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Catcher Madison Calytor at bat against Buffalo in Athens, Ohio on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Ohio won 6-3. 

Softball: Change in schedule results in three losses for the Bobcats

The swift change of schedule results in a Furman three-game sweep over the Bobcats.

Originally headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, this weekend, the Bobcats had to promptly change their schedule as winter weather hit the area.

With the change of schedule made, Ohio traveled to Greenville, South Carolina, to face Furman in a three-game weekend series.

The sudden change didn’t help the Bobcats, as they lost all three of the games to the Paladins. With these losses, Ohio drops to the lowest below .500 they’ve been all year, at 4-7.

Ohio began the weekend with a doubleheader on Friday afternoon. The offensive issues that plagued the Bobcats earlier in the season didn’t continue, as each team totaled 10 hits.

With Furman (7-2) establishing a one-run lead in the second inning, Ohio bounced back in the top of the third with a three-run and three-hit stanza. Casie Hutchinson, a sophomore infielder, hit a clutch double to left-center field to drive in all three runs.

Ohio had a 5-3 lead until the bottom of the seventh. But Furman had a walk off on its mind, when it produced three runs off four hits in the bottom of the seventh to win 6-5. The pitching for Ohio continued to struggle, as senior Lauren McClary, who started the game for Ohio, allowed all six earned runs and nine of the 10 hits.

The latter game of the doubleheader played out much like the first as the Bobcats dropped another game to Furman with the same score of 6-5.

Ohio had a chance to close out the long day with a victory leading 5-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh. The pitching pains were apparent as Ohio allowed the second and third batters of the inning reach base off a hit by pitch and a walk. Furman took advantage of the pitching mistakes as Sierra Bishop hit a two-run double to tie the game.

The timely at-bats that coach Jodi Hermanek said her team was working on did not show in the top of the eighth, as the Bobcats left three crucial runners on base.

Needing only one run to win in extra innings, the Paladins were able to sweep the doubleheader with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.

In the series finale, offensive struggles were still a problem for Ohio on Sunday. The Bobcats totaled just two hits over seven innings. They scored their only run in the sixth inning, off a sacrifice fly by Hutchinson. After playing one more scoreless inning, Furman won 3-1 and swept the weekend series.

After the sweep, Ohio finds itself the lowest below an even record it's been all season. The struggles for this team so far seem to be the cohesiveness between the offense and pitching. Whenever the Bobcats produce quality offense, their pitching seems to give up crucial runs. The same could be said for the offense, whenever it struggles the pitching only allows a few runs.

Ohio will look to rebound on Tuesday on the road, as the Bobcats will travel to North Carolina to play a doubleheader against Western Carolina, before facing UNC Greensboro the following day.

@jordanbrandall

jr096012@ohio.edu

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