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Savannah Jo Dorsey pitches the ball during Ohio University’s double header against the University of Kentucky on Tuesday. 

Softball: Dorsey and Ohio split doubleheader against nationally ranked Kentucky

Savannah Jo Dorsey pitches 13 total innings in the doubleheader against the Wildcats and only gives up three runs and four hits.

Savannah Jo Dorsey had a long Tuesday evening at Ohio Softball Field.

From the circle, she was experiencing a real-life time lapse right in front of her eyes. She saw the bleachers start off packed, then go to nearly empty and eventually become packed again. The sun inched closer to setting — so eventually she sported shades.

Dorsey was called on inning after inning to face No. 12 Kentucky in a doubleheader. She fared well, throwing eight scoreless innings in the opener to win 1-0 and only giving up three hits in five innings in a 3-1 loss in the closing game.

“There’s nothing like using a real game to build endurance,” Dorsey said of pitching in multiple games. “But we do practice like that. We do a lot of leg work and then do more and then pitching and do more. It’s a little bit tiring towards the end, but it’s good. ... We work for that.”

After what seemed like light years, Danielle Stiene came in to pitch in the top of the sixth of the second game for Dorsey, whose weariness became more and more visible as the evening went on.

But Dorsey showed she could be relied on heavily in back-to-back games, with her 15-total strikeouts as proof.

“If we need her to go game one and come back game two on a doubleheader dip, we now just saw her do it,” Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek said of Dorsey. “Now she knows she’s got it in her. I was proud of her coming out and giving it all she’s got."

Game one's exciting ending

With two outs and Michaela Dorsey on third in the bottom of the eighth inning of game one, Kentucky (31-5) coach Rachel Lawson chose to pull her ace Kelsey Nunley after Ohio (20-10) center fielder Deanna Cole fouled off multiple pitches in a row.

Cole, however, was not fazed by the change and sent a ground ball up the middle. The ball trickled under the glove of Nunley’s replacement, Meagan Prince, as Cole reached safely at first and Dorsey reached home plate.

Celebration was in order.

Cole barely had time to soak in her game-winning hit, as she was immediately swarmed by her teammates.

“I looked over at my team and could see the excitement on their faces,” Cole said. “I was just more happy about them being happy than anything.”

Game two’s tough beginning

Although Dorsey would have loved to shut out Kentucky in both games of the doubleheader, the Wildcats finally got their timing down in the top of the first.

After two-straight base hits, Kentucky third baseman Abbey Cheek stepped up to the plate and hit a three-run home run over the center field wall.

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The home run provided the only three runs Kentucky needed, and the sequence was the only misstep for Dorsey all day.

“Nothing should have been different,” Dorsey said of the shift between games. “But that’s the sport we play, it’s a one-hit game changer like that.”

@NKairys

nk596613@ohio.edu

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