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Katie Yun runs to first during Ohio's game against Pitt on March 27. The Bobcats beat the Panthers 6-1.

Softball: Stiene's one-hitter pushes Ohio past Pitt

Danielle Stiene rocked, swung her arm back and fired. Swing and a miss. 

Again, she rocked, swung and fired. Another swing and a miss. 

Stiene saw a lot of swings and misses at her pitches Tuesday. She struck out 10 Pitt batters. Nine of those strikeouts were swinging in the Bobcats’ 6-1 win at Ohio Softball Field.

Along with her 10 strikeouts, Stiene allowed only one hit. That hit, however, happened to be a home run.

She didn’t let that get to her, though. 

“I feel like I left it all out on the field,” she said. “I felt good. I felt that I did my best.”

And as the game progressed after the fourth-inning home run by Pitt’s cleanup hitter Alexis Solak, Stiene seemed to get better. 

The swings and misses looked even more impressive as Stiene seemed to ramp up the velocity. And as her 105th pitch crossed home plate — a swing and miss of course — Stiene’s domination came full circle.

When Stiene, a senior, can pitch the way she did Tuesday, spinning the ball effectively into the strike zone and creating the swings and misses and weak contact that she did, Ohio will find success.

It was easy for coach Jodi Hermanek to call the game when Stiene had the control she did. When Stiene is pitching as she did, Hermanek can look for her to dominate.

“I’m just looking for her to pitch each at bat four pitches or less,” Hermanek said. “And for her to have that control, even if she wants to miss.”

Even with her 10 strikeouts, there were still 11 more outs to be made. A solid defensive performance by the Bobcats kept the Panthers off the base paths when they made contact. Ohio had only one error in the game.  

When Ohio plays a strong defensive game, its pitchers, especially Stiene, find increased success. 

“I’ve always been a pitcher that takes the defense on,” Stiene said. “But with the great defense we have, it’s more of letting the defense work, do their thing. Getting them ground balls and pop-ups. The strikeouts are a added bonus.”

It was Stiene’s 10th win on the season and eighth complete game. For it to come against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent that was on a four-game winning streak, with the four games coming on the road in conference, it has to continue to grow the confidence of the Bobcats.

But mostly, it was good for Ohio to see Stiene, the Bobcat’s ace, pitch up to her title.

“That’s a good offensive crew from Pitt,” Hermanek said. “(Stiene) really worked the zone and did a good job at getting ahead.”


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