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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 takes series against Northern Illinois 3-1

It was almost a perfect weekend for Ohio. Almost.

The Bobcats won the first three games in their four-game series against Northern Illinois but failed to come up with a win in game four. They finished the weekend series 3-1 and their seven-game win streak was snapped. Although Ohio ended the series on a sour note, there was still plenty of good to water down the loss. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Ohio’s series against Northern Illinois:  


Game 1: Ohio 6, NIU 5

NIU opened the game by scoring three runs in the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. The Bobcats answered back with a two RBI double from Annalia Paoli to cut the Huskies’ lead to a run. The Huskies tacked on a run in the third to extend their lead, but an RBI single from Caitlin Fogue and RBI double from Caroline Spacek squared the game up at 4-4. 

Extra innings were forced after neither team could break the stalemate in seven innings. It took until the bottom of the ninth when Spacek broke the tie with a walk off double to give the Bobcats the 6-5 win. 

Game 2: Ohio 7, NIU 2

The Huskies grabbed the lead early with an RBI single, but the Bobcats answered back with four runs over three innings to blow the game wide open. RBI singles from Spacek and Emily Walker followed up with a two-run homerun from Mikenzie Vaughn showed the Huskies that Ohio meant business. 

The Huskies homered in the fifth to cut the Bobcats lead to three, but the Bobcats added a three insurance runs to put them up 7-2. Madi McCrady pitched a complete game and struck out nine Huskies. 


Game 3: Ohio 4, NIU 3 

Despite the score being so close in game three, the Bobcats looked and played the better team. Ohio kept the Huskies off base in the top of the first and then scored two runs of their own in the same inning. It was a strong start for the Bobcats, and the momentum they picked up in the first inning never left them for the rest of the game. 

Even when the Huskies were able to score three runs in the top of the third, Ohio responded and scored a run in its next at bat thanks to a solo homerun by Vaughn to take back the lead. 

A handful of other Bobcats got hits in game three, including Allie Englant, Katie Yun, Spacek and Paoli. 

Mackensie Kohl pitched all seven innings and totaled five strikeouts and allowed just four hits. 

“The first game was a total team effort,” Coach Kenzie Roark said. “The base running was good, hitting was good, pitching was good. It was kind of one of those things where we needed everybody for that one.”

Game 4: Ohio 2, NIU 12

Two doubleheaders in a row was too much to ask for the Bobcats. Their bats became heavy, and they weren’t able to keep up with the Huskies, who exploded for 14 hits in the fourth game of the weekend. Ohio did not make it a full seven innings, as the game was called by mercy rule. After five innings, the Bobcats fell 12-2 to the Huskies. The Bobcats ended the game with only four hits. 

Pitcher Madi McCrady threw 104 pitches in only five innings, 63 of which were strikes. 

“We beat them every single game in all aspects,” Roark said. “We just didn’t show up for the fourth one. We’ve got to be more consistent about that.”



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