Allie Englant has been one of Ohio’s best and most important players so far this season. The fifth year outfielder leads the batting order and patrols center field for Ohio, and she leads the team in batting average, hits and stolen bases.
In the third inning of Ohio’s 8-7 comeback win over Marshall, Englant sprinted toward third base to take advantage of a passed ball. She slid into the bag safely, rolled over onto her side, and lay on the ground motionless as Ohio Softball Stadium fell silent.
Englant got up a few seconds later but had to be helped to the dugout. The Bobcats had lost their leadoff hitter and one of their most reliable bats, but coach Kenzie Roark knew exactly what to do.
She brought in Caitlin Fogue.
“I have no doubt in putting Caitlin Fogue in any situation,” Roark said. “She’s been a starter on this team for many, many games.”
Fogue came into the game to pinch run and then moved into left field. Wednesday was her 87th appearance for the Bobcats since transferring from Missouri in 2019.
Fogue began the monumental task of pulling Ohio out of a five-run deficit. She singled and later scored Ohio’s first run of the game in the fifth inning after Megan McMenemy ripped a shot down the right field line. Marshall scored two more runs in the top of the sixth, but Ohio roared back and scored four runs in the next half.
The Bobcats had already plated two runs and tied the game after a throwing error in the seventh when Fogue made her third plate appearance of the night. There were two runners in scoring position as the Bobcats waited for a potential walk-off.
Fogue didn’t crush a home run like McMenemy had in the sixth inning. Nor did she drive the ball down the line as McMenemy had to bring her home in the fifth. What Fogue did was exactly what the Bobcats needed. The senior hit a grounder to Marshall first baseman Aly Harrell. As Harrell went to tag Fogue on her way to first, Tori Walker saw her opportunity and scampered home from third base. Fogue ran directly into Harrell and delayed her long enough to let Walker score.
“I call Caitlin Fogue a bull, and that’s exactly what she did,” Roark said.
Fogue’s grounder brought home the winning run, and Ohio’s comeback was complete. Wednesday’s win was the spark Ohio needed after a rough start to its season.
With its offense unable to get any runners across the plate in the first four innings, Ohio needed something to change. And while that change may have come at the cost of Englant, it was certainly necessary in Wednesday’s win.
Fogue entered a game she wasn’t even supposed to be playing in, scored Ohio’s first run, drove in its final run and helped complete a comeback to get Ohio’s home schedule off to the best start possible.