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`Cats Clipped by MAC-Leading Cardinals in Slugfest, 9-7

DJ Engelman hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning Saturday

April 13, 2013

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ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University softball team's herculean seventh-inning comeback effort fell just short on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats fell to the Mid-American Conference leading Ball State Cardinals by a final score of 9-7 at the Ohio Softball Field. The Bobcats hit four home runs, including two in the seventh inning, but couldn't quite get past the visitors on a sunny day in Athens.

With the win, Ball State improves to 27-11 and 11-0 in the MAC. Ohio is now 19-19 on the year with a 4-7 mark in league play.

Despite losing to the Cardinals, the Bobcats did outhit the visitors on Saturday by a 10-9 margin. Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) and Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) each recorded two hits on the afternoon while Kaylin Clarke (North Royalton, Ohio), Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio), Raven King (Alpine, Utah), Dakota Pyles (Galloway, Ohio), DJ Engelman (Mason, Ohio), and Alyssa Wolfe (Junction City, Ohio) each added one hit to Ohio's offensive efforts.

Ohio 7, Ball State 9
WP: Nicole Steinbach (12-7)
LP: Lauren McClary (8-10)
S: None
HR: Adrienne Gebele (9), Jenny Gilbert (19), DJ Engelman (3), Kaylin Clarke (4), Chelsea Hortman (1)

Lauren McClary (Pasadena, Texas) encountered a spot of trouble in the first inning, allowing one hit and walking four Cardinal batters. Ball State was able to score two runs in the first frame to leap out to an early lead. McClary settled down well in the second inning, recording three quick outs to set the Cardinals down in order.

Ohio's bats came alive in the bottom of the second inning. Gebele launched a solo shot to right center, one which cleared the netting behind the wall. This was her ninth home run of the season and halved Ball State's lead, 2-1. A walk by King and a single by Pyles put the `Cats in a good spot to add one more run. They were able to do just that when Wolfe hit a rope over the infield to bring King around to score and tie the game at two runs apiece.

The Cardinals collected a clutch, two-out hit of their own in the top of the third inning. With the bases loaded, Selena Reyna blasted a double to left center, clearing the bases to give Ball State a 5-2 advantage.

Sadie Robertson added a two-out double in the top of the fifth inning, adding one more run to the Cardinals' cause. Ball State then added three more runs to take its largest lead of the game (9-2) when Jenny Gilbert hit a three-run shot to right field.

Ohio was able to pull back three runs in the bottom of the sixth frame. With Sloan Walker (Cypress, Texas) on first base, King recorded a hit to put two runners on. DJ Engelman (Mason, Ohio) then came up with one out, pinch hitting for Amanda Dalton. Engelman hit a rocket shot to left field, a round-tripper which brought in three runs to make it 9-5. The home run was the third of her season and career.

Clarke led off the bottom of the seventh inning on a positive note, hitting a solo shot over the left field wall to pull the `Cats within three runs at 9-6. One out later, Hortman hit a solo home run to make it a 9-7 ballgame. With one out in the seventh, Gebele singled to shortstop and Caitlin Colvin (Bonney Lake, Wash.) stepped up as the tying run. Her sharp hit to the left side of the infield was fielded well, however, ending the game with a 6-4-3 double play.

Ohio will next be in action on Sunday afternoon against Ball State. First pitch between the Bobcats and Cardinals is set for 1 p.m.

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