilled a single right up the middle to make it 1-0.
The fifth inning looked to be a dangerous one for the Bobcats. Rochelle Christman blasted a leadoff home run to left center to level the scores at one apiece. A strikeout, two hits and a walk later, the Hawks had the bases loaded with only one out. Freshman pitcher Kaylin Clarke (North Royalton, Ohio) entered the game at this point and was able to get out of a tough spot, earning a force out at home and a groundout to second base.
The Bobcats were able to put the game away in the sixth inning on the strength of a Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio) single. The junior drove in Morgart, who was on second at the time. Clarke kept up her solid pitching in the top of the seventh, allowing two Hawks to get on base but preventing the game-tying run from crossing the plate.
Ohio 2, Saint Joseph's 1
WP: Kaylin Clarke (1-0)
LP: Erin Gallagher (0-1)
HR: Rochelle Christman
Ohio trailed early in the second game of the day, falling behind in the first inning against the Camels. A two-out double by Taylor McGee drove in one run but a great throw from Erin Lashley (Pickerington, Ohio) to Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) stopped another runner at the plate before she could safely cross.
The `Cats were able to answer back immediately, scoring in the top of the second inning to pull level. Gebele walked to get on base then Clarke put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner. Timmie Rappe (Wheaton, Ill.) singled to advance her and Gebele ultimately was driven home by a Van Wagnen single.
Campbell's bats came alive from this point on, as the Camels added two runs in both the second and third innings to take a 5-1 advantage. Campbell then added one more run in the bottom of the fifth via a Raven Lee home run.
Ohio wasn't about to go down quietly and showed a lot of fight during the final innings. With two outs in the top of the seventh, Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) blasted a double to left field to drive in Van Wagnen and Jenna Giusti. This put the `Cats within three runs (6-3). Immediately after this, Raven King (Alpine, Utah) drove in one more run by singling to right field. This was as close as the Green and White would come, however, as Brittany Arnn struck out Ohio's final batter.
Ohio 4, Campbell 6
WP: Brittany Arnn (1-2)
LP: Kaylin Clarke (1-1)
HR: Raven Lee
The Bobcats will next be in action on Saturday when they take on Robert Morris (3 p.m.) and Towson (8 p.m.). Stay tuned to OhioBobcats.com for a full recap of Saturday's action.