Beautiful weather welcomed softball fans alike to the Ohio Softball Field on Tuesday afternoon as the Bobcats played host to the 12th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.
Despite the improved temperature and playing conditions, both games proved to be defensive battles as the two teams would combine for just five runs over a 15-inning span in a series split.
Here’s how it went down:
Game 1: Ohio 1, Kentucky 0 (8 innings)
It took 47 outs for the first run to finally cross the plate in the first game of a doubleheader between Ohio and Kentucky, a run which would grant the Bobcats their 20th victory of the season.
Going into extra innings, Ohio recorded just their fourth (and final) hit of the game; a lead off single by Morgan Geno to begin the frame.
Michaela Dorsey came into pinch run and successful stole second base to reach scoring position as the potential game-winning run.
After advancing to third on a ground out by Taylor Saxton, Dorsey came into score when Kentucky pitcher Meagan Prince bobbled a ground ball off the bat of Deanne Cole.
Cole reached first safely and Dorsey raced home as Ohio walked off winners.
Keeping the Wildcats’ offense in check for the entire game was Ohio starter Savannah Jo Dorsey, who continued to dominate on the mound.
Dorsey tossed a complete-game shutout, striking out 11 and allowing just one hit in the process to record her team-high 14th win of the season.
Kentucky starter Kelsey Nunley was framed with just her third loss of the season (13-3), despite giving up just one unearned run thanks to the game’s only error on the last pitch of the game.
Ohio also improved to 3-2 this season in extra-inning affairs.
Game 2: Kentucky 3, Ohio 1
After being shutout in the first game of the doubleheader, Kentucky’s offense got off to a hot start in the first inning of game number two.
Dorsey got the nod as the ‘Cats starter once again, but was touched up with two outs in the game’s opening frame. After the first two batters were both retired, Nikki Sagermann singled and Brooklin Hinz walked, setting up a three-run home run by Abbey Cheek to put Kentucky up, 3-0.
It was the only offense Kentucky would need.
Prince, who committed the fateful error that allowed Ohio to win the previous game in the eighth inning, started for Kentucky and combined with Shannon Smith to hold the Bobcats to just one run on three hits in seven innings.
After a single in the first inning, Ohio was held without a hit until Mikayla Cooper launched a home run over the left-field fence with one out in the seventh to put the Bobcats on the board.
Madison Claytor followed Cooper’s solo homer with a single to bring the tying run to the plate, but back-to-back ground outs by Morgan Geno and Sloan Walker crowned Kentucky victors by a 3-1 score.
Despite the error in game one, Prince rebounded well in game two to keep her undefeated season intact, improving to 14-0 and lowering her earned run average to an impressive 1.23 mark.
After going 3-2 in their five-game home stand, Ohio (20-10) will continue with their slate of conference contests when they travel to Muncie, Indiana this weekend for a three-game series with Ball State.
The ‘Cats trio of contests with the Cardinals will begin on Friday (4/1) and conclude with a double header on Saturday.
Dating back to 2013, Ohio is 1-5 (outscored, 39-18) against Ball State in the regular season.