AKRON, Ohio - Ohio Softball dropped its opening contest of the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament on Wednesday, falling to Western Michigan by a final score of 7-2. The loss snapped Ohio's five-game winning streak and is the Bobcats' first loss against a MAC school since April 28 at Eastern Michigan.
Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) had a strong day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with one double. Lauren McClary (Pasadena, Texas) picked up the loss in the contest, throwing three innings while allowing seven hits and four earned runs.
Western Michigan got off to an early lead, plating three runs in the top of the first inning. The Broncos were in excellent position to add a few more runs to this total in the top of the second inning, as they loaded the bases with only one out. Fortunately for the `Cats, a combination of great defensive play and solid pitching enabled them to get out of the jam without taking any further damage.
The Broncos were able to add one more run in the top of the third inning, scoring when Elisha Handshoe doubled to left center.
Ohio (28-28) had a bit of difficulty solving Meredith Whitney's pitching. The Bobcats were able to register their first hit of the evening in the third inning when Erin Lashley (Pickerington, Ohio) hit a rocket right to the third baseman, giving her no time to do anything but knock it down.
Brooke Morgart (Wayne, Ohio) gave the large Ohio contingent in the crowd reason to stand up and cheer when she blasted a home run to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning. The long ball was the first of her career and made it a 4-1 game.
Trailing 5-1 in the sixth inning, Ohio was able to shrink the deficit when Raven King (Alpine, Utah) belted a double to left center. Gellerman was already on base at this point thanks to a single up the middle and was brought around on King's hit.
The Broncos (27-23) were able to add two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning when Courtney Rousseau hit an RBI double to left center and then ultimately scored on a Diana Patterson single through the left side.