AKRON, Ohio – Carried by solid pitching, timely hitting, and a highlight-reel game-ending catch by junior outfielder Alyssa Wolfe (Junction City, Ohio), the Ohio University softball team (27-28) eliminated rival Miami from the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon, winning by a final score of 3-2.
Freshman pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) earned the win, throwing a complete seven innings and allowing six hits and just one earned run. Dorsey’s 15th victory of the season tied her for sixth all-time in Ohio program history in single-season victories.
Ohio leapt out to an early 3-0 lead and withstood a furious Miami comeback in the late innings to hold on for the win. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and the winning run in the batters’ box, Wolfe made her game-ending catch. Jenna Modic hit a deep shot to left center, one which seemed certain to be a game-winning home run for the RedHawks. Wolfe sprinted after it and made the catch to end the game, catapulting over the wall in the process.
Erin Lashley (Pickerington, Ohio) recorded her first hit of the tournament in the top of the first inning, legging out an infield single to the second baseman. The ‘Cats followed this with two sharp grounders, but Miami’s infield was equal to the challenge each time and ended Ohio’s first inning with two straight groundouts.
Ohio threatened again in the second inning, getting the first two runners on base when Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) hit a sharp shot which forced an infield error and Caitlin Colvin (Bonney Lake, Wash.) advanced her to second with a hard hit through the left side of the infield. Raven King (Alpine, Utah) then advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt to first base. Freshman Amanda Dalton (Salem, Va.) hit a clutch RBI single in her first at bat of the day, giving the ‘Cats a 1-0 advantage when Gebele came around to score.
Alyssa Wolfe (Junction City, Ohio) and Tessa Bailey (Acworth, Ga.) were then plunked by pitches, the latter of which came with the bases loaded and brought around Ohio’s second run of the inning and morning. Wolfe and Bailey have each been hit 13 times this season, tying for the team lead.
Jenna Modic led off the bottom of the second inning with a single up the middle, but she was doubled up on the next play by a fantastic move from King. The junior caught a sharp liner at third base and whipped it over to first base just in time to beat Modic back to the bag. Dorsey then recorded a swinging strikeout to end the frame without sustaining any damage.
King then made another great play in the top of the third inning, snaring a sure RBI double by Tiyona Marshall at third base to prevent the RedHawks from scoring.
Miami threatened in the bottom of the fourth inning, getting two runners on base via walks with one out. A sacrifice bunt advanced them to second and third with two outs. Dorsey came up big in the circle during the next at bat, striking out Megan Mattera swinging to end the inning.
Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) continued her assault on the MAC record book on Thursday afternoon, as her solo home run in the top of the fifth inning tied her for second all-time in MAC history in single-season RBI (57).
Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) nearly gave the ‘Cats a 7-0 lead, as she hit a deep shot to left center with the bases loaded and two outs. Miami’s Tiyona Marshall made an unbelievable catch to prevent the home run, making the grab as she collided with, and flipped over, the outfield wall.
Miami scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, pulling within one run at 3-2. With runners on second and third, an infield error allowed the RedHawks’ first run to cross the plate. Kylie McChesney then hit a deep foul ball to left field, a play which resulted in an out and Miami’s second run of the game.
The RedHawks led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center field. A fielder’s choice and a fly out to right field later, Modic came to the plate. Her potential game-winning home run was robbed at the fence by Wolfe’s terrific catch.
Ohio will next be in action on Friday, May 10 at 1:30 p.m. The Bobcats will play the loser of No. 3 Central Michigan and No. 2 Kent State, a game which is to be played this evening at 7:30.