Ohio (23-17, 13-5 Mid-American Conference) didn't need pitcher Kylie Coffelt to retire the first eight hitters she faced in Ohio's 16-2 blowout win over Kent State, but she did anyway.
In game one of Ohio's doubleheader against Kent State, Coffelt had her best stuff from the first pitch. She easily dealt with the first three Kent State hitters, striking out two. In the bottom half of the inning, the Bobcats gave Coffelt as much run support as she could've asked for with 13 runs.
Despite a long delay due to the Bobcats' hitting success, Coffelt wasn't phased. She put down three more hitters in the second and kept it rolling in the third inning. Coffelt grounded out two hitters and was only seven hitters away from retiring every hitter she faced. Coffelt's perfect game and no-hitter was broken up after a diving effort from Sydney Grein wasn't good enough to get the runner out at first.
Coffelt wasn't bothered by a base-runner and got out of the third inning without conceding a run. She operated a scoreless fourth inning, and because the Bobcats' lead was so large, she was pulled in the top of the fifth. Ellie Greene and the Bobcats' defense weren't as successful. Green walked two hitters and hit another, and the Bobcats committed two errors, which made the score 16-2 with the bases still loaded. Coffelt came back in with one out in the top of the fifth and immediately saved the day, forcing Delaney Robeson to line out to Austy Miller for the game-winning double play.
"She was lights out," Ohio coach Jenna Hall said. "Kylie is such a great pitcher when it comes to spin and change of speed, and I think she's just a competent pitcher."
Coffelt's strong performance on Wednesday comes off the heels of several high-quality pitching performances in the last three weeks. Against Akron, Coffelt went the full seven innings, only giving up one run, then had another excellent six-inning outing against Ball State. Coffelt put up another solid performance in Ohio's loss to Central Michigan and put all of her tools on display in the aforementioned 4 and 2/3 shutout innings against Kent State on Wednesday.
In her last 24 innings, Coffelt has only given up five earned runs, good for a 1.46 ERA. Coffelt's ERA on the season has now gone down to an impressive 3.38.
Coffelt's recent stellar performances have Hall excited about the potential of having two elite starting pitchers in the rotation in Coffelt and Skipp Miller.
"Anytime we can get her on the mound I love it," Hall said. "Following her and Skipp back-to-back is always a challenge (for the opponent)."
Although Coffelt wasn't quite as sharp in the three innings she pitched in the second game of Ohio's double-header against Kent State, she ate up valuable innings when the other pitchers needed help. Coffelt went three innings on short rest and gave up two runs. Coffelt's value to the Bobcats as a strong second starter to take pressure off of Miller cannot be understated.