DURHAM, N.C.– The Ohio softball team (11-7) wrapped up play at the 2019 Duke/N.C. State Invitational, falling to host Duke, 2-1. The Bobcats finished the weekend with a 4-1 record.
Ohio would threaten in the top of the first inning. Sophomore Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) drew a walk to lead off the inning. She then would move to second when senior Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) would single up the middle. However, the Bobcats would be unable to score, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with the game still scoreless.
After a scoreless bottom of the first inning from Duke, the Bobcats would get on the board first in the top of the second inning when senior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) hit a solo homerun to right center, giving Ohio a 1-0 lead.
Duke would tie the game in the bottom of the third inning off of a two-out RBI double, sending the game to the fourth with it knotted at 1-1.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Ohio would threaten again in the top of the fifth inning. Cole would lead off with a single to left, however, she would be caught stealing. Freshman Taytum Hargrave (Warsaw, Ind.) would then double to right field, and then move to third on a ground out. However, Ohio would be unable get her home, sending the game to the bottom of the fifth tied at 1-1.
After a scoreless frame from Duke in the bottom of the fifth, Ohio would threaten again in the top of the sixth inning. Alvarez led the inning off with a double to right center. Senior MacKenzie Brunswick (Bellefontaine, Ohio) would enter the game to run for her. Brunswick would then move to third when senior Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) singled through the right side. Junior Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.) would enter the game to run for Geno and then steal second, putting runners on second and third with one out. Unfortunately, the Bobcats would be unable to get a run across, sending the game to the bottom of the sixth with the game still tied at 1-1.
Duke would take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, taking a 2-1 lead going into the top of the seventh. Ohio would attempt to mount another comeback in the top of the seventh inning, when Englant single with two outs. However, the Bobcats would be unable to rally, falling to Duke, 2-1.
Overall, Ohio scored one run on seven hits and had one error, while Duke scored two runs on four hits and did not commit an error.
Cole finished the day 2-for-3 with a homerun, RBI and one run scored, while Alvarez also went 2-for-3 with a double. Englant, Hargrave and Geno all recorded hits for the Bobcats.
Sophomore Madi McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) pitched six innings, allowing two runs on four hits, walked one and struck out two.
Up next, the Bobcats will travel to Los Angeles, Calif. for the UCLA/Long Beach State Invite. On Fri., March 8, Ohio faces off against BYU at 2:30 ET and Robert Morris at 7:30 p.m. ET. On Saturday, the Bobcats will play San Diego State at 12 p.m. ET and Long Beach State at 5 p.m. ET. Ohio ends the weekend on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET when they play Liberty.