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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 four-game series with Kent State over weekend

Ohio split its four-game road series against Kent State, winning two of four games at the Diamond at Dix. 

The weekend saw impressive offensive performances from multiple Bobcats, including Caroline Spacek, Annalia Paoli and Caitlin Fogue. Those three and others were who helped Ohio (11-10, 7-5 Mid-American Conference) win games two and four against Kent State (11-14, 8-4 MAC). However, the Golden Flashes had the upper hand in games one and three, resulting in a split series. 

Here’s a recap of Ohio’s weekend:

Game 1: 3-1 Kent State

Ohio’s offense started out sluggish on Friday. The Bobcats got an early lead in the first inning when Katie Yun hit an RBI double to bring Mikenzie Vaughn home, but it was for naught when the Golden Flashes scored three runs later in the game.

Kent State tied the game in the fourth inning when Kristyn Eckl hit an RBI single. The Golden Flashes then took the lead in the sixth inning when Olivia Sborlini hit a single to bring in two runs. The Bobcats’ offense didn’t respond, and Kent State took game one. 

Starting pitcher Mackensie Kohl pitched six innings and allowed three runs and seven hits. Kohl also had two strikeouts Friday. 

Game 2: 8-6 Ohio

In the first game of a Saturday doubleheader, Ohio’s offense came back with a vengeance. 

The Bobcats scored three early runs in two innings, courtesy of a home run and two-RBI single from Spacek. Kent State got on the board in the second inning when Kaitlyn Miller hit a home run of her own, but Ohio responded with two more scores in the third when Brooke Rice hit a two-RBI single.

After the Golden Flashes scored two more in the bottom of the third, Ohio got another scoring opportunity on an error from Kent State’s catcher, putting the Bobcats up 7-3. Ohio’s lead was decreased to just one when Kent State scored three runs in the fourth and fifth innings, giving the Bobcats a bit of a scare. However, Ohio didn’t allow another score again and increased its own lead when Alexis Dawe hit a sacrifice fly to bring Vaughn home, leaving the final score 8-6 in favor of Ohio. 

Madi McCrady allowed four runs in 6.1 innings, while Cassidy Zaker allowed two runs at the end of the seventh.

Game 3: 6-5 Kent State

In game two of the doubleheader, Kent State was the team with control the entire game. 

Almost similar to how the Bobcats ran things in the previous game, the Golden Flashes took an early 3-0 lead until Paoli put Ohio on the board with a solo home run in the second inning. Kent State responded with another run in the bottom of the second to go up 4-1. 

Spacek hit her second home run of the day to bring two scores in and decrease Ohio’s deficit, and the Bobcats took a lead in the sixth inning when two of them scored on an error from Kent State’s second baseman. 

Unfortunately for Ohio, it was only so close to getting its second win of the day. Kent State shut Ohio’s hopes down when it scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to win 6-5. Kohl’s performance wasn’t as strong as Friday’s, this time allowing six runs in seven innings, although only four were earned. 

Game 4: 3-1 Ohio

Emily Walker, Fogue and Paoli led Ohio to a game four victory to clinch a series split.

Paoli gave the Bobcats their first score of the day in the third inning when she hit a two-RBI single to bring in Spacek and Allie Englant. Walker had an RBI of her own in the fourth to bring in Fogue, who when 2-3 with a double Sunday. 

Carlee Selle scored Kent State’s only run of the day with a solo home run in the fourth to make it a 3-1 game in Ohio’s favor. Selle’s home run was the last score from either team Sunday. Much of Ohio’s victory can be accredited to McCrady, who allowed only one run on the day. 

Whats next:

Ohio will be on the road yet again next weekend when it travels to Toledo for a four-game series against the Rockets. 


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