ATHENS, Ohio— Led by a one-hitter from Danielle Stiene and another homerun from Mid-American Conference East Player of the Week Mikayla Cooper, the Ohio Softball team (15-12) defeated the University of Pittsburgh (17-12-1), 6-1, Tuesday evening at the Ohio Softball Field. The victory over the Panthers is the first win against Pitt since 2000.
"I thought Dani came out locked in and just after it tonight," said head coach Jodi Hermanek. "She looked great out there—easy to call a game, hitting spots and just challenging batters. That's a good offensive crew from Pitt and Dani just really worked the zone and did a good job at getting ahead."
Stiene (Loveland, Ohio) started off the first inning strong, facing four batters and stranding the only base runner on second. In the bottom of the inning, the Bobcats would strike first by leading off with back-to-back singles from senior Cooper (Delaware, Ohio) and junior Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio). Both Cooper and Day scored before the end of the inning, putting Ohio up 2-0 after one inning.
After Stiene retired three Panthers, junior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) lead off the bottom of the second with a walk, and quickly showed off her wheels by stealing second. With two outs, Cooper smacked a two-run homerun over the left center field fence, bringing the score to 4-0. Pitt put Kayla Harris in the circle to end the inning, but Ohio would take a 4-0 lead going into the third.
The Bobcats held Pitt in the top of the third and immediately struck in the bottom of the inning. With freshman Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) on second and junior Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) on first, redshirt junior Michaela Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) hit an RBI single, scoring Yun and moving Alvarez to third. However, Ohio would not get another run in the inning and would go to the fourth inning leading 5-0.
The Panthers got their first hit of the day in the top of the fourth inning when Alexis Solak hit a homerun over the left center fence with two outs, cutting Ohio's lead to 5-1.
Day led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot to center field inceasing Ohio's lead. Pitt continued to work, and would send the game to the sixth inning with Ohio leading, 6-1.
Neither team scored in the sixth and Stiene continued to work, striking out the final two batters of the game, sending the Bobcats home with the 6-1 victory.
In the circle, Stiene pitched a complete game. She struck out 10, walked two and allowed one hit in her seven innings of work.
"I definitely felt good all seven innings, but they always talk about what makes a good pitcher and it's a pitcher that gets stronger as the game goes on—that's always my goal," said Stiene. "Starting off with a leadoff walk, you know, you can only move up from there. I just felt really good out there; we had a great vibe out there on the defense. It was really fun."
At the plate, Cooper and Day each went deep, going 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, respectively. Yun went 2-for-3 and Dorsey went 1-for-3 with two RBI. Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.) Alvarez and Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) all added hits for the Bobcats.
Up next, the Bobcats will travel to Ypsilanti, Mich. to play Eastern Michigan in three-game series starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 30. Next week, the Bobcats return to the OSF on Tuesday, April 3 for a conference doubleheader against Kent State.