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Ohio University infielder Annalia Paoli making contact with the ball after fouling off multiple pitches from Ohio State at Ohio Softball Field in Athens, Ohio, on March, 22, 2022.

Softball: Ohio gets season off to strong start at Gardner-Webb Running Bulldog Classic

Ohio began its season this past weekend in North Carolina at the Gardner-Webb Running Bulldog Classic. The team took part in three games this weekend as the softball season began around the country for many different teams. The Bobcats kicked off the tournament against George Mason. 

Game 1: Ohio 6, George Mason 5

Ohio took the first game of the tournament against George Mason on Friday. Ohio was hot from the start, with a homer from outfielder Yasmine Logan in the first inning. The Bobcats were able to score two more runs in the third inning on a home run from third baseman Annalia Paoli. In the fourth inning, George Mason cut Ohio’s lead to one and went into the final inning down 3-2.

The Patriots manufactured a three-run inning to take a 5-3 lead over the Bobcats going into the final half inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Paoli hit her second home run of the day to tie the game at five. Ohio went on to win the game on a sacrifice bunt from CiCi Keidel that allowed Shelby Westler to score from third.

Game 2: Ohio 10, Austin Peay 5

Ohio picked up a second win in their second game, against Austin Peay. Austin Peay got out to an early 3-0 lead, but in the fourth inning, Ohio got on the board with a two-run home run from shortstop Austy Miller. Austin Peay increased its narrow lead to 5-2 in the top of the fifth, but in the bottom of the inning, Ohio rattled off eight consecutive runs on RBI from Keidel, Alexis Dawe, and Bell Hummel. The inning was capped off by Paoli’s second home run of the tournament, pushing Ohio’s lead to 10-5, where it would remain for the rest of the game.

Game 3: Ohio 2, Gardner-Webb 3

Ohio lost its third game of the tournament to the host school Gardner-Webb. Gardner-Webb took a 3-0 lead in the third inning, and the Ohio bats were unable to get going until the sixth. In the top of the sixth, Bell Hummel scored off of a groundout fielder’s choice and Yasmine Logan scored off of a wild pitch. Those two runs were all that Ohio was able to muster and Gardner-Webb pulled off the slim victory against Ohio.

The Bobcats were supposed to play a fourth game, a rematch against Austin Peay, but inclement weather on Sunday canceled the final day of the tournament. Ohio finished with a 2-1 record at the season-opening tournament.

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