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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: The Bobcats host Ohio State in midweek doubleheader

Ohio pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey, who leads the nation in strikeouts, will face off against Ohio State pitcher Shelby Hursh in a battle between two aces.

The Bobcats versus the Buckeyes rivalry is stuck in a classic paradigm.

Some on Ohio’s softball team were raised Ohio State fans. A handful of other students in Athens will causally wear the scarlet and gray on campus, and many Bobcats can relate to hearing the confused response from distant family and friends:

“You mean you go to Ohio State?”

But when Ohio faces off against Ohio State in a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Bobcats will refuse to take a backseat to their “older sibling” as an athletic program.

“We’re gonna come to win,” Ohio pitcher Danielle Stiene said. “And we’re gonna show them who Ohio University is.”

Whether the Buckeyes have seen who the Bobcats are as a team or not, the Buckeyes surely know what they're about to face.

Bobcats pitcher and team ace, Savannah Jo Dorsey, who leads the nation with 251 total strikeouts including an ERA of 1.82, will give Ohio a chance to beat any Division I program it faces. 

After all, it's happened before.

Against then No. 12 ranked Kentucky earlier in the season, Dorsey tossed a one-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over the Wildcats in eight innings.

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Dorsey, who pitched for Central Crossing High School, just 17 minutes from Ohio State’s campus, will start for the Bobcats on Tuesday against her hometown school, and will try to knock off a ranked opponent for the second time this year.

Witnessing Dorsey’s dominance in that notable win, amongst her 17 other appearances, Stiene has confidence that her pitching mate and the Bobcats can take down the favored Buckeyes.

“I mean, shoot, we beat UK we can beat anyone,” Stiene said. “We know that we can beat them. There’s definitely a chip on our shoulder.”

Most of that chip-on-the-shoulder mentality and tension will occur in the circle with a battle between Ohio State ace Shelby Hursh and Dorsey.

Over Hursh’s last three midweek games, she recorded a 0.40 ERA, along with a no-hitter and a complete game shutout.

Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek reinforced the importance of the pitching duel by saying the Bobcats need to be a bit sharper in the circle, and must embrace the chance to go up against a touted pitching staff.

Hermanek, however, has no doubts about the effort her players will bring on Tuesday.

“We’ll show up, we’ll show up,” she said. “I know our kids are gonna be present and ready to compete. They always are.”


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