Ohio remained resilient as it clawed its way back from a seven-run deficit to shock Marshall 8-7. Ohio (6-12) stunned Marshall and came together to snap its 11-game win streak.
Ohio entered the seventh inning down by two and needed a rally to see extra innings or to steal a win. Two walks and a passed ball set Ohio up with two runners in scoring position. Then — on a rare 3-0 count pitching change — Tori Walker was walked to load the bases.
There were no open spots as Reagan Farmer came in to pinch hit. Farmer hit a grounder to the shortstop and reached a throwing error to second. The ball sailed into the outfield and allowed two Bobcats to score. With the game tied at seven, Caitlin Fogue had the chance to be the hero.
Fogue grounded out to first base but bought Tori Walker enough time to dart home on a fielder’s choice to walk it off 8-7.
Fogue stole the spotlight Wednesday after entering the game in the third inning as a replacement for Allie Englant, after Englant suffered an injury.
“You know, I have no problem putting Caitlin Fogue in in any situation,” Ohio coach Kenzie Roark said. “She’s been a starter on this team for many, many games, so it wasn’t something that was necessarily out of the norm for her.”
The Bobcats came alive in the sixth inning and scored four runs. The scoring streak was highlighted by Megan McMenemy’s three-run home run to deep center. Four at-bats before that, Tori Walker hit a home run of her own: a solo shot to right field.
McMenemy was just a single short of the cycle. She added a triple off the wall to open the game and a triple in the fifth to get Ohio their first run of the day.
Suddenly, what was a dominate performance from the Thundering Herd (16-6) had turned into a close game, as they still held a 7-5 lead that would later be eclipsed in the seventh inning.
The bottom of the fifth inning was also crucial for the Bobcats. After a foulout caused the first out of the inning, it was an uphill battle with the bases loaded. Pitcher Mackensie Kohl was pulled in favor of Kylie Coffelt. A pair of base hits and a walk lifted Marshall to a five-run lead, and things began to look bleak for the Bobcats. However, a grounder to short that ended in a spectacular 6-4-3 double play was enough to end the inning and be the turning point of the game.
Walks were a major issue for both teams Wednesday night. The Bobcats were almost able to keep the game 5-1 in the sixth after retiring Marshall’s first two batters, but a pivotal walk allowed the inning to continue, and a pair of runs let the lead climb to 7-1.
Ohio battled all day and never held a lead after allowing a two run blast from Marshall’s Mya Stevenson in the first inning. Regardless, they trekked on and did enough to get back in the win column.
“It’s just a confidence booster for us,” McMenemy said. “We didn’t start off the year great, but we’ve been getting better each time.”
The Bobcats’ win took precision, and they know that.
“Honestly, it just takes a team and we stayed focused … and didn’t try to do too much,” McMenemy added. “We’re such a close team that we all had each other’s backs no matter what happened and we didn’t let one out affect us.”
Ohio will try to carry on the energy and grit of Wednesday night’s win for the rest of the season. Their record may not show it, but the Bobcats can give any opponent a run for their money.