Raleigh, N.C. – The Ohio softball team (7-3) wrapped up play at the 2018 Homewood Suites Invitational on Sunday, falling to host NC State (10-5), 4-3 in eight innings, in the tournament championship game. The Bobcats wrapped up the weekend with a 4-1 record.
NC State would get a runner on in the top of the first inning, when with two outs, Timberlyn Shurbutt tripled to right center. However, starting pitcher, Danielle Stiene (Loveland, Ohio), would get the last batter to line out, sending the game to the bottom of the frame still scoreless.
In the bottom of the first, Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) would lead the inning off by drawing a walk. She would be called out at second when Allie Engant (Long Beach, Calif.) reached on a fielder's choice. Then with a runner on second, the NC State defense would get the next two Bobcats out, keeping the game scoreless.
Stiene would send the Wolfpack down in order in the top of the second. Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) would lead off the bottom of the frame with a single to right field. She would then advance to second after a sacrifice bunt from Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio), putting another runner in scoring position. However, Ohio would be unable to get the run across and would go to the top of the third with the game still tied at 0-0.
NC State would strike first in the top of the third when the leadoff batter, Haley Finn, hit a solo home run to left field. After the home run, Angie Rizzi would draw a walk, but with one out, would be called out at second after Sam Russ reached on a fielder's choice. Stiene would then get the next batter to strike out, ending the inning with the Bobcats trailing 1-0.
The Bobcats would respond in the bottom of the frame, when Taylor Saxton (Circleville, Ohio) led the inning off by being hit by the pitch. She then scored when Day smashed a double to left field, tying the game. Then with a runner on second and no outs, the NC State defense would get the next three Bobcat batters out, ending the threat and sending the game to the top of the fourth tied at 1-1.
In the top of the fourth inning, NC State attempted to retake the lead when with one out, Alyssa Compton singled to third, she then moved to third when Lily Bishop singled to right center and then advanced to second on the throw, placing runners on second and third with one out. However, Stiene would get the next two batters to strikeout and ground out, ending the threat and keeping the game tied at 1-1.
Ohio would get runners on in the bottom of the frame, when with one out, Cole drew a walk, placing her on first. However, the Wolfpack defense would get out of the inning, sending the game to the fifth still tied at 1-1.
NC State would take the lead in the top of the fifth inning. When Rizzi singled to left center to lead off. She would then move to second when Jade Caraway reached first on a fielder choice. Then with one out and runners on second and third, Shurbutt would fly out to left, scoring Rizzi from first. Stiene would get the final batter to fly out, but the Wolfpack would take a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the inning.
After the Bobcats went down in order in the bottom of the fifth, NC State would try to add on in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Garner would single up the middle, but Stiene would get the last batter to strike out, sending the game to the bottom of the sixth with NC State leading 2-1.
The Bobcats would make a comeback in the bottom of the winning. After Mikayla Cooper (Delaware, Ohio) led the inning off with a walk, she would then move to second when Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) singled up the middle. Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.) would then enter the game to run for Geno, putting speed on first and second with no outs. Yun would then come to the plate and double to center, scoring Cooper, but Holland would be thrown out at home trying to score. Yun would then more to third on a ground out, but the NC State defense would get the final out of the inning, sending the game to the seventh tied at 2-2.
NC State would try and retake the lead in the top of the seventh, when with one out, Caraway singled to right and then moved to second after Russ singled to the pitcher. However, the Ohio defense would get the final two batters out and send the game to the bottom of the seventh tied at 2-2.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the NC State defense would send Ohio down in order, sending the game to extras tied at 2-2.
In the top of the eighth inning, NC State would take a 4-2 lead after with one out, Bishop would hit two-run home run. Stiene would get the next two batters out, but would lead going into the bottom of the seventh with one last chance for Ohio at the plate.
For Ohio, Day would start the inning off on second base due to the international tie breaker rule. She would then move to third on a groundout by Englant. Day would score after a ground out from Cooper, however, the Bobcats would be unable to get another runner across the plate and would fall by the final of 4-3 in eight innings.
At the plate, the Bobcats scored three runs on four hits and were left by Yun who when 20for03 with an RBI and a double. Day went 1-for-3 with a run scored, double and RBI, while Geno added a single.
In the circle, Stiene pitched eight innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits, walking one and striking out three batters.
The Bobcats are back in action March 3-4 at the 2018 John Cropp Classic, hosted by Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. While there, the Bobcats will take on host Kentucky and Southeast Missouri State.