It wasn’t the sharpest day for either team at Ohio Softball Field. Both Ohio and Central Michigan struggled to hang onto the ball and make the right throws all day long. Two of the top five teams in the Mid-American Conference facing off held big implications, and the miscues of each played a part in the outcome. On Saturday alone, Ohio tallied a rare five fielding errors, not including a few passed balls.
“No, I’m not worried about it,” Ohio coach Kenzie Roark said about Ohio’s errors going forward. “You know, it’s just some days you have everything all there and you’re firing on all cylinders. Today, we didn’t have everything firing on all cylinders, and we still walked away with a win. So, that’s something to be proud of.”
Sophia Bernard scored to start off game one after she advanced to third on a wild pitch and was eventually brought home on a sacrifice fly to center. Later, Mackensie Kohl overcame two fielding errors in the sixth inning of game one. She didn’t allow any runs following botched grounders at shortstop and second base.
Ohio built up its lead in the second game on a series of errors. Central Michigan’s catcher overthrew second on a throw down, and then the pitcher tossed the ball past first base on a throwing error immediately after. Ohio cashed in two runs just from those plays. Annalia Paoli later scored by sneaking to home on a passed ball in the third.
Central Michigan was able to crawl back in the second game due to a wild pitch, which scored one, and a single that earned it an extra base from a fielding error in left during the sixth inning.
The Bobcats also ended up getting lucky with the Chippewas’ poor base running. Ohio dropped a fly ball out to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning of game two, but because the baserunner was aggressive and attempted to take an extra base, they saved a run. The Chippewa runner turned to head to third and was gunned down by Yasmine Logan, effectively ending the inning.
“They’re well coached and it was going to be a battle no matter what,” Roark said. “It was just whoever could either not make the last mistake, or whoever just outdid the other one.”
However, despite the miscues, especially in game two, Caitlin Fogue was able to lift her team to victory with a mashed two-run walk-off home run to right field. Ohio stayed in the game in spite of itself, and was able to capitalize off the mistakes Central Michigan made.
“The third game of the series is always like that,” Fogue said about both teams making mistakes. “It’s hard to beat a team twice or three times.”
Fogue also added that Ohio stayed true to its current winning demeanor in the second game and refused to lose, despite not everything clicking. Ohio is typically very careful with the ball and an elite defensive squad. However, it will take lessons from its games Saturday with it during the rest of the season.