May 11, 2013
AKRON, Ohio - The Ohio University softball team's exciting run at the 2013 Mid-American Conference Softball Tournament came to an end on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats (28-29) lost to the No. 1 seed and MAC regular-season champion Ball State Cardinals (37-16) by a final score of 7-6 at Firestone Stadium.
Ohio took an early 1-0 lead in the game and later found itself trailing 6-2 in the fourth. The Bobcats kept chipping away at the deficit and with one swing of the bat with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, senior Lauren Gellerman took the game from a 6-4 deficit to a 6-6 tie.
Ball State's Taylor Rager provided the decisive hit in the contest, hitting a two-out triple with one runner on first base in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn the walk-off win.
Ohio 6, Ball State 7
WP: Schifferdecker (15-4)
LP: Kaylin Clarke (2-3)
HR: Taylor Rager (12), Jennifer Gilbert (23), Kaylin Clarke (5), Lauren Gellerman (26)
Senior Tessa Bailey (Acworth, Ga.) started the game in a great fashion for the Bobcats, blasting a leadoff double off of the wall in left center. The two-base hit was her fourth of the season and second in as many days. Bailey would later advance to third on a passed ball and was eventually brought home to score when Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a two-out single up the middle on a 3-2 count to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead. The hit parade would continue, as Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) recorded Ohio's third hit of the frame with a two-out single up the middle. Ball State's Nicole Steinbach would end the inning with a swinging strikeout, but the pitcher threw 35 pitches in the first inning.
Ball State answered back immediately, loading the bases in the bottom of the first through one single and two straight walks. With no outs having been recorded, Taylor Rager stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam over the left center field wall, clearing the bases to give Ball State its first lead of the day (4-1). The home run was Rager's 12th of the season and brought around her 47th RBI. Ball State would record two more hits in the inning, but no further damage was sustained.
Bailey led off the third inning much like she began the first, this time roping a stand-up double to left field to give the `Cats a runner in scoring position right from the start. Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) followed this up with a single to left field, bringing her senior teammate around to score to cut Ball State's lead to 4-2. The RBI was Gellerman's 58th of the season, putting her in sole possession of No. 2 on the MAC's single-season RBI list. Hortman then recorded her second hit of the afternoon, striking a double to right field to advance Gellerman to third. Steinbach was able to set down the next two Bobcat hitters to end the threat.
It looked as though Ball State was poised to add more runs in the bottom of the third inning when the Cardinals began the frame with back-to-back singles. Starting pitcher Lauren McClary (Pasadena, Texas) had other ideas, recording three straight outs to end the frame without allowing any more runs.
Alyssa Wolfe (Junction City, Ohio) nearly started a rally in the top of the fourth inning with a two-out double, but she was stranded at second to end the frame.
Jennifer Gilbert accounted for Ball State's fifth run of the afternoon, hitting her 23rd home run of the season--a solo shot to right center--over the wall to give the Cardinals a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Selena Reyna then added another run to BSU's cause, walking with the bases loaded to make it 6-2.
Sophomore Kaylin Clarke (North Royalton, Ohio) came on as a relief pitcher to close out the bottom of the fourth inning. She did so successfully, then remained in the game to hit, and blasted her fifth home run of the season over the wall in center field to pull the `Cats within three runs (6-3). Ohio then advanced runners to second and third with one out, but the Bobcats were unable to add any more runs to their total in the fifth.
Wolfe hit an infield single with one out in the sixth to start an Ohio rally. One out later, Clarke hit her second clutch shot of the afternoon, roping an RBI double to left field to bring Wolfe around to score and make the score 6-4 in favor of Ball State.
Gellerman then played the role of hero with two outs, hitting a 2-2 pitch over the center field wall to tie the game at six runs apiece. The home run was her 26th of the season and 48th of her career, tying her for second all-time on the MAC career home run chart.
With one runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Rager struck again for the Cardinals, hitting a triple to right field to bring home the winning run and end the game.
- #OhioBobcats -