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Bobcats Split Sunday Doubleheader with Broncos

Ohio's Dakota Pyles

April 22, 2012

Box Score (Game One) | Box Score (Game Two)

ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Softball wrapped up its weekend of action in Athens on Sunday, playing the Western Michigan Broncos in a doubleheader. The Bobcats split the series with the 2011 Mid-American Conference Tournament champions, losing the first game by a 5-0 count before winning the second one by a final score of 4-0.

With the series split, Ohio (19-24, 8-6 MAC) has won three of its last four MAC games and has posted an 8-6 mark in conference play. The win on Sunday was Ohio's 299th conference victory in program history.

In the first contest of the afternoon, the teams were locked in a pitching duel for the first few innings. Each side's pitchers were locked in, not allowing a base hit until the bottom of the fourth inning. Ohio threatened in this frame, beginning the inning with a leadoff double by Brooke Morgart (Wayne, Ohio). This was followed by a bunt single from Alexis Joseph (Alvin, Texas), putting runners on the corners early. After Joseph stole second, Meredith Whitney registered two strikeouts and induced a ground ball to second base, ending the threat.

Western Michigan (22-18, 8-6 MAC) was able to strike first, plating four runs in the top of the sixth inning. Integral in this frame were two home runs by the Broncos. Courtney Rousseau blasted a solo shot to left field, giving the Broncos a 1-0 advantage. One out later, a double by Diana Patterson put Western Michigan in scoring position once again. Elisha Handshoe took advantage of this opportunity, hitting a home run to left field, stretching her side's lead to 3-0. WMU was able to add its final run of the frame when Christina Pigozzi singled to left field, driving in Jenny Rohn.

Meredith Whitney pitched a gem of an outing in the first contest, striking out 11 Bobcats while walking none and only allowing two hits.

Ohio 0, Western Michigan 5
WP: Meredith Whitney (15-9)
LP: Lauren McClary (11-14)
HR: Courtney Rousseau (3), Elisha Handshoe (1)

The second game of the afternoon took a similar tone in the beginning, proving to be an excellent pitching duel through the first three innings. Both teams combined for just three hits in the first three-and-a-half innings of a play.

Ohio broke the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating four runs to take a commanding lead. With one out in the frame, Alexandria Basquez (Elk Grove, Calif.) showed great discipline at the plate to earn a walk. She was followed by consecutive singles from Raven King (Alpine, Utah) and Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.), loading the bases with Bobcat runners. Entering the game to pinch hit, Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) was struck by a pitch, earning free passage to first base and an Ohio run. Dakota Pyles (Galloway, Ohio) got to first on a fielder's choice, as her ground ball to second base created some confusion in the infield. The WMU second baseman threw a wild attempt home to try and earn a force on the lead runner, but Gellerman had already slid in safely. The wild throw allowed King to make her way home as well, putting the `Cats up 3-0.

With two outs in the inning, Jillian Van Wagnen (Lorain, Ohio) came up with a clutch hit through the right side of the infield, driving in Jenna Giusti (Danville, Calif.) as the Bobcats' final run of the afternoon.

Lauren McClary (Pasadena, Texas) picked up her 12th victory of the season, throwing a full seven innings, striking out five while allowing four hits and four walks.

Ohio 4, Western Michigan 0
WP: Lauren McClary (12-14)
LP: Becca Shemberger (5-8)
HR: None

The Bobcats will next be in action on Tuesday when they wrap up their six-game homestand by welcoming the University of Dayton to the Ohio Softball Field for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.