YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Ohio softball team (18-12, 6-0 MAC) returned to action on Saturday (March 31) when they continued Mid-American Conference play against Eastern Michigan (4-25, 0-6 MAC), with the Bobcats coming away with the 4-3 victory . The win gave Ohio the season sweep of EMU and helped them start MAC play 6-0 for the first time in program history.
The Bobcats struck first in the top of the first inning. Mikayla Cooper (Delaware, Ohio) led the game off with her seventh homerun of the season over the leftfield fence. Then with one out, Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) hit a homerun of her own, also over the leftfield fence, putting Ohio up 2-0 after the first half inning of play.
Eastern Michigan would get a run on the bottom of the first inning when Casey Skeens led off the inning with a walk. She would then steal second and score on an RBI double from Haley Hostetler. The Ohio defense would then get the next three batters out, sending the game to the second inning with Ohio leading 2-1.
Ohio would get another runner on base in the top of the second, when with one out, Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) drew a walk. However, the Bobcats would be unable to score and would go to the bottom of the second with a 2-1 lead.
Ohio would add on in the top of the third inning when Cooper led the inning off with a single. She would then be erased from the bases when Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) hit into a fielder's choice. Yun would then reach first on an error and then with two on and one out, Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) would single to the outfield, scoring Day. The EMU defense would then get the final two outs of the inning, but Ohio would lead 3-1 going to the bottom of the frame.
After Danielle Stiene (Loveland, Ohio) entered the game and sent EMU down in order in the bottom of the third, Ohio added on in the top of the fourth. Desirae Villanueva (Surrey, British Columbia) and Englant led the inning off with back-to-back walks. Villanueva would move to third when Cooper reached on a fielder's choice. Then with two outs and runners on the corners, Day would rocket a single to leftfield, scoring Villanueva and giving Ohio a 4-1 lead going to the bottom of the fourth.
EMU would get a runner on in the bottom of the fourth inning, when with two outs, Sophia Holland was hit by a pitch. However, Stiene would get the final batter to pop up to end the inning, sending the game to the fifth with Ohio leading 4-1.
Ohio tried to add on in the top of the fifth inning. Alvarez led the inning off with a double down the leftfield line. She would then be replaced on the bases by Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.). Michaela Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) would draw a walk, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Holland would then be erased from third when MacKenzie Brunswick (Bellefontaine, Ohio) hit into a fielder's choice, keeping runners on first and second with one out. However, the EMU defense would get the final two outs, sending the game to the bottom of the fifth with Ohio leading 4-1.
EMU would get a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, when with one out, Oliva Logan hit a homerun to left field. The next batter, Amanda Akles would then draw a walk and be replaced by a pinch runner. The runner would move to second on a ground out and then advance to third on a wild pitch. Then with a runner on third and two outs, Stiene would get the final batter to strikeouts, sending the game to the seventh with Ohio leading 4-2.
Ohio would try to add on in the top of the seventh inning. Yun would lead off with a single. However, would be called out for leaving the base early and a sacrifice. EMU would then get the final out of the inning, sending the game in the bottom of the seventh with Ohio lading 4-2.
Eastern Michigan would make it a one-run game in the bottom of the inning, when Sophia Holland led the inning off with a homerun to centerfield. The Ohio defense would then get the next three outs, ending the game and sending Ohio home with the 4-3 victory.
At the plate, Ohio scored four runs on seven hits. Cooper and Yun both went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a homerun. Alvarez went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Day added a hit and an RBI as well.
In the circle, Villanueva got the start, pitching two innings, allowing one run on one hit and striking out one. Stiene entered the game in the third inning, pitching five innings, allowing two runs on two hits and striking out four.
Up next, the Bobcats return to Athens to continue MAC play on Tuesday, April 3 when Ohio hosts Kent State for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at the Ohio Softball Field.