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Alexia Cortez at bat against Buffalo in Athens, Ohio on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Ohio won 6-3. 

The Bobcats fall to Marshall as the Thundering Herd set run record

Marshall sets a school record for runs as Ohio losses its sixth straight.

Ohio’s slow start to the season continued Thursday as it lost its sixth in a row to Marshall, 18-3, in Huntington, West Virginia.

The Thundering Herd set a program record for runs scored and recorded 17 hits including two grand slams.

Coach Jodi Hermanek and the Bobcats were not made available to The Post for comment after the game.

Ohio’s offense struggled against pitcher Jordan Dixon who went four innings and along the way struck out six Bobcats and allowed no walks.

Dixon’s .197 opponent batting average showed as only Sloan Walker and Timmie Rappe were able to get on base with a hit.

Starting pitcher Leanna Bachman, a sophomore, allowed 12 hits and was charged with five earned runs in only two and a half innings. Bachman was not the only Ohio pitcher to have a tough time keeping Marshall (17-8) off the bases. Kaylin Clarke, a senior, came in for relief and gave up five more hits in one and a third innings of work.

The Bobcats (5-18) showed some resurgence in the top of the third inning. Trailing 6-0, Ohio was able to take advantage of several consecutive defensive errors made by Marshall to cut the lead in half. After a three-run third inning, though, the offense went stagnant.

2015 has not been the year Ohio softball, and others, were expecting.

Overall, the team’s batting average is a modest .270. The struggle is not the fact that players don’t get hits, though, the struggle is making sure the runners reach home plate and do not get stranded on base at the end of the inning. Coach Hermanek does not downplay the importance of scoring runs and has worked with improving that aspect all season.

The pitching staff has also had a down year. Without ace Savannah Jo Dorsey, the pitching staff has a combined ERA of 7.62 and opponents are hitting a staggering .362 against them.

Ohio can look forward to its home opener this weekend against Niagara for a two-game series on Saturday and Sunday.

Playing 23 games on the road can be mentally draining for any team, so playing in front of a home crowd, and having more home games in the latter half of the season, could provide the Bobcats with a morale boost.

After this weekend against Niagara, Mid-American Conference play will also begin for Ohio. Although the Bobcats’ overall record is not the best in the MAC, they still strive to defend their MAC title for the second consecutive year.

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@jordanbrandall

jr096012@ohio.edu

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