LOS ANGELES, Ca. – The Ohio softball team (12-8) opened up play in the 2019 UCLA/Long Beach Invitational Friday afternoon (Mar. 8) splitting the day's competitions. The Bobcats fell to BYU (8-9), 3-2, in game one, and later went on to defeat Robert Morris (3-11), 8-1, in the final game of the day.
GAME ONE: BYU 3, Ohio 2
Sophomore Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) drew a walk to open up the top of the first inning but would be out at first leaving early. With two outs, senior Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) homered to left center, giving the Bobcats an early 1-0 lead.
With one out on the top of the second, freshman Caroline Spacek (Beaumont, Texas) singled to the pitcher and would advance to second on a ground out to first base. Senior Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) was hit by a pitch that placed Ohio runners on first and second, but Ohio would ground out to second base to end the top of the inning. Ohio forced another quick three-and-out to end the frame with a 1-0 advantage over BYU going into the third inning.
Englant led off the top of the third inning for the Bobcats with a single up the middle, later advancing to second after sophomore Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) drew a walk. Alvarez singled to center field that advanced Yun to second base and Englant to third base. With the bases loaded and no outs, senior Morgan Geno (Chillcothe, Ohio) drew an RBI walk that advanced the runners, scoring Englant from third base for a 2-0 advantage over BYU. The Bobcats would be unable to push another run across, sending the game to the fourth inning with Ohio leading 2-0.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Day drew a walk, later advancing to second after senior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) singled through the right side. Sophomore Brooke Rice (Mason, Ohio) entered to pinch hit for freshman Taytum Hargrave (Warsaw, Ind.) and reached on a fielder's choice, but Cole would be out at second to end the frame. After Ohio forced a foul out, BYU homered to left field shrinking the Ohio advantage to 2-1 after five innings.
After a scoreless frome from Ohio in the top of the sixth inning, BYU would threaten again in the bottom of the six.. With one out, BYU would tie the game on a bunt and an RBI single through the left side and then capitalized to take a 3-2 lead after an RBI sacrifice foul out to right field. BYU would threaten to extend the lead with runners on first and second, but Ohio forced a fly out to right field to end the inning.
Ohio would threaten in the top of the seventh, Day singled to right field with one out, later advancing to second on a single up the middle by Cole. Unfortunately, Ohio would not be to capitalize, falling to BYU, 3-2.
Overall, Ohio scored two runs on 11 hits and registered no errors, while BYU scored three runs on five hits and registered no errors.
Individually, Englant went 3-for-4 with three singles and scored a run while Alvarez went 2-for-3 with a single and a homerun. Geno went 1-for-3 with an RBI while Cole went 2-of-3 with a pair of singles. Day and Yun both went 1-of-3 on the day while Spacek went 1-of-4 on the day for the Bobcats.
In the circle, sophomore Madi McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) pitched six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, walking one and striking out four batters for her sixth loss of the season.
GAME TWO: Ohio 8, Robert Morris 1
Ohio forced a quick three-and-out to open the top of the first inning. With two outs, Alvarez singled through the left side and advanced to score after Geno hit a two-run homerun. Freshman Charlee Pond (Redondo Beach, Calif.) reached first on a single up the middle, but a strike out would end the frame with a 2-0 early advantage over Robert Morris going into the second inning.
Ohio forced another quick innings in the top of the second on three-straight strike outs. Day led off the bottom of the frame for the Bobcats with a single to center field and advanced to score on a homerun to right field by Cole. With one out, Englant singled to center field, but would be left stranded after a fly out to left center field and a line out to the pitcher ended the frame, with Ohio leading 4-0.
The Bobcats would add on in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cole began the surge on a single to third base. Junior Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.) would then reach first on an error by the shortstop, advancing Cole to second. Holland and Cole both registered a stolen base placing a runner on second and third for Ohio with no outs. With one out, Yun reached second on a throwing error advancing Holland to third and scoring Cole. Up next was Alvarez who advanced Yun to third and scored Holland on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, giving the Bobcats a 6-0 lead.
With one out, Robert Morris registered its first hit of the game on a single up the middle in the top of the fifth inning, but Ohio would strike out the next batter and force a fly out to left center to end the frame. The Bobcats would attempt to add on in the bottom of the fifth as Pond singled up the middle later advancing to second on a ground out to the shortstop to begin the frame. With one out, Day was hit by a pitch. Cole then reached on a fielder's choice advancing Day to second, but Pond would be out at third. A ground out to second base registered the final out of the frame stranding Day and Cole on first and second.
RMU would get on the board in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI double, to make the score 6-1 entering the bottom of the sixth.
The Bobcats answered in the bottom of the frame as Englant singled up the middle, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. With one out, Alvarez singled to center field for an RBI that scored Englant and advanced to second on a single through the left side by Geno. Hargrave pinch ran for Alvarez and advanced to third on a single up the middle by Pond that also advanced Geno to second. Rice entered to pinch hit for Spacek and reached on an error by the shortstop, advancing Pond to second, Geno to third and scored Hargrave, giving Ohio an 8-1 lead after six.
Robert Morris would be unable to mount a comeback in the top of the seventh inning, securing the 8-1 victory for the Bobcats.
Overall, Ohio scored eight runs on 12 hits and registered no errors, while Robert Morris scored one run on four hits and registered four errors.
Individually, Cole went 2-for-4 with two RBI's, a homerun and scored two runs, while Geno and Alvarez both went 2-for-3 with two RBI's and scored a run. Geno added a homerun for Ohio. Englant went 2-for-4 and scored a run while Day went 1-of-3 and scored a run. Rice went 1-for-1 with an RBI while Pond went 3-for-4. Hargrave and Holland both added a run for Ohio.
In the circle, freshman Mackensie Kohl (Corona Del Mar, Calif.)pitched six innings, allowing one run on four hits, walking zero and striking out four batters.
Up next, the Bobcats return to action on Saturday, Mar. 9 when the Bobcats take on San Diego State at 12 p.m. and Long Beach State at 5 p.m.