Ohio is used to being down.
The Bobcats have trailed in 10 of 14 games this year. Four of their eight wins have come in those games.
So when they get down in a game, there isn’t any pressure — a problem coach Jodi Hermanek wants to change. Ohio will begin to work toward a solution at the Liberty Softball Classic which runs from Thursday to Sunday.
Ohio will play five games in three days against Baylor, Liberty and Delaware.
“It’s about a bigger emphasis on our first at bat,” Hermanek said.
The last time Ohio took the field, in the John Cropp Classic in Kentucky, the earliest it scored was the third inning. That was the only game the Bobcats won over the weekend.
Even though the team has proved it can recover from a deficit, it's not ideal to have to comeback in every game.
Hermanek has put it on the top of the lineup to try and turn the tides of the game earlier offensively.
Alex Day, who usually bats leadoff, and Mikayla Cooper, usually batting third, lead the team with 15 hits each. Both have also driven in 11 runs.
If those two can continue that pace, but drive in runs earlier in the game, Ohio can find itself in better situations.
Another way for the Bobcats to find themselves in better situations is playing better defense. They are ranked No. 237 in the country in fielding percentage. Better fielding means better pitching. Pair that with better hitting early, and Ohio will find its stride.
“I really want to see us work on the cohesion, the gelling,” Hermanek said.
If there is better communication, fewer hits will find open space. And if the Bobcat defense can help its pitchers out with good defense, they will have more chances to hit, and hit early.