As the Bobcats took the field early Friday afternoon, it was sunny and warm. By the time they walked off the field in the early evening, it was cold and gray. Ohio’s play mirrored the change in weather.
The Ohio women’s softball team dropped both games in its doubleheader on Friday, failing to gain any ground on the division-leading RedHawks.
“The message to the girls was that a change needs to come within,” said head coach Jodi Hermanek. “They have to find the answer to timely hitting and producing runs and putting them together.”
Game one featured a pitcher’s duel between Ohio’s Savannah Jo Dorsey and Miami’s Jenna Modic. Both pitched a complete game and allowed six hits.
But in the third inning, Dorsey ran herself into a jam when she allowed a leadoff single to center fielder Tiyona Marshall. After a sacrifice, Modic doubled Marshall home for the game’s only run.
“That’s her job is to keep it within one run,” said Hermanek of Dorsey’s performance. “You trust your offense to get it done, and we just didn’t have it today.”
Ohio did have its chances. In the bottom of the first, the Bobcats loaded the bases with only one out, but DJ Engelman bounced into a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat.
“We had an opportunity to change the day in the first inning with the bases loaded,” said Hermanek. “We struggled to find the answer and the remedy.”
While pitching dominated game one, the bats came alive for the second game of the series. The teams combined for 16 runs, 22 hits, and five home runs.
Miami jumped on Ohio starter Lauren McClary in the third with home runs from Kylie McChesney and Kristy Arbour. The RedHawks would then take a 6-0 lead in the fourth on Modic’s three run blast.
“I don’t think (McClary) was as crisp as she normally was,” said Hermanek. “She left her corner pitches high, and they swung the bat and took advantage of that.”
In the bottom of the frame, Engelman would belt her own three run homer to cut Miami’s lead to three, but Miami would add five runs on five hits half an inning later to put the game out of reach.
“I don’t believe that 16 hits is on the pitching staff,” said Hermanek. “I think there were balls out there that should have been defended, and I believe that when our defense steps up and takes the pressure off the circle that will help us out a lot more.”
Down eight runs in the bottom of the fifth, Ohio needed to score a run. Caitlin Colvin added sent a deep fly to center to bring home pinch runner Erin Lashley to avoid being “mercy-ruled.”
“I was really proud of our base running today,” said Hermanek. “Our base running put us in a lot of scoring positions.”
In the midst of a four game losing streak, Ohio will face Ball State on Saturday and Sunday. The Cardinals are undefeated in conference play this season.
“Ball Sate has nothing to lose,” said Hermanek. “They’re the top team in the conference and they’re going to come out swinging. We need to come out here and play like we have nothing to lose.”
This weekend’s games are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.