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Ohio's Danielle Stiene pitches during a game against Akron at the Ohio University Women's Softball Complex on April 16. (FILE)

Softball: Little things hurt Ohio in close series loss to Akron

Small mistakes ended up looking much larger over the weekend as Ohio lost 2 of three close games against MAC opponent Akron

Every little mistake was magnified in Ohio's series loss to Akron.

Each of the three games was decided by one run as the Bobcats couldn't come through at the plate in their two losses.

In the final game of the series Saturday, Ohio left 10 runners on base in the first five innings, including eight in scoring position.

"We just gotta turn the corner," Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek said. "It's just gonna take that string of hits together and once it does, we're going to contribute a lot better." 

Ohio's offensive frustration culminated in the fifth, when it couldn't score with runners on second and third with no outs.

The final out of the inning came on a close play at first base that prompted Hermanek to come out of the dugout to talk to the umpire.  

"It's my job to not always see the same things that they see," Hermanek said. 

The lone run of the game came on an RBI single in the third inning from Akron catcher Alyssa Nicholas. Her single ended up being the difference as Akron took the game 1-0.

In her interview after game one, Ohio second baseman Taylor Saxton said no one should want to be ahead of Ohio in the last inning.

Game two proved her right. 

Ohio pitchers Savannah Jo Dorsey and Danielle Stiene combined for five shutout innings before Dorsey allowed a solo home run in the sixth inning to Akron shortstop Carley Childress.

It seemed then, that Childress was going to be the hero. 

That all changed in the seventh, however, as Childress made three errors in the inning, the final one which lead to a two RBI walk off chopper from Ohio center fielder Deanna Cole, her second set of game winning RBI's this year.

"I just like being able to get up to the plate and do a job for the team," Cole said. "Not for me, not for my stats, but just for the win to get that run to score. That's all I really look forward to." 

The first game of the weekend Friday saw Dorsey look somewhat human for the first time in a long time. A home run in the first inning from Akron center fielder Savannah Fruin started things off for the Zips. 

Dorsey held down Akron from there until the sixth inning. With runners on second and third, Dorsey threw a wild pitch that scored one run, and the throw back to her was off the mark, which scored the second run.

Akron (23-18-1, 7-5-1 MAC) got another run in the inning on a botched throw down to second base from Ohio catcher Madison Claytor. 

"Sister or not, it's always really difficult to watch a pitcher struggle because you're not there, you can't help them out," right fielder Michaela Dorsey said. "Especially being in the outfield and so far way from the action."

Savannah Jo Dorsey could not be reached for comment after the game. 

Ohio (25-16,7-7 MAC) came up with some seventh inning magic, scoring three runs, but it fell short with runners on second and third.

The emotional roller coaster ended on a low note for the Bobcats with a 4-3 loss.

"I think that we definitely could've done a better job as an offense from the very first inning," Saxton said. "From the first inning to the seventh inning, we need to come with that same attack we had in the seventh." 

Overall, Ohio can take solace in the fact that Stiene, who pitched nine innings and only allowed one run allowed on the weekend, can still be counted on as a solid No. 2 to Savannah Jo Dorsey.

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But, its problems with runners in scoring position this weekend need to be improved and, for Ohio's sake, are hopefully just a blip on the radar.


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