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Ohio's infielder Annalia Paoli (3) throws the ball to first base during the home game against Northern Illinois University on Saturday, March 20, 2021, in Athens, Ohio. The Bobcats won 6-5. 

Softball: Ohio splits second doubleheader against Western Michigan

Ohio had a chance to take the series against Western Michigan on Saturday but failed to capitalize on the opportunity. 

After splitting the doubleheader with Western Michigan on Friday, the Bobcats were able to get ahead of Western Michigan in the first game Saturday and won 8-5. However, game two, much like Friday, was the opposite story. Western Michigan got ahead of the Bobcats and beat them 7-3. 

Here’s a recap of Ohio’s Saturday doubleheader:

Game 1: 8-5 Ohio 

The Bobcats went into the bottom of the fifth inning trailing Western Michigan for the first time that game and finished the inning with a three-run lead. 

The comeback was led by a two RBI double by Brooke Rice, which tied the game, and Allie Englant broke the tie with a RBI single. Mikenzie Vaughn drove in two more runs, giving the Bobcats the lead. 

Mackensie Kohl started for the Bobcats in game one and pitched 4.1 innings before being relieved by Holly Brehm. Brehm pitched 2.2 scoreless innings and struck out three batters to nab the win. 

The Bobcats closed out the game with strong defense and ended game one with an 8-5 victory. 

Game 2: 7-3 Western Michigan 

Ohio struggled in the first inning of game two after Western Michigan scored three runs to begin the game. When it seemed all hope was lost, Vaughn hit a three-run home run, tying the game up in the bottom of the first. 

Little did the Bobcats know that their offense would fall silent after that. 

Ohio’s bats weren’t heavy, and it just didn’t get the hits at the right times. The Bobcats had eight hits throughout the game, compared to Western Michigan’s nine. However, Western Michigan had four more runs because they were able to get hits at the beginning of innings, rather than when there were two outs. 

Cassidy Zaker pitched four innings before being pulled from the game. Zaker was pulled after giving up two singles in a row in the top of the fifth. The freshman was credited with giving up all of Western Michigan’s runs. After Zaker was taken out, Ohio brought in senior Madi McCrady, who closed out the game. Both pitchers had two strikeouts. 

Coach Kenzie Roark knows the Bobcats got outplayed in game two but likes the improvement she has seen in her team since the beginning of the season. 

“We had not gotten out on dirt to practice until after the ECU series,” Roark said. “And since we were able to get out and get some reps on our field, we’ve seen our level of play elevate.”

What’s next:

Ohio will travel to take on Kent State in another four-game series. Ohio will play one game Friday, a doubleheader Saturday and then play one game April 4. 

@molly_burchard8

mb712319@ohio.edu

@Willyfran5

wf991919@ohio.edu

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