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Ohio junior outfielder Sam Bowlsbey slides into home plate in the bottom of the second inning against Dayton on Tuesday at the Ohio Softball Field. 

Ohio vanquishes Dayton 8-2

Although Dayton is not in the Mid-American Conference, Ohio wanted to send a statement to the Flyers, who also hail from the state of Ohio.

“You always want to be the best team in the state,” said coach Jodi Hermanek. “You always want to be number one, not two.”

And on Tuesday, Ohio bested fellow in-state rival Dayton 8-2, in part due to sophomore Casie Hutchinson’s hitting and senior Lauren McClary’s relief pitching.

Hutchinson, the cleanup hitter in Ohio’s lineup, was the biggest contributor to the Bobcats’ eight run total Tuesday by driving in three runs off three hits.

Her biggest hit came in the bottom of the second, with the bases loaded, as she hit a base-clearing double to break open Ohio’s 2-0 lead.

“It was nice to get the team going,” Hutchinson said. “We are all smiles right now.”

Hutchinson is fitting the role of cleanup hitter well. This season, her .317 batting average is third-best on the Bobcats, and she leads the team with 33 RBIs.

The Bobcat’s pitching, which has dealt with inconsistencies all season, was able to keep the best team in the Atlantic 10 to only four hits.

McClary came in for relief for Sydney Compston in the bottom of the fifth with two outs. After losing its lead against Kent State on Sunday, Ohio (12-22) didn’t want to make the same mistake twice.

“I was pitching to my strengths,” McClary said. “Not the hitter’s strengths.”

McClary struck out five straight batters before enabling the last two batters to fly out in the seventh inning to cement Ohio’s victory. 

Despite McClary’s modest reflection of her relief performance, Hutchinson was more enthused with the outcome. With the win, McClary’s strikeout total reached a team high 54 on the season. 

“She kicked butt,” said Hutchinson. “We couldn’t ask any more out of her.”

Hermanek praised McClary’s performance, along with the totality of the Bobcats’ effort Tuesday at the Ohio Softball Field. 

“I was really proud of our offensive attack,” Hermanek said. “With two outs we are scoring runs and continuing pressure on the defense.”

Although Ohio outplayed a statistically better Dayton squad (28-12), Hermanek hopes Ohio can break the inconsistent play that has plagued them throughout the season.

“We are great one game and not the next,” Hermanek said. “We need to get out of that. That’s ownership, that’s focus.”

@jordanbrandall

jr096012@ohio.edu

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