DURHAM, N.C. -- The Ohio softball team returned to action on Friday, March 1 at the first day of the Duke/N.C. State Invitational. The Bobcats picked up an 8-5 victory over Charleston Southern before the Bobcats game against Mississippi State was stopped in the bottom of the fifth inning due to rain. The Bobcats and Bulldogs are tentatively scheduled to resume that game on Saturday (March 2) at 6 p.m.
GAME ONE: Ohio 8, Charleston Southern 5
Charleston Southern would open the top of the first inning by getting two runners on, however the Ohio defense would hold strung, getting out of the jam and sending the game to the bottom of the inning with it still scoreless.
After a scoreless bottom of the frame form the Bobcats, Charleston Southern would strike first, scoring two runs in the top of the second off two Bobcat throwing errors, putting them up 2-0 after two innings of play.
Third inning from both teams, the Bobcats' defense would get out a two on, two out jam, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio trailing, 2-0. The Bobcats would strike in the bottom of the fourth inning. Sophomore Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) would lead off with a walk and then steal second. However, Englant would be out at third when sophomore Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) would reach on a fielder's choice. Yun would then steal second right before senior Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) would reach on a single, putting runners on first and third with one out.
Then with two outs and runners on first and third, freshman Charlee Pond (Redondo Beach, Calif.) would double to left field, tying the game up at 2-2. The Bobcats would continue to threaten in the inning, with freshman Caroline Spacek (Beaumont, Texas) and senior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) both drawing walks to load the bases. However, the Bobcats would be unable to get another run across, sending the game to the fifth with it tied at 2-2.
Charleston Southern would retake the lead in the top of the fifth inning on a two-RBI single, sending the game to the bottom of the fifth with Ohio trailing. 4-2.
The Bobcats would respond in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Englant would single to third and then move to second on a single from Yun. After Alvarez drew a walk to load the bases, senior Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) would draw a walk of her own to bring home Englant, but keep the bases loaded with one out. Then with two outs, Spacek would reach on an infield single, allowing Yun to score and tying the game at 4-4 as it entered the top of the sixth inning.
Charleston Southern would retake the load in the top of the sixth inning on a two-out solo homerun, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio trailing, 5-4.
The Bobcats would finally take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when with one out, redshirt senior Michaela Dorsey (Grove City, Ohio) would reach after being hit by a pitch. She would then move to second after Englant drew a walk.Freshman Taytum Hargrave (Warsaw, Ind.) would then re-enter the game to run for Dorsey. Still with one out, Yun would single up the middle, moving Englant to second, however Hargrave would be thrown out trying to score. Then with two outs, Alvarez would double down the left field line, scoring Englant, bringing Geno to the plate, who would then demolish a three-run shot to left field, giving the Bobcats an 8-5 lead.
Charleston Southern would get a runner on in the top of the seventh inning with a leadoff double. However, the Ohio offense would get out of the game on a double play and a fly out, securing the 8-5 victory.
Overall, Ohio scored eight runs on eight hits and had three errors, while Charleston Southern scored five runs on six hits and had no errors.
Individually, Yun went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, while Alvarez went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Geno went 1-for-3 with a homerun, three RBI and one run scored, while Pond added a double and two RBI. Englant recorded a hit and scored two runs, while Spacek also recorded a hit and one RBI.
In the circle, freshman Mackensie Kohl (Corona Del Mar, Calif.) get the start, pitching 4.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, walked four and struck out two to earn her fourth win of the season. Junior Desirae Villanueva (Surrey, British Columbia) pitched 1.1 innings and allowed two runs on two hits.
GAME TWO: Mississippi State 3. Ohio 2 (Postponed in the bottom of the fifth)
Mississippi State would get on the bases first in the top of the first inning with a two-out single to left. However, the Bobcat defense would force the next batter to fly out, sending the game to the bottom of the first with it still scoreless. Ohio would also get on the bases in the bottom of the frame with their own two-out double, this one by Alvarez. However, the Bobcats would be unable to get her around, sending the game to the second inning with the game still scoreless.
Mississippi State would get on the board first in the top of the second inning on an RBI single to put the Bulldogs up 1-0. Ohio would respond in the bottom of the second inning with a run of their own. Pond led the inning off with a double to left. Pond then moved to third on a single by Dorsey. Pond would then score on a wild pitch that would move Dorsey to third. However, the Bobcats would be unable to get another run across and send the game to the third with it tied at 1-1.
The Bobcat defense would send the Bulldogs down in order in the top of the third inning, setting up the Bobcats to take the lead. Yun led the inning off with a double to right field and then moved to third on a ground out. Yun would then score on another groundout, putting Ohio up 2-0 after three.
Mississippi State would retake the lead in the top of the fourth inning on a one-out two-RBI double to left center, giving the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.
After a scoreless frame in the top of the fifth from Mississippi State, the Bobcats had their first batter come to the plate when rain in the area hit, halting the game for the time being. The Bobcats will resume this game on Saturday, March 2 at 6 p.m. in Durham.
Before the Bobcats resume play with Mississippi State, the Bobcats will return to action for day two in Raleigh, N.C. when the Bobcats take on Campbell at 10 a.m. and then Charleston Southern at 12:30 p.m.