Updated Fri, May 10, 2013 12:29 am
Ohio centerfielder Alyssa Wolfe stole a walkoff victory away from the No. 5 Miami RedHawks, and the No. 6 Bobcats (27-28, 10-14) stayed alive to play another day at the Mid-American Conference Tournament, defeating their rivals from Oxford, 3-2.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and a runner on first, Miami sent Brandi Hernandez to the plate. Hernandez drove a pitch from Ohio pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey to deep left center.
Wolfe trailed the ball, made a leaping catch, and tumbled over the outfield fence. On the other side of the fence she got up and held her glove in the air – with the ball still inside. Ohio’s dugout cleared and rushed to the outfield to congratulate its hero.
Wolfe's play led off the 11 p.m. show of SportsCenter on ESPN and was ranked No. 2 on the SportsCenter Top 10 plays Thursday night.
“The whole time that it was in the air I honestly didn’t think it was going over,” Wolfe said. “I just thought it was routine play. It wasn’t until I was over the fence that I realized how big of a play I actually made.”
“I’m just glad that we have a talented outfielder make an amazing catch that should be highlighted on ESPN sometime tonight,” Ohio head coach Jodi Hermanek said. “Believe it or not she trains for that all the time.”
Ohio struck first in the game, scoring two runs in the second inning. With runners on second and third, Amanda Dalton hit an infield single to drive in the first Bobcat run. Miami pitcher Jenna Modic hit Wolfe to load the bases, and then Tessa Bailey to bring in Ohio’s second run.
Adrienne Gebele got things started in the second with a leadoff single. Caitlin Colvin reached base on a single to left center. Raven King laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, and set the table for Dalton.
Lauren Gellerman extended Ohio’s 2-0 lead in the fifth inning with her 25th home run of the season. Gellerman led off the inning and hit the first pitch thrown to her over the fence in left-center field.
Gebele nearly added a grand slam to her day, but Miami came up with a robbing catch of its own.
Gebele hit a ball to the same part of the field as Hernandez, and the result was the same. Centerfielder Tiyona Marshall tumbled over the fence to make the grab and held on to the ball.
Ultimately, Miami was stopped by Dorsey (15-9). She pitched a complete game, struck out four hitters and allowed two runs on six hits en route to getting the win.
“(I’m) so proud of Savannah. She battled through later in the innings,” Hermanek said. “(Miami) put some good pitch selections on the ball against her and she just kept battling through.”
Dorsey cruised through the first five innings until Miami’s bats finally got to the freshman in the sixth. The RedHawks got their first two batters aboard, and advanced them to second and third with a sacrifice ground out by Kayla McIntyre.
Allie Larrabee then drove in the first run and reached first base on an error by the second baseman. Kylie McChesney then fouled out to deep left field, which allowed another run to score for Miami.
To go along with Dorsey’s performance, Ohio’s offense showed life after being shut out by Bowling Green on Wednesday.
“It was a terrific effort, all the way up and down the lineup, defensively and offensively,” Hermanek said. “Timely hitting was huge, but it was also a great on-pitch selection. Going through three of their pitchers means that we are doing a good job in the box of staying in our game plan and hitting our pitches.”
Modic took the loss after allowing two runs in the first three innings of the game.
Megan Mattera relieved her, and pitched in the fourth and fifth innings. After allowing Gellerman’s home run, Mattera was unable to record an out in the inning, and was relieved by Paige Myers.
Myers pitched the final three innings and allowed just one hit and no runs.
The loss knocks Miami out of the tournament.
Ohio will play on Friday. Its opponent will be the loser of the No. 3 Central Michigan vs. No. 2 Kent State game that is set to start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Bobcats splits regular season series with both teams.
First pitch of Fridays’ game is set for 1:30 p.m.