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Amanda Dalton prepares for a pitch as her teammates watch during Ohio's game against Marshall on September 26, 2015. The Bobcats won 5-0 at the Ohio University Women’s Softball Complex. 

Softball Sidebar: Ohio struggling in one-run games recently

Ohio has struggled in one-run games recently, and Tuesday night wasn't any different. 

In the last week, five of Ohio's six games were decided by one run. It lost all but one of them, including one of Tuesday's games against Ohio State. 

Whether it was giving up a lead at Kent State or struggling to plate runs against Akron and Ohio State, Ohio is struggling to find ways to win close games lately.  

"We need to do a better job with runners in scoring position," coach Jodi Hermanek said. "I mean, we're getting runners on. We had opportunities in the first game (against Ohio State) for sure. But, we just need to make sure that we tighten up and get a little bit better with runners in scoring position."

It started last Wednesday against Kent State, a team Ohio had swept a double header against eight days earlier by two and three runs. The Bobcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but Kent State scored four runs in the third and fourth innings to take the lead. 

Ohio ended up dropping the game 5-4 in nine innings. Since then, the team's mojo hasn't been quite the same.

A three-run rally in the seventh fell just short in a 4-3 loss to Akron. Ohio left 10 runners on base in a second one-run loss to the Zips, and the only run Ohio State scored in its 1-0 win Tuesday was unearned. 

"It's frustrating but that's just how the day goes sometimes," Ohio pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey said. "Eventually it's going to go our way." 

Despite its recent struggles, Ohio will have the opportunity to bounce back quickly. It will be in Dayton on Wednesday to take on the Flyers in a double header that begins at 3 p.m. 

"It's a big relief," Hermanek said. 

Dayton and Ohio are ranked closely in RPI (100th and 90th, respectively), so Ohio may get a chance Wednesday at overcoming its demons with runners in scoring position. 

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Hermanek said even though her team has had some rough luck with hitting the ball hard right at defenders, she still needs her team to focus more when Ohio has runners in scoring position. 

Dayton is 12-4 this year in one-run games, so Ohio will have to execute in key situations if they continue this trend of deciding outcomes late in games. Not only that, but Hermanek's team may have to come through in different roles than they're used to.

"I wanna keep using my roster," Hermanek said on a night that saw right-fielder Jamie Wren make her debut as a pitcher. "I wanna keep giving everybody an opportunity to perform tomorrow against Dayton. So, I'm excited to find out what these kids can do."

@JAjimbojr

jw331813@ohio.edu

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