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Taylor Saxton, left, and Mikayla Cooper high-five after an out during Ohio's game against Buffalo on Friday. The Bobcats beat the Bulls 9-1. 

Softball: Saxton shines on senior day

Taylor Saxton slapped at the ball Saturday and it sailed into right field. It caught the wind, carrying it deeper and deeper toward the fence 210 feet from home plate. 

It would have been the first home run of her career for the slap hitter. Instead it fell short, one-hopping the wall in game two of the doubleheader. She slid into third for a triple, her first of the season.

Saxton’s triple was one of her five hits in Ohio’s sweep of Buffalo. The Bobcats won 17-0 and 8-0.

Saxton even drove in the winning run of the second game with a walk-off fielder’s choice, forcing the run rule. It was the only time she did not record a hit Saturday. She was five-for-six on the day with three RBIs. She also scored four times.

For the redshirt senior, a strong performance on her senior day was a culmination of her five years in an Ohio uniform.

“There was a little extra behind each and every pitch,” she said. “I just wanted to get on base and make an impact any way I can.”

Even though Saxton and the three other seniors played their last game at Ohio Softball Field, they are focused on the games ahead of them. The weekend sweep captured the Bobcats second straight Mid-American Conference East championship.

“I’m just trying to embrace it,” Saxton said. “Because I know we have a lot of softball left.”

Saxton is the Bobcats’ captain. She anchors the infield at second base. She was a part of their 2014 MAC championship. She was there for championship round losses the past two years. 

Even with all the Bobcats’ success this season, Saxton hasn’t hit as well as she would like. Right now, she’s hitting .266. Conference play has been better as she’s hitting .360. When Saxton, the No. 9 hitter, can get on base for the top of the lineup, Ohio can score 17 runs like it did in the first game of the doubleheader. 

It’s not just the hot hitting of late that has Saxton and the rest of the Bobcats feeling good. It’s Saxton’s veteran leadership that the fifth-year player can provide.

“To get (Saxton) on base with Mikayla Cooper, one of the hottest bats coming around,” coach Jodi Hermanek said. “That’s just good construction.”

And for that triple? Saxton feels that it came with a little luck. 

“I think the wind was blowing out a little bit,” she said.

@trevor_colgan

tc648714@ohio.edu

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