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Ohio redshirt senior pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey pitches against Northn Illinois during the top of the second inning at the Ohio Softball Field on Friday, February 17, 2017. The game had to be suspended until 10 AM Saturday morning because of the lack of sunlight.

Softball: Ohio's offense flexes its muscle in weekend sweep against rival Miami

The Battle of the Bricks was the most important series of the season for both Ohio and Miami.

The RedHawks led the Bobcats in the Mid-American Conference East division by just one game, and, with Ball State and Central Michigan battling for the top spot in the entire conference, the series represented a great chance for one of the rivals to improve their seeding for the upcoming MAC Tournament.

And when the dust settled on the three-game series, Ohio had delivered a sweep of Miami, overtaking its rival for the top spot in the MAC East. The Bobcats won both games of the doubleheader Friday, 9-1 in six innings and 10-4, respectively, before taking the Saturday finale 10-2 in five innings.

Natalie Alvarez led the offense explosion Friday, hitting three home runs in the doubleheader. Alvarez finished the series four-for-seven with seven RBIs and three walks.

MacKenzie Brunswick contributed to the power Friday and added some more Saturday. She hit a home run in the first game Friday and added another Saturday. Overall in the series, Brunswick went five-for-seven with the aforementioned two home runs and five RBIs.

Alex Day and Madison Claytor were other notable hitters in the series. Day went three-for-six with a home run and three RBIs. Claytor went four-for-nine with a home run and five RBIs.

Ohio started to break out of its offensive struggles against Bowling Green in the previous series, but it completely blew those struggles away against Miami. The Bobcats scored 29 runs on 38 hits in the series, and every player in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit.

The offense backed up the superb pitching of Savannah Jo Dorsey and Danielle Stiene.

Dorsey did not allow an earned run over 11 innings pitched in her two starts in the series. She struck out 20 batters while allowing only three hits and six walks.

Stiene went seven innings in her only start, allowing four runs, three of them earned, on seven hits while striking out five.

The weekend was also senior weekend, during which Ohio honored Dorsey, Claytor and Casie Hutchinson. The three leave Ohio as the winningest class in program history. Alexis Milesky, who joined the team after playing soccer for Ohio for the last four years, was also recognized.

Hutchinson did not play in the series after being injured in the finale of the Bowling Green series. Milesky appeared as a runner in two of the three games and scored two runs.

Ohio (33-14) is now 14-7 in the MAC — not only good for the top spot in the East, but second-best in the conference after Central Michigan swept Ball State.

Ohio will head to Buffalo on May 5 to begin the final series of the regular season. Ohio will enter that series two games back of Central Michigan (34-13, 16-5) for the top seed in the MAC.


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