ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University softball team (16-11, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) split a doubleheader with Kent State on Friday afternoon. Ohio lost a pitchers’ duel of a first game by a final score of 2-1 before hitting the cover off the ball in the second game, blasting four home runs en route to winning 8-0.
Despite being played at the Ohio Softball Field in Athens, these two games against Kent State were officially road games for the Bobcats. Ohio and Kent State (10-12, 1-1 MAC) were scheduled to meet in northeast Ohio on Friday afternoon but inadequate playing conditions necessitated a change of venue.
The Bobcats recorded 11 hits in the two games compared to just six by Kent State. Ohio hit nearly as many home runs (5) as Kent State recorded total hits (6) during the two contests. Sophomore Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) led the way offensively, recording four total hits, three of which were home runs. Gebele hit .571 on the afternoon and slugged at an incredible rate of 1.857. Caitlin Colvin (Bonney Lake, Wash.) and DJ Engelman (Mason, Ohio) also got in on the act, each hitting one round-tripper. Colvin’s was her 13th of the season to tie her for first all-time on the single-season chart while Engelman’s was the first of her career in her lone at bat of the afternoon.
Ohio’s pitching staff also had a tremendous day, combining to allow just six hits and zero earned runs through 13 innings of work. Lauren McClary (Pasadena, Texas) went the full six innings in the first game while freshman Savannah Jo Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) went seven full innings in the second game, picking up a complete-game shutout while allowing just two hits and an opponent batting average of .091.
The first game of the afternoon was an exciting pitchers’ duel, with Emma Johnson and McClary making short work of opposing batters in the early innings. Johnson would go the full seven innings en route to picking up her eighth victory of the season, striking out nine hitters and allowing just two hits in the process.
Ohio took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Gebele launched a solo home run to left field. The ‘Cats would ultimately load the bases with two outs later on in the inning, but would be unable to bring any more runs around to score.
After a nearly perfect five innings, McClary encountered some trouble in the bottom of the sixth. An infield error allowed the leadoff hitter to get aboard and a bunt single would advance her to second. After one out was recorded an RBI double would tie the game up at one run apiece. With runners on second and third, a wild pitch brought the winning run around to score with two outs.
The second game proved to be a very different story for the Green and White, as the Bobcats drove in eight runs on nine hits to earn a commanding 8-0 victory to split the series.
Ohio took an early lead in the second game, again from a Gebele solo shot in the top of the second inning. This 1-0 advantage would hold, thanks in large part to excellent pitching from Dorsey and very solid fielding by freshman Amanda Dalton (Salem, Va.), who recorded four very important putouts from the shortstop position, many of which came with two outs and runners in scoring position.
The Bobcats put the game out of reach in the sixth inning, scoring six runs to take a 7-0 advantage. Colvin led off the inning with a no-doubter of a home run which cleared the roof of the batting cage facility behind the left-field wall. A Lex Cortez (Beaufort, S.C.) single drove in another run and was immediately followed by an RBI single from Tessa Bailey (Acworth, Ga.). With two outs and two on, Engelman stepped up to the plate in a pinch-hitting role. The junior drilled a fastball over the right-field wall, bringing in three more runs to score.
Gebele hit one more solo shot in the top of the seventh inning to push the game to its final score of 8-0.
The Bobcats will next be in action on Saturday at Buffalo. Ohio will match up with the Bulls in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.