Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Ohio’s Brooke Morgart throws to first during a Bobcat win against Kent State. Ohio ended its regular season on a five-game winning streak and will play in the Mid-American Conference Tournament in Akron this weekend. (Jason Chow | Staff Photographer)

Softball: 'Cats end regular season on a roll

Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek has been asking her team for timelier hitting and finally got it during the final weekend of the regular season. 

The Bobcats received contributions across the board that allowed them to solidify a five-game winning streak and a sweep of four conference games at home.

During the streak, Ohio relied heavily on sophomore Raven King whose clutch hitting and base-running helped lead the team to a pair of wins against Kent State last weekend.

In the bottom of the fourth inning of Saturday’s game, King turned the tide of the contest when she smashed an RBI double. She then was able to take third on a heads-up hook slide. Sophomore Erin Lashley drove King home two batters later.

“Coach teaches us to be aggressive on the bases,” King said.  “I just saw (the pitch) right out of her hand. I saw it was a changeup, and I saw it was down and low so I hooked around her and went too far out. But she didn’t tag me at all, so I jumped back at the base, and luckily I was safe.”

The team’s performance this weekend was what Hermanek had been looking for all season, and she said there is no better time for it to hit its stride.

“Going into the conference championship tournament, there’s no better feeling than coming out of four wins in a row and having that as your preparation for it,” Hermanek said.

The Bobcats also had dominant pitching performances during the weekend from freshmen Lauren McClary and Kaylin Clarke, who both threw complete games. Clarke did not surrender a single run while McClary allowed two on three hits.

On Sunday, the Bobcats were able to take advantage of their opportunities in the fourth inning. Ohio had two outs in the inning when junior Chelsea Hortman hit a grand slam that added to the Bobcats’ one-run lead. 

Ohio was also led by opportune defense. In the fifth inning, Kent State threatened with runners on first and second, but senior Alexis Joseph executed an unassisted double play to end the inning. Hermanek said that play was key to the win.

“It was great,” Hermanek said. “It was shutting the door when we had the opportunity to shut it, not letting them get one more at-bat, and that’s what we need.”

The pair of wins allowed the Bobcats to lock up the No. 4 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament and move into third place in the MAC East.

“When you go to the conference tournament, you need four games in order to win it, and this is the first weekend we’ve been able to put four wins together,” Hermanek said.  “I’m extremely proud of them. They put every component of the game together and came out on top in four games.”

Ohio will again need to rely on its timely play Wednesday when it plays the winner of Western Michigan vs. Toledo.

Ohio split its series with Western Michigan and swept Toledo earlier this season.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH