Losers of five straight, the Ohio Bobcats softball team took their home field on Saturday against the Canisius Golden Griffins in a doubleheader in Athens. Overcoming a slow start in the first game and a late surge in the second, the ‘Cats were able to sweep the double header, winning by scores of 4-0 and 7-6.
Senior catcher Lauren Gellerman and sophomore pitcher Lauren McClary were the stars of the day for the ‘Cats. Gellerman hit two home runs on the day to pace the Ohio offense, while McClary pitched a shutout in the first game. Gellerman was the designated hitter in the second game, she was pleased with her performance.
“I was really excited to come out and play today,” she said. “We obviously haven’t won that many games. We were all pumped for this game, it’s beautiful out and I was just relaxed, feeling good.”
Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek was pleased to see her team come out and play good softball after the losing streak.
“It was great to see the girls come out and really have fun with the game today, and set some goals for themselves as a unit in the last couple of days of practice and I think they came out really focused on their goals of what Ohio sounds like when you get to the field,” she said.
The Bobcats cruised in the first game behind McClary’s performance in the circle. In seven innings, she gave up only six hits, struck out six batters and allowed zero runs. The ‘Cats offense was impressive too, Canisius starter Jen Consaul came into the game with a 2.43 ERA. But post game, Hermanek had nothing but praise for her starter.
“It was an easy game to call for her today because we were setting up batters productively and she just really had a lot of energy and leadership today,” she said of McClary.
The second game was more of a battle for the ‘Cats.The Green and White withstood a late rally from the Golden Griffins in order to hold on to the victory. Offensively, it was another strong performance for Ohio. They scored a run in every inning sans the sixth. Most notably Gellerman and senior first baseman Caitlin Colvin hit back to back homers to put Ohio ahead for good in the third inning. Gellerman would hit another later to extend the lead.
The end of the game, however, belonged to Canisius. After five-plus strong innings from freshman starter Savannah Jo Dorsey, she got tagged in a four-run sixth inning. Sophomore Kaylin Clarke relieved, and while she gave up a run in the top of the seventh, she was eventually able to get the save.
This doubleheader against the Golden Griffins was the lead-in game to Mid-American Conference (MAC) play and Hermanek is optimistic that good things are the horizon for the ‘Cats.
“The way that we feel right now, loose and easy under pressure, because we were put in a couple pressure situations there defensively, loose and easy under pressure, that’s what we need to keep that feeling of,” said Hermanek. “We just need to know that everything we do is what counts, is what takes us towards the end of the season and where we want to be sets us up for championship play and so everything matters now.”
Colvin echoed that sentiment.
“I think this builds onto all our success that we’ve had previously,” said Colvin. “I know that out past few weeks have been a little down on us, but I think this proves we are great team no matter who is on the field with us, and we have to believe in that and we will go far.”
The Bobcats will start a six game road trip that will take them to MAC rivals Kent State, Buffalo, Toledo and Bowling Green. Their next home will be against the Ohio State Buckeyes on April 9.