Updated Fri, May 17, 2013 9:18 am
The 2013 season was quite a special one for Ohio softball. The Bobcats’ offense tore the cover off of the ball this season, breaking school and league records. The team also experienced some special events and occurrences such as an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
Such events happened early and piled on as the season progressed.
Ohio’s head coach Jodi Hermanek collected her 100th career win in an 8-0 victory over Rider University. Ohio catcher Lauren Gellerman was a force for the Bobcats. She hit two home runs and drove in five runs for her team.
In a 7-4 victory over Seattle University, Gellerman hit her sixth home run of the season, and the 28th of her career. The blast set the career home run record in Ohio softball history. The record-setting homer helped the Bobcats improve their record to 12-3.
Ohio played host to the Dayton Flyers in a doubleheader. New lights installed at Ohio Softball Field allowed the games to be played at night – a first in Ohio softball history. The Bobcats also unveiled new black uniforms.
Almost a month after Gellerman’s record-setter, the Bobcats broke two more program records in a doubleheader with the Toledo Rockets. Gellerman and first baseman Caitlin Colvin were the big bats for Ohio in these games.
Ohio’s catcher hit two home runs in game one and its first baseman hit two round-trippers in game two to give her 15 on the season. That total broke the previous record for home runs hit in a season, which was set in 2012 with 13 from Gellerman and Raven King. Also in game two, Gellerman hit her 115th career RBI to set Ohio’s career RBI record.
In a win against Bowling Green and just a day after the single season record for home runs hit by a player was broken, Ohio broke the record for most team home runs in a season with its 48th. It broke the previous record of 47, which was set in 2012.
Wearing their black uniforms again, the ‘Cats welcomed Ohio State to Athens to play another doubleheader under the lights. Gellerman hit three home runs and passed Colvin to lead the Green and White in home runs hit with 17. The catcher continued to swing a hot bat for the remainder of the season and never relinquished the team’s home run title.
Gellerman hit her 21st bomb to set the team total at 71. The four-bagger gave Ohio possession of the single-season MAC home run record as a team, breaking Ball State’s mark of 70 set in 2012.
In their second game of the 2013 MAC Tournament, the Bobcats defeated the Miami RedHawks, 3-2, and eliminated their rival from the tournament. Freshman pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey threw a complete game for Ohio and Gellerman homered, but both were outshined by outfielder Alyssa Wolfe. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Jenna Modic represented the winning run at home plate. She belted a pitch high and deep to left center. The ball appeared that it would leave the park, but Wolfe trailed the ball, and caught it while running over the outfield wall. She came back into play – with the ball still in her glove – and was congratulated in the outfield by her teammates. The excitement of Wolfe’s amazing grab reached its peak that night when it was highlighted on SportsCenter’s Top Plays as the No. 2 play of the day.
After all of the excitement of the previous day, the Bobcats still had a game to play against Kent State. Ohio had to keep its focus to defeat the Golden Flashes and it was tested by a rain delay that lasted five hours and 31 minutes. The ‘Cats passed the test and defeated the Flashes, 5-4. The game’s first pitch was set for 1:30 p.m., but the game did not end until roughly 10 p.m.
Ohio suffered a 7-6 defeat at the hands of the Ball State Cardinals, but Gellerman continued to swing a hot bat. Her RBI single in the third inning was her 58th of the season. That total gave her the second most RBIs in a single season in MAC history. Just three innings later, the star catcher added two more RBIs when she blasted a two-run home run to tie that game at 6-6. It was her 26th of the season and the 48th in her career, and it put her in second on the MAC career list.
Gellerman shattered records all season and distanced herself to make them even more challenging to break again. 28 homers was the career record at Ohio and she added 20 more to that. She doubled the previous record of single season home runs and drove in 22 more runs after setting the career RBI mark.
Ohio set the single-season team home run record in consecutive years. This year the Bobcats hit 80 dingers – a number that will certainly be tough to surpass in the future. It even has the chance to stand as the MAC single-season record for a long time to come.
Gellerman’s 26 long balls this season were the second most hit in all of NCAA Division I softball as of May 12. The number stands second only to the 30 hit by Megan Baltzell of Longwood. Gellerman also finished the season batting .405 and carried a .948 slugging percentage that is fourth best in the nation.
Though the San Diego native led Ohio’s offensive force, she had plenty of help for her teammates.
Colvin was one of the biggest contributors. The pitcher-turned-first baseman hit 18 home runs, which is good for 10th in the nation. She also batted in 37 runs to go along with a .646 slugging percentage.
Outfielder Adrienne Gebele was another big part of the offensive success. The sophomore batted .291 this season, slugged .556, hit 11 home runs and brought in 29 runs along the way. Next year as a junior, she will try her best to fill in the hole at catcher left behind by Gellerman.
Gebele will be just one of several players that will become the leaders of Ohio softball after the graduation of a stellar senior class. The 2013 season was one for the ages and a team with new leaders at the helm will look to add to the history in 2014.