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Ohio infielder Taylor Saxton slides safely into second base during the Bobcats’ game against Bowling Green on April 21, 2017. (FILE)

Softball: Inconsistent hitting and pitching drop Ohio below .500

Everyone knew the ball was gone off the bat of Michaela Dorsey when she hit a three-run home run to give Ohio a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Delaware. 

That was the third straight extra-base hit of the game, and it put Ohio ahead for good en route to an 8-0 win over Delaware on Saturday 

In all five games of last weekend's series, however, Ohio was inconsistent on the offensive end. The Bobcats (9-10) went 1-4 at the Liberty Softball Classic from Friday to Sunday in Lynchburg, Virginia, and they have now only won one of their last six games.  

Dorsey was the main threat for the Bobcats all weekend, with hits in four of the five games including a pair of three-run home runs. 

Friday began with Ohio giving No. 12 Baylor a scare by having a 3-1 lead after three innings due to a three-run homer from Dorsey. Baylor then showed its offensive firepower with 11 runs in the final three innings to win 12-3.

All three of Ohio's main pitchers saw plenty of action, as Kendall Meeks and Madi McCrady appeared in four of the five games. 

Meeks started two games, including against Baylor, over the weekend; Danielle Stiene started two. McCrady started the fifth and final game.

Each pitcher had outings in which they were solid and others in which they struggled. The best performance, though, was reserved for the ace. 

Stiene was inches away from throwing a no-hitter against Delaware, as the only hit skimmed the top of the glove of leaping third baseman Alex Day. Stiene overpowered the Blue Hens with 10 strikeouts. It was the third time this year she recorded double-digit strikeouts. 

That pitching performance was combined with an offensive outburst for Ohio to win 8-0 behind four RBIs from Dorsey and a two-run home run from MacKenzie Brunswick. That was the Bobcats' only win all weekend.

In the second game against Delaware, Ohio struggled to replicate its offensive performance and fell 4-2. Brunswick was involved in all of the Bobcats scoring, with two hits, one RBI and one run.

The Ohio offense could not figure out Liberty’s Julia DiMartino, however, in either of the two times the teams faced off. 

Dorsey had the lone hit for Ohio in the 6-0 loss Friday and the only RBI in the 2-1 loss Saturday. Ohio only had five hits over both games against Liberty and couldn't capitalize with runners on base. 

Ohio will now prepare for the JMU Invitational this Friday through Sunday in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where it will play five games in three days again against James Madison and East Carolina.

@TREricWalker

ew399115@ohio.edu

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