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Ohio pitcher Emily Wethington pitches during a game against Marshall March 8 at the Ohio Softball Field. The Bobcats defeated Marshall, 5-2, but lost, 6-2, later that afternoon. (Erin Corneliussen | PICTURE EDITOR)

Softball: 'Cats use spring break trip to strengthen bond

Spring Break started just a bit early for the Ohio softball team, though playing 10 games during a 10-day span hardly qualifies as a break.

The Bobcats traded the unpredictable Southeast Ohio weather for some Southern California sunshine. During the road trip, which lasted from March 18 to the early hours of Sunday morning, they enjoyed sights, sounds and all the softball the Left Coast had to offer. It all began with the San Diego Classic II, which was highlighted by a pair of impressive wins over Harvard and Louisville.

The Bobcats then traveled to Long Beach, Los Angeles and wrapped up the play with a double-header in Fullerton on Saturday. Though it wasn’t the most successful string of games — Ohio went 3-7 during the trip — coach Jodi Hermanek said it was a great bonding experience for her team.

“When you put a group of 24 women together — coaching staff and athletes — it can test and try your patience,” she said. “But I’ll tell you what, this was an awesome trip. This was an awesome group of people.”

Hermanek said her team enjoyed a good-sized and enthusiastic following all the way to the West Coast, which made it more memorable.

“We had fans, alumni, parents, family and friends coming out to San Diego,” she said. “We had probably about another 25 parents that followed us through the whole 10-day adventure. We’re really happy with that — just to get that support delivered to us.”

When the Bobcats didn’t have to be on the diamond, they were enjoying and experiencing some of the places that make the region unique. Some of her players had never visited California, so it enhanced the experience for some, Hermanek said.

“We got to go to Sea World. We got to experience Huntington Beach and got to do some things that just allowed us to be together,” she said. “And obviously we got to compete against some of the top teams in that region and get our team as good as we can get it.

“All in all it was probably the best Spring Break this program has had in a long time.”


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