Ohio walks off in both of its last two games of the tournament, goes 5-0 overall in Raleigh.
The North Carolina State Doubletree RDU Invite was full of moments that made hearts beat fast and muscles shake nervously.
Savannah Jo Dorsey, however, had the steady hand the Bobcats (16-7) would come to rely on.
Ohio swept the invite in Raleigh, North Carolina, going 5-0 on the weekend. Behind the unwavering control of Dorsey, who captured four of the five series wins, Ohio University took down Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in the final, winning 2-1 in extra innings.
“I'm super proud of her,” Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek said of Dorsey. “She wants those key strikeouts, and she wants to be in those moments.”
Dorsey tallied strikeout No. 600 of her career in the opening game of the tournament, becoming the first pitcher in Ohio softball history to reach that mark.
In 23 and 2/3 innings pitched on the weekend, she gave up zero earned runs and hurled 39 strikeouts.
“She does a great job every time she comes out to the mound — always attacking the batters,” catcher Madison Claytor said. “With the defense working behind her, she's not afraid to just go at whoever is in the box.”
It all came down to two at-bats. The Bobcats escaped a sorrowful tournament exit by walking off in the final two games.
Against Bryant in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Ohio went into the seventh inning tied at two runs a piece.
After failing to score once with the bases loaded, senior infielder Amanda Dalton stood at the plate with a full count and two outs on the board.
Dalton cracked a single into left field, sending infielder Mikayla Cooper home and finishing off Bryant for a second time.
“I came into the at-bat thinking I for sure was going to get it done,” Dalton said. “I didn't have a doubt in my head. That's what matters, knowing you can do it. I envisioned what was going to happen, and I did it.”
Dalton also helped her teammates envision that same kind of success.
In the final game against IUPUI, when Ohio was down a run heading into the bottom of the eighth, outfielder Michaela Dorsey stood in the batter’s box with her teammate’s message seared into her mind.
“My sister [Savannah] told me that Dalton said that if she had to pick someone to come up to bat in that kind of situation, she would pick me,” Dorsey said. “That gave me so much confidence, so I just walked up there and said ‘I can do this.’”
Michaela Dorsey hit a sacrifice fly to right field sending in a runner and on the next at-bat, Ohio's Taylor Saxton broke through with a single to left center, as Dalton ran from third and tapped home plate to win the tournament.
“Watching a kid like Michaela Dorsey come up with a clutch line drive shot in her at-bat and getting better than her first one, I was just really proud of that kind of effort,” Hermanek said.