May 13, 2016
AKRON, Ohio – A three-run bomb by Mikayla Cooper in the top of the seventh and a game-winning sacrifice fly by Morgan Geno, propelled the Ohio softball team to an eight inning, 8-5 come-from-behind victory against Western Michigan on Friday morning (May 13) at the Mid-American Conference Tournament, holding off elimination for one more game. The Bobcats return to action at 6 p.m. tonight to take on either Kent State or Akron.
A little more than 12 hours after the Bobcats’ 15-inning affair against Miami, Ohio was back in action working to hold off elimination.
Ohio got on the bases early in the top of the first inning. Leading off the game, Taylor Saxton (Circleville, Ohio) reached when the Western Michigan pitcher misfielded the ball. Saxton then stole second and then advanced to third on a ground out by Jamie Wren (Whittier, Calif.). However, the Broncos would work out of the jam and keep the game scoreless.
The Bobcats put runners on again in the top of the second inning when Madison Claytor (Alpharetta, Ga.) led the inning off by walking. She then advanced to second when Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) hit a chopper over the head of the pitcher, putting runners on first and second. However, WMU would retire the next three batters and the game would remain tied at 0-0.
Western Michigan finally got runners on base in the bottom of the second inning when Gabby Schefka reached on a fielder’s choice. She then advanced to second on a Bobcat fielding error, however Savannah Jo Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) would get the next two batters to strikeout and then ground out, keeping the game scoreless.
The Bobcat offense continued to make noise on the bases in the top of the third inning, when with one out, Wren roped a ball up the middle. She then advanced to second when Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) hit a liner through the left side. Geno would be eliminated when Cooper (Delaware, Ohio) hit into a fielder’s choice and then WMU would get Claytor to pop out, ending the inning.
Western Michigan broke through in the bottom of the third when Melissa Palmer doubled down the rightfield line and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Then with two outs, Sabrina Gamboa would hit a homerun to center, putting the Broncos up 2-0.
The Bobcats finally got on the board in the top of the fifth inning when with one out, Wren walked and then stole second. Cooper then reached first when she was hit a pitch, putting runners on first and second. Then with two outs, Claytor dropped a bloop single into shallow right center, scoring Wren and cutting the Bronco lead to 2-1.
Just as they have done all year, the Bobcats hung in there and the offense came alive in the top of the seventh inning. Saxton led the inning off with a base hit. She then stole second and Wren singled to the shortstop, advancing Saxton to third. Wren then stole second and Geno reached base on a fielder’s choice, scoring Saxton, tying the game. Then Cooper took the first pitch of her at bat and crushed the ball over the centerfield wall, giving Ohio a 5-2 lead.
Western Michigan would not go away quietly. Savannah Jo Dorsey re-entered the game in the bottom of the seventh and with one out Brooke Wyman singled and then advanced to second when Aspen Williams reached on a fielder’s choice. Then with two outs, Ivy Schaaf singled to left center, scoring Wyman. Danielle Stiene (Loveland, Ohio) then entered the game in place of Savannah Jo Dorsey. Then Gamboa hit a ball into right field, scoring Williams and Schaaf, tying the game at 5-5.
Ohio responded in the top of the eighth inning, when with one out, Saxton singled up the middle and then stole second. Wren then reached on an error and Saxton advanced to third. Then still with one out Geno hit a sacrifice fly to rightfield, scoring Saxton from third, who slid under the tag of the catcher. Then Copper doubled to centerfield, scoring Wren. Claytor followed up the double with a single, scoring Cooper and putting Ohio up 8-5.
Stiene return to the circle and get the Broncos to go down in order, giving the Bobcats the 8-5 win.
In the circle, Savannah Jo Dorsey got the start, pitching a total of 3.2 innings, allowing five runs on four hits while striking out four. Geno pitched 3.0 innings, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out one. Stiene pitched 1.1 innings, earning the win and allowing no runs on one hits and striking out one.
At the plate, Ohio had 11 hits. Claytor was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Cooper was 2-for-4 with a homerun, double and four RBI. Saxton went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and Wren was 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) had one hit and Geno had one hit with two RBI and a run scored.
The Bobcats return to action tonight against the winner of Akron and Kent State. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Firestone Stadium.