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Softball players watch a fly ball during Ohio's game against Marshall on Sep. 26. The Bobcats won 5-0. 

Softball: Ohio experiences trials and tribulations in Texas

Ohio had its ups and downs during the weekend at the Texas Tech Invitational.

Ohio kept its fans on their toes throughout the weekend at the Texas Tech Invitational, losing the first three games of the weekend before finishing the final day 2-0.  

The roller coaster ride started early when Ohio (8-6) and McNeese State traded three-run innings to start Thursday’s game. 

In the fourth inning, McNeese State broke the game open. The Bobcats' ace pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey was replaced by Danielle Stiene after Jo Dorsey surrendered a three-run home run by McNeese State outfielder Morgan Catron.

Both teams added a run to their totals before the game ended 8-4 in favor of the Cowgirls. 

“We're an aggressive team, and we need to make sure we continue to play the 'Bobcat way' because when we're aggressive and when we execute our plans, then we do things like get on the board first," Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek said.

The next day was no better for Ohio, however. After four scoreless innings from Ohio and Stephen F. Austin, Hermanek brought Dorsey in the circle to relieve Stiene. 

For the second-straight day, Dorsey saw the ball go from her hand to the cheap seats for a three-run home run.

"The fifth inning was just a loss of attack," Hermanek said. ”We just lost a little bit of command. They started fighting off some foul balls, and then their nine-hole hitter came through with a clutch hit at a clutch time." 

Ohio fought back the next inning, scoring a run and getting another runner to second, but it couldn’t manage any more runs late. Ohio fell 3-1.  

Two hours later, Ohio was down early versus Texas Tech after Stiene gave up two home runs through one and 2/3 innings of work. Dorsey came in for damage control, but things only got worse. 

Texas Tech scored four more runs by the fourth inning thanks to a three-run homer and an RBI double. Ohio replaced Dorsey with Morgan Geno and found itself down 7-0 through four.  

Thanks to a pair of two-run hits from catcher Madison Claytor (her second and third of the season) and an RBI single from first baseman Casie Hutchinson, Ohio trimmed the deficit to 7-5 by the sixth inning.  

The Bobcats' comeback, however, would fall short. They lost 7-5. 

The next day, Ohio got a chance for revenge against Texas Tech. Both teams plated their first runs by the fourth inning, and the game remained tied until the sixth.

That time, the late-inning magic came right on time for Ohio. Third baseman Mikayla Cooper hit a two-run homer. Texas Tech answered with a solo shot of its own in the bottom half of the inning, but after a pitching change from Texas Tech to start the last inning, Ohio scored some much needed insurance runs.

Ohio got its revenge, 6-2, Friday.   

Against Texas at San Antonio, Ohio jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind a Hutchinson sac-bunt and a Geno two-run homer by the second inning. 

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Two innings later, Ohio had two more runs behind a Claytor sac-fly and a triple from Cooper.

Texas at San Antonio added two runs in the fifth on a two-run home run, but a single from Hutchinson, accompanied by an error in right field plated two more runs in the bottom half of the inning for Ohio. Hutchinson added the third run of the inning on a blooper just out of the shortstop’s reach from Claytor.

While the pair of two-run home runs Texas at San Antonio added late was inconsequential to the final score, the number of homers hit against Ohio could be a concern moving forward.  

Stiene and Dorsey allowed a combined eight — four each — home runs this weekend, which nearly doubled Dorsey’s total coming in (five) and more than doubled Stiene’s (three).  

Hermanek said earlier in the season that to beat good teams, Ohio's pitchers will have to hit more specific spots with their pitches. 

@JAjimbojr

jw331813@ohio.edu

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