May 14, 2016
AKRON, Ohio – Another stellar performance by Savannah Jo Dorsey led the Ohio softball team to a 3-1 win against Northern Illinois this morning, sending the Bobcats the Mid-American Conference Championship Series against Miami. Since the Bobcats are coming from the loser’s end of the bracket, Ohio must win two games in order to claim its second MAC Tournament Title in three years. The first game of the series is set to being around 3 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.
Ohio jumped on the board early. Taylor Saxton (Circleville, Ohio) led off the game by reaching on an error by the Huskies’ third baseman. Saxton then stole second and reached third on a ground out by Jamie Wren (Whittier, Ohio). Then with one out, Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) placed a perfect sacrifice bunt in front of the pitcher, allowing the speedy Saxton to score for third, giving Ohio the 1-0 lead.
The Bobcats threatened to add more runs to the board in the top of the second inning. Deanna Cole led the inning off with an infield single. She was then caught stealing. The next batter, Casie Hutchinson (Lebanon, Ohio) then singled up the middle. She then advanced to second on a base hit up the middle by Amanda Dalton (Salem, Va.) and then advanced to third when Michaela Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) reached went the first baseman bobbled a throw. Then with the bases loaded, Natalie Alvarez (Long, Breach, Calif.) hit into a groundball double play, ending the Ohio threat and keeping the score 1-0.
The Bobcats added to their lead in the top of the third inning when Wren belted her first career homerun to straight away center, putting Ohio up 2-0.
Ohio tried to extend its lead in the top of the fifth inning when Saxton pushed a single through an NIU infield that had the shift on. She then advanced to third when Wren reached first on an NIU error. Then with one out, Geno hit into a groundball double play, ending the Ohio threat.
Ohio attempted to put more runs on the board in the top of the sixth inning when Madison Claytor (Alpharetta, Ga.) walked. She was then eliminated from the base path when Cole hit into a fielder’s choice. She advanced to second when Hutchinson walked and then went to third when pinch-hitter MacKenzie Brunswick (Bellefontaine, Ohio) reached on an error by the NIU shortstop. Then with two outs, NIU would get pinch-hitter Danielle Stiene (Loveland, Ohio) to strikeout, keeping the score at 2-0.
Northern Illinois broke up the Savannah Jo Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) no hitter in the bottom of the sixth inning when with one out, Bowen tripled. The next batter, Kali Kossakowski would strikeout and then with two outs, Bekah Harnish would single over the shortstop’s head, scoring Jordyn Bowen. Then with a runner on, Kayti Grable would smash a ball to deep leftfield and Michaela Dorsey would reach over the fence and steal the homerun away from Grable, ending the inning and keeping the score at 2-1.
Ohio got the run back in the top of the seventh inning when Saxton reached on an infield hit. She then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wren. Then with one out, Geno would rocket a ball up the middle, scoring Saxton from second. The Bobcats would then load the bases with two outs, but the Huskies would get out of the jam, sending the game to the bottom of the seventh with Ohio leading 3-1.
In the circle, Savannah Jo Dorsey went the distance, pitching seven innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out 13.
At the plate, the Bobcats had nine hits, led by Saxton who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Cole was 2-for-4. Geno was 1-for-3 with two RBI and Wren was 1-for-1 with a homerun and a run scored. Mikayla Cooper, Hutchinson and Dalton all added one hit each for the Bobcats.
Ohio will now face Miami in the championship series. Coming from the loser’s bracket, the Bobcats will have to win two games in order to win the championship.