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Ohio University pitcher Mackenzie Kohl pitches the ball to Ohio State at Ohio Softball Field in Athens, Ohio, on March 22, 2022.

Softball: Ohio wins 2 of 3 games against Miami

Ohio wasn’t expected to win its series against Miami. It entered the weekend staring down the best team in the Mid-American Conference. Miami had been undefeated in conference play up to that point and had won its last 10 games.

But the Bobcats shattered expectations when they left Oxford with a pair of wins after sweeping a doubleheader Saturday. If they hadn’t fallen apart Friday night, the Bobcats likely would have won all three games.

Ohio led by two runs heading into the bottom of the seventh inning Friday. Mackensie Kohl retired the first two batters to put Ohio within reach of a win, but her effort fell short. Kohl walked three of the next four batters she faced, and she gave up a two-run single that sealed a walk-off win for Miami.

Kohl was called back to the circle for the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, and she threw for 8.1 innings as the game stretched into an 11-inning marathon. Kylie Coffelt came in to relieve Kohl, and Caitlin Fogue delivered the winning RBI in the top of the 11th.

Coffelt was not finished, however, as she took the circle for the second leg of the doubleheader as well. However, it appeared as if Ohio’s luck had run out Saturday after allowing seven runs in the first two innings. It had come back from multiple deficits in the first game of the doubleheader, and Miami’s seven-run lead was unlike any other Ohio had faced before.

But the Bobcats made their previous comebacks look like child’s play. They roared back with eight runs in the fifth inning, and a pair of home runs from Brooke Rice only fueled the rally. The Bobcats added two more runs in the seventh inning to push their lead to five runs, and Coffelt took care of the rest. The RedHawks never scored again after the second inning.

Ohio’s top offensive performers in the series were Caroline Spacek and Annalia Paoli, who totaled seven and eight hits, respectively. Rice also contributed three home runs over the weekend.

Ohio is now 4-4 in MAC play, but all four of its conference losses have been by two runs or fewer. After winning its series against Miami, Ohio proved it can stand up to the elite teams of the MAC, and its offense is a force to be reckoned with. Ohio’s entire lineup can contribute in any game. It has one of the most potent offenses in the MAC, and that fact was on full display against Miami.

@willocunningham

wc425318@ohio.edu

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