Alyssa Wolfe hit the first home run of her career on Friday
Feb. 22, 2013
Box Score (Game One) | Box Score (Game Two)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Ohio University Softball Team (9-2) continued its terrific start to the 2013 season on Friday afternoon, winning two games at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Frost Classic. Ohio dispatched North Carolina Central (11-0 in five innings) in its first action of the day before taking down Niagara (14-5 in six innings) to conclude the afternoon.
Ohio's 9-2 start remains its best beginning to a campaign since the 1994 season. The Bobcats began the 1994 season winning 11 of their first 13 games.
Ohio hit .370 as a team on Friday, scoring 25 runs (22 of which were earned), belting 20 hits, three of which were doubles and five were home runs. Five Bobcats slugged at a rate of 1.000 or higher, and the team as a whole compiled a slugging percentage of .741 through 54 at bats.
Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) led the offensive charge, accumulating three hits--two of which were home runs--and driving in a team-high five runs. She was not the only `Cat to record multiple hits on the day, as Adrienne Gebele (3), Sloan Walker (3), Caitlin Colvin (3), and Amanda Dalton (2) all recorded at least two hits.
Lauren McClary and Kaylin Clarke (North Royalton, Ohio) recorded victories inside the pitching circle on Friday. McClary threw five innings and allowed zero runs and just two hits, striking out six in the process. Clarke came on in relief during Ohio's second game of the day, throwing 2.2 innings and allowing just one run while striking out four batters.
Ohio 11, North Carolina Central 0 (Five Innings)
WP: Lauren McClary (3-0)
LP: Londo Booker (1-4)
HR: Lauren Gellerman 2 (5)
Ohio was hot right from the start in its tournament opener, an 11-0 drubbing of North Carolina Central. The Bobcats leapt out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, scoring their first run of the day when Lauren Gellerman grounded out to shortstop, bringing Lex Cortez (Beaufort, S.C.) around to score from third. With two runners aboard, Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) then drove in two more runs, hitting a double to put the `Cats ahead 3-0.
Tessa Bailey (Acworth, Ga.) used some alert base running to score Ohio's fourth run in the second inning, coming around to touch the plate after a passed ball. Gellerman stepped up to the plate and blasted her first home run of the afternoon, bringing around two runs to score. With the bases loaded, Raven King (Alpine, Utah) drove in one run by taking a walk, which was immediately followed by Bailey and Alyssa Wolfe (Junction City, Ohio) getting hit by pitches, bringing around two more runs to score.
Sloan Walker (Cypress, Texas) began the third inning by collecting her fourth hit of the season. She was then brought around to score when Gellerman hit her second round-tripper of the game, putting the `Cats ahead by an 11-0 margin.
Sophomore pitcher Lauren McClary (Pasadena, Texas) was excellent in the win, picking up a complete-game, two-hit shutout. McClary struck out six batters and didn't walk a single one in the game.
Ohio 14, Niagara 5 (Six Innings)
WP: Kaylin Clarke (2-1)
LP: Smyers (0-1)
HR: Caitlin Colvin 2 (7), Alyssa Wolfe (1)
Ohio took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on an Alexandria Basquez (Elk Grove, Calif.) double but quickly fell into a 3-1 deficit when the Purple Eagles scored three times in the top of the third inning.
Niagara would stretch its lead to 4-2 in the top of the fourth inning, but the Bobcats answered back in the bottom of the frame to wrench the lead away for good. With one out in the frame, Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a triple to right field, driving in King, who had walked earlier in the inning. Walker then drove in two runs on a bunt single before Gebele drove in the final run of the inning on a single to center field.
The Purple Eagles cut the deficit by one run in the top of the fifth inning, but this is as close as they would come in the end. Ohio poured on five more runs in the fifth inning--three of which came from Colvin's team-leading seventh home run of the season--before adding three more in the bottom of the sixth to earn the walk-off victory. All three of the `Cats' sixth-inning runs came on one swing of the bat by Wolfe, who hit her first career home run to add an exclamation point to the victory.
The Bobcats will continue play at the Frost Classic on Saturday against Lipscomb (11 a.m.) and Boston College (1:15 p.m.).
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