PITTSBURGH, Pa. –A three homerun day by sophomore Katie Yun helped lead the Ohio softball team (18-10) to a come-from-behind, extra innings victory over Pittsburgh (4-22), defeating the Panthers, 11-9, Tuesday (March 19) evening.
The Bobcats struck first in the top of the first inning when Yun (North Canton, Ohio) hit a one-out solo homerun to right center. Senior Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) followed that up with a solo shot of her own, this one to center, giving the Bobcats a 2-0 lead after the opening frame.
Pitt would get a runner in on the bottom of the first, however, the Bobcats would get out of the inning when starting pitcher, sophomore Madi McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) would strike out the final batter of the inning, sending the game to the second with the Bobcats leading, 2-0.
Ohio would threaten in the top of the second inning. Freshman Caroline Spacek (Beaumont, Texas) would reach on a one-out walk. Then with two outs, junior Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.) would reach on an infield bunt single, putting runners on first and second with two outs. However, the Bobcats would be unable to get the run around, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio leading 2-0.
After a scoreless bottom of the second for Pitt, Ohio would add on in the top of the third inning, when Yun led the inning off with her second homerun of the game. Senior Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) would then draw a walk and be replaced on the bases by senior MacKenzie Brunswick (Bellefontaine, Ohio). Brunswick would steal second with two outs, However, Ohio would be unable to get her around, sending the gamed to the bottom of the frame with Ohio leading 3-0.
Pitt would get on the board in the bottom of the third inning on a one out two-run homerun, cutting the Ohio lead to 3-2 after three innings.
After a scoreless fourth inning from both teams, Ohio threatened to add on in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Yun would single up the middle. However, the Bobcats would be unable to get her across home, sending the game to the bottom of the fifth with Ohio leading 3-2.
Pitt would take the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two-run homerun, putting Pitt up 4-3 after five innings.
Ohio threatened in the top of the sixth inning. Senior Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) led the inning off with a double. She would then move to third on a sacrifice bunt, however the Bobcats would be unable to get her around, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio trailing, 4-3.
The Bobcats came roaring back in the top of the seventh inning. Holland led off with a single to left center. She then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Yun would then come to the plate and hit her third homerun of the day, putting Ohio up 5-4. The Bobcats' offense was not finishing. Alvarez would then single down the left field line. Freshman Tatum Hargrave (Warsaw, Ind.) would then enter the game to run for Alvarez. Geno would then draw a walk, putting runners on first and second with one out. Day would then double down the right field line, scoring Hargrave.
Ohio's offense would continue when senior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) would triple to left center, clearing the bases and putting the Bobcats up 8-4. The Bobcats would add one more a moment later when Spacek singled through the left side, putting Ohio up 9-4 going into the final frame.
Pitt would put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring five runs on four hits, tying the game at 9-9 and sending the game into extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Ohio would threaten in the top of the ninth inning when Day reached on a leadoff single. She would then move to second on a wild pitch right before Cole drew a walk. The runners would move up on a sacrifice bunt, however the rest of the offense would be unable to get her around, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with the game tied at 9-9.
After a quick offensive inning for Pitt, the Bobcats would strike in the top of the 10th inning. With two outs, Alvarez singled through the left side. Geno would then draw a walk, as would Day to load the bases. Cole would then reach first on a dropped fly ball by the center fielder, scoring Alvarez and Geno, putting Ohio up 11-9 entering the bottom of the 10th.
The Ohio defense would come up strong in the bottom of the 10th inning, sending the Panthers down in order, sealing the 11-9 victory for the Bobcats.
Overall, Ohio scored 11 runs on 14 hits and had one error, while Pitt scored nine runs on 11 hits and committed two errors.
Individually, Yun went 4-for-6 with three homeruns, three runs scored and four RBI, while Alvarez went 3-for-6 with one homerun, one RBI and two runs scored. Day also had a three-hit day, scoring one run, registering one RBI and two doubles. Holland finished 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Cole recorded a triple with a run scored and two RBI, and Spacek also registered a hit with an RBI.
In the circle, McCrady pitched 6.1 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out eight. Freshman Mackensie Kohl (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) earned the win, pitching 3.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits, walked one and struck out two.
Up next, the Bobcats finally return to Athens March 22-23 when the Bobcats begin Mid-American Conference play against Bowling Green. The Bobcats begin play on Friday, March 22 at 3 p.m. inside the Ohio Softball Field. The wrap up the series on Saturday, March 23 with a doubleheader set to start at 1 p.m.