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Danielle Stiene pitches during Ohio's game against Buffalo on Friday, April 27. The Bobcats beat the Bulls 9-1. (FILE)

Softball: Bobcats sweep Bulls with 25-run performance

Morgan Geno stepped into the batter’s box with two runners on base and no outs. The sophomore utility player did what she’s supposed to do: Send runners home.

Geno’s three-run home run in the bottom of the first of game one was just the start of the Bobcats 17-0 and 8-0 wins over Buffalo in Saturday’s doubleheader.

The two wins and Friday's win completed the weekend sweep of the Bulls securing back-to-back Mid-American Conference East Division titles for Ohio. 

Game one

Geno’s three-run home run was followed by a solo shot from Natalie Alvarez and the offensively-trained Bobcats got off to another hot start.

With a pair of two-run RBIs and an unearned run, Ohio showcased its impressive offense and ended the first inning with a 9-0 lead.

“We didn’t get complacent,” coach Jodi Hermanek said. “We stepped up to each at-bat, each challenge and came through more times than not.”

The Bobcats nine-run first inning was followed by back-to-back two-run innings as MacKenzie Brunswick sent home Katie Yun on a play that featured two unearned runs because of two fielding errors.

As Ohio held a commanding 11-0 run, with the offense humming, freshman pitcher Madi McCrady only allowed one hit through three innings, it called in two pinch hitters: Kendall Meeks and Desirae Villanueva.

Meeks only had five at-bats entering Saturday's game. It was only fitting that she took advantage of her sixth at-bat by blasting a two-run home run that escalated the ever-growing lead.

Ohio’s offense was halted after a four-run performance in the fourth inning because it had run ruled the Bulls in five innings. 

Game two

In the 30-minute span between the two games, Ohio celebrated its four seniors on their last home game. Amid the emotion, Danielle Stiene, Taylor Saxton, Mikayla Cooper and Haley Adams all took the field together one last time.

With emotions high, two Buffalo batters got on base in the first inning. From there, Steine retired her next eight batters.

Paired with Stiene’s dominance in the circle, the offense didn’t miss a beat as it scored five runs in the first three innings. 

Highlighted in the five runs was Saxton’s performance in the box. The second baseman and captain went two of three, including an RBI single.

“Today there was a little extra behind each and every pitch,” she said. “I just wanted to get on base and make an impact anyway I could.”

Saxton, in the days leading up to her final game at Ohio, said she had received advice from multiple people ranging from cliches such as “don’t be sad because it’s over, smile because it happened” to the reality that Ohio (32-14, 18-2 MAC) still has a lot more softball left to play.

“That’s why today wasn’t so hard,” Saxton said.

On deck

As the Bobcats leave Ohio Softball Field behind for the rest of the season, they will travel to play Bowling Green (25-23, 7-12 MAC) in their last regular season series of the year. Ohio will then travel to Akron for the MAC Tournament from May 9-12. 

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