AKRON, Ohio– The Ohio softball team (26-16, 7-6 MAC) returned to action on Friday (April 12) to take on Mid-American Conference foe Akron (8-23-2, 2-10 MAC), defeating the Zips, 9-4, and snapping their four-game losing streak.
The Bobcats struck first in the top of the first inning. With one out, sophomore Katie Yun (North Canton, Ohio) was hit by a pitch and then would steal second. With two outs, senior Morgan Geno (Chillicothe, Ohio) would be intentionally walked to put runners on first and second. Senior Alex Day (Hilliard, Ohio) would then take the first pitch she saw and drive it off the left field wall, scoring Yun and giving Ohio a 1-0 lead after the first half inning of play.
Akron would try and tie the game up in the bottom of the first inning, getting a runner on third. However, Akron would be unable to score, sending the game to the second with Ohio still leading, 1-0.
After Akron left a runner on second in the bottom of the second, Ohio threatened again in the top of the third. With one out, Yun reached on a single to third. However, the Bobcats would be unable to get her home, sending the game to the bottom of the frame with Ohio still leading, 1-0.
Ohio would add on in the top of the fourth inning when Day led the inning off with a solo homerun to left field. Senior Deanna Cole (Akron, Ohio) would then be hit by a pitch and steal second. Cole would 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 leading, 2-0.
Akron would threaten in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs, The Zips would reach on a hit and on a dropped third strike, putting runners on first and second. However, the Bobcats would get the final out of the inning on a pop out, sending the game to the firth with Ohio leading 2-0.
Ohio would add on in the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore Allie Englant (Long Beach, Calif.) would lead off with an infield single and then move to second when Yun reached on a fielder's choice. Then on the first pitch she saw, senior Natalie Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) would crush a double to left center, clearing the base and giving Ohio a 4-0 lead with no outs.
After an Akron pitching change, the Bobcats would continue to add on. After Geno was intentionally walked for the second time, Day would draw a walk of her own to load the bases. Freshmen Justice Ruggles (Grass Lake, Mich.) and Taytum Hargrave (Warsaw, ind.) would enter the game to run for Alvarez and Geno. Then with the bases loaded and two outs, freshman Caroline Spacek (Beaumont, Texas) would single in Ruggles and Hargrave, putting the Bobcats up 6-0. Ohio would load the bases again after junior Alexa Holland (Rochester, Ind.) would draw a walk. Engalnt would then record her second hit of the inning, a three-run triple, putting Ohio up 9-0 as they entered the bottom of the fifth inning.
Akron would extend the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, getting two runs to send the game to the sixth with Ohio leading 9-2.
Ohio would try to get the runs back in the top of the sixth inning when the Alvarez and Cole both drew walks. However, the Bobcats would be unable to get her around, sending the game to the bottom of the inning with Ohio leading 9-2.
Akron would get another run I the bottom of the sixth inning. After reaching on an infield single, Holland would help turn a ground ball double play, clearing the bases. The next batter would hit a solo homerun, before starting pitcher Madi McCrady (Brimfield, Ohio) would strike out the final batter of the inning. Sending the game to the top of the seventh with Ohio leading 9-3.
After a scoreless inning for Ohio in the top of the seventh, Akron would get a run in the bottom of the frame off of a solo homerun. However, McCrady would get the final batter of the game to strikeout, sealing the 9-4 victory for the Bobcats.
Overall, Ohio scored nine runs on seven hits and committed three errors, while Akron scored four runs on eight hits and committed one error.
Individually, Englant went 3-for-5 with a triple, three RBI and a run scored, while Day went 2-for-3 with a homerun, two RBI and two runs scored. Yun added a hit and two runs scored, while Alvarez recorded a double and two RBI. Spacek added a base hit, two RBI and a run scored.
In the circle, McCrady pitched seven innings, allowing four runs, three earned, while walking one and striking out six batters.
Up next, the Bobcats are back in action on Saturday, April 13 to wrap up the three-game series with the Zips. The Bobcats and Akron will square off in a doubleheader set to start at 1 p.m.