There was no liftoff in Toledo this weekend. Emily Wethington grounded more Rockets than NASA.
The senior pitcher tossed a pair of gems to propel the Bobcats to an 8-0 win Saturday and a 7-0 victory on Sunday in their season finale. The win gave Ohio (23-21, 12-8 Mid-American Conference) the MAC East Division title and second seed in the conference tournament, which starts Wednesday.
“Coming into the weekend, we knew what we had to accomplish clinching the East,” Coach Jodi Hermanek said. “Against Toledo we wanted to lead off strong and consistent and put together the best game that we could possibly have.”
To put things in perspective, on Sunday, Wethington (18-10) allowed as many hits as she herself had at the plate — one.
“She threw awesome this weekend,” Hermanek said. “She was hitting her spot and setting up batters. I’m really proud of her. As a senior, this is exactly what the coaches want.”
For the first four innings, Wethington’s adversary, Toledo righty Whitney Young, matched her. But in the top of the fifth, first baseman Raven King beat her in a big way, leading off with her fifth home run of the season.
That was all the run support Wethington would need, but that didn’t stop the Bobcats from piling it on. Shortstop Alexis Joseph knocked in a pair of runs and Melissa Bonner and Lauren Gellerman each registered an RBI. Wethington even notched one herself before the frame was over to give Ohio a 6-0 lead.
Bonner struck again in the top of the sixth, knocking home Jillian Van Wagnen — who stole second and third to get into scoring position — to give her 24 RBIs on the season.
Wethington surrendered her lone hit in the bottom of the inning off the bat of second baseman Becki Heimbigner. The hit broke up a string of 14 consecutive Rockets retired for Wethington, who struck out six on the day while walking just two.
“Especially this weekend, Coach was telling me, ‘Be a spin-ball pitcher more than anything, and set up the places you want to throw it,’” Wethington said. “I just took that mentality into the game and made sure I could be that for my team so they could get the outs for me.”