The Bobcats are treading water.
Ohio snagged the first win in a Saturday doubleheader against Bowling Green, but couldn’t carry the energy over to the next game. The Falcons pounded the Bobcats in game two, splitting the doubleheader and weakening Ohio’s chance to win its first series since Northern Illinois back in March. The split has kept Ohio’s (14-14, 10-9) record at an even .500, but has also shown that Ohio may not be able to crack out of its down-the-middle record just yet.
Here’s a recap of Ohio’s doubleheader against Bowling Green:
Game One: 2-0 Ohio
Ohio celebrated its seniors before game one on Saturday with flowers, balloons and pictures. Most importantly though, Ohio honored its seniors with a game one win.
It was an exciting start for the Bobcats, who were able to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning after two wild pitches from Bowling Green pitcher Sydney Stepp. After the first wild pitch, Caroline Spacek advanced from first base to second. Then, Stepp threw another pitch over her catcher’s head, allowing Spacek to get to third and Katie Yun, who made it on base after a walk, to advance to second.
While Bowling Green was too busy trying to throw out Yun at second after the pitch, Spacek turned on the jets and zoomed home to score Ohio’s first run. Spacek demonstrated her speed and her strong base running ability, which proved to be crucial in the Bobcats win on Saturday.
Ohio’s second run of the game was score just moments later when Annalia Paoli hit an RBI single, allowing Yun to score.
Unfortunately, Paoli could not make it home before the number of outs in the first inning turned to three, and Ohio’s short scoring run was over. Although, the Bobcats kept the momentum in their dugout, chanting and cheering for the rest of the game.
The Bobcats bats dwindled after the first inning. They only earned three more hits in the next six innings after earning two hits in the first.
Despite Ohio’s offense turning cold, its defense stayed strong. Ohio made a few impressive plays in the outfield, including Emily Walker’s diving catch in left field to secure an out in the top of the seventh. Bowling Green had seven hits, but Ohio was able to hold them to zero runs.
Pitcher Mackensie Kohl pitched a complete game for the Bobcats. Kohl took a hit after a softball ricocheted off her foot, but she didn’t let that hinder her play. Immediately after, Kohl threw her second strikeout of the game. She finished game one with five strikeouts.
Game Two: 10-0 Bowling Green
Ohio’s win in game one lifted morale, but game two sent the mood down through the floor.
The cold bats from game one continued to freeze as a breeze and a light drizzle settled over Ohio Softball Field. Despite Englant trying to spark the offense with two singles and Mikenzie Vaughn settling for a double that bounced off of the centerfield wall, nothing worked. The Bobcats were at the mercy of Falcons pitcher Hannah Davies, who pitched a complete five innings before the mercy rule was invoked and ended the game early.
Next to the Falcons, Ohio’s defense looked stunned. Five errors in five innings only worsened the wave of scoring from Bowling Green, who busted the game open with a seven-run third inning. Ohio went through three pitchers in the third inning, but none of them could stop the Falcons.
Starter Madi McCrady, one of the best pitchers in Ohio’s rotation, only pitched two innings and recorded only one strikeout. The remainder of the game fell to Holly Brehm and freshman Cassidy Zaker. The pair allowed four earned runs between them and didn’t strike out a single batter. Brehm was taken out after allowing three runs and only getting one out.
The Bobcats have struggled with doubleheaders this season. They haven’t won both games in a doubleheader since their series against Northern Illinois in mid-March. Whether it be weather, fatigue or just plain bad luck, something about doubleheaders isn’t clicking with the Bobcats.