Despite leading off the weekend while hot on offense, Ohio couldn’t find the rhythm to take its weekend series against Toledo. The Bobcats pulled ahead in game two on Friday, but were unable to match that energy on Saturday, resulting in their third lost series of the season.
Ohio (12-13, 8-8 Mid-American Conference) had the chance to get a leg up on a team with a near-even record in the MAC, but stumbled and now has a record below .500 for the first time since mid-March.
Game 1: 10-8 Toledo
For all the offense Ohio can muster, it has a hard time coming back from deficits. Down 10-5 in the seventh inning, Katie Yun kicked off a last-chance rally with a homer to left center field. Yun was there to slug Friday, and the seventh-inning rocket was her second home run of the day.
In fact, all of the Bobcats were swinging for the fences. All of Ohio’s runs came as a result of its six home runs. Soon after Yun’s blast, Mikenzie Vaughn homered to left center as well. The home run brought in both Vaughn and freshman Annalia Paoli, and brought Ohio that much closer to sending the game into extra innings.
Sadly, the rally ended there. The Bobcats had run out of juice and went down quietly to end game one with a loss.
Game 2: 10-7 Ohio
Game two was Ohio’s turn to crack double digits. The Bobcats were warmed up from game one of the Friday doubleheader, and were ready to hit back. A five-run fifth inning squared the game up at 7-7, and an offensive surge spearheaded by three RBI from Emily Walker capped off a strong late-game performance from the Bobcats.
Senior Madi McCrady pitched her seventh complete game this season, striking out seven and only walking two. McCrady is near the top of Ohio’s pitching rotation, and her experience as the oldest starter has proven effective in the circle.
Game 3: 5-4 Toledo
Friday gave Ohio hope that it might be able to win or at least split the series with Toledo. Saturday killed that hope.
A three-run rally in the seventh inning had tied the game 4-4 for the Bobcats, and a quiet eighth kept them on edge. McCrady had been pitching well enough, striking out and walking three through the entire game. All Ohio needed was one little spark to secure its second win against Toledo.
In the bottom of the ninth, the spark fizzled out. A walk-off home run by Toledo’s Leah Munson killed Ohio’s hope of snatching the win late.
Game 4: 9-1 Toledo
There’s no worse way to end a series than with the mercy rule. Ohio realized that Saturday. Its bats went cold after the extra innings loss, and Toledo ran rampant over it.
The Bobcats only managed two hits in game four, a pair of singles from Paoli and Allie Englant in the first inning. Englant scored the Bobcats’ only run of the day after Walker hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Toledo had full control for the rest of the game. Ohio pitcher Mackensie Kohl allowed nine runs and two home runs in four innings pitched, including a six-run fourth inning that spurred the refs to call the game after the fifth inning.
After two weekends away, the Bobcats will finally return to Ohio Softball Field for a four-game weekend series against Bowling Green. Game one is scheduled for April 16 at 3 p.m.