Ohio is preparing for its second weekend of the fall season and hopes to give experience to newer players
After a successful opening fall weekend against Marshall, Ohio hopes to build on its successes in preparation for another doubleheader this weekend against Charleston.
The doubleheader against Marshall was a welcoming relief to be back on the softball field for the team, as only two players were lost to graduation from last year’s squad that made the NCAA Tournament. For others, however, while still glad to be on the field, the games were an eye-opening experience.
Freshman Mikayla Cooper said the past weekend’s games were unquestionably a bit of a nerve-wracking experience.
“I started at first in both games, but I was kind of nervous,” Cooper said. “But me and (coach) talked and worked all those nerves out.”
Cooper hopes she impressed in her first collegiate games, while recording her first hit on her first at-bat.
The fall games are ultimately a learning experience, giving a chance to work on skills in preparation of the upcoming season. However, coach Jodi Hermanek still strives to be the most dominant team on the field.
“We want to be the best offensive, defensive, pitching staff, and baserunning staff on the field,” Hermanek said. “We want to outshine, outwork and outdo every ball that’s been in play.”
Although it’s early in the fall season, Hermanek has already seen strong efforts from some on the veteran-laden team. Hermanek specifically spoke of pitchers Kaylin Clarke, a senior, and Leanna Bachman, a sophomore, for their work in last Sunday’s doubleheader.
Hermanek also saw promise in the hitting department from younger talent.
She was ecstatic about the entire team’s hitting performance, especially junior Sam Bowlsbey and sophomore Madison Claytor.
“I thought offensively we probably put the ball in play 98 percent of the time, so we were a tough out at the plate,” Hermanek said. “That was one thing that we left here feeling good about.”
The adjustment period taking place for the Bobcats will give the team a chance to practice on what it learned from Sunday’s matchup.
“It’s a quicker pace than what I’m used to, but I know I can adjust and work those nerves out and just play the game like I’ve been playing for 11 years now,” Cooper said.
The Bobcats had time this week to work on what they could be stronger at, including baserunning, which Hermanek felt could be improved upon.
“I thought we got ourselves into some outs that we don’t traditionally create and there are some ways we can score or be safe by just cleaning some of that up,” Hermanek said.
However, Hermanek knows the fall season is time for growth and improvement, and trusts that her team will improve.
“I wasn’t stressed about some of the mistakes defensively that we made because those are just things that are going to happen,” she said. “We’ll make the corrections; we have the talent for that.”