Updated Thu, Apr 24, 2014 1:24 pm
On a perfect Wednesday afternoon in Huntington, West Virginia, Ohio took one of two games in a doubleheader against the Marshall Thundering Herd.
In the top of the seventh, Alexandria Basquez came through in yet another clutch situation. Basquez hit a long fly just to the right of center field that flew beyond the spectators standing behind the center field fence. Basquez circled the bases and leaped onto the plate with a resounding “BOOM” coming from her teammates.
The run gave Ohio the 4-3 lead and ultimately the win as Savannah Jo Dorsey set down the side in the seventh.
“Right after I hit it, I knew it was out,” Basquez said.
With a temperature in the low 60’s but with the sun beaming down, both offenses initially started cool at the plate in game one.
Both the Thundering Herd and the Bobcats put runners on in the first few innings, but were unable to convert through three frames.
Ohio drew first blood when a hard Alyssa Wolfe ground ball resulted in a low throw and dropped ball at first base. Erin Lashley took a hard turn around third and scored easily to put the ‘Cats up 1-0.
Ohio took advantage again in the fifth inning when Savannah Jo Dorsey doubled into the gap in right center and scored Sloan Walker and Timmie Rappe. The 3-0 Ohio lead looked like more than enough, given how Lauren McClary had been pitching.
McClary threw five innings and gave up six hits in a solid start.
“I thought Lauren McClary had great outing,” head coach Jodi Hermanek said. “She kept the hitters off balance through five.”
The Bobcats ran into problems in the fifth with a couple of hits and defensive miscues that lead to all three opposing runs. Hermanek had to pull the team together late to get them focused. Ohio finished with four errors and Marshall committed three.
“Speed puts pressure on the defense,” Hermanek said. “I think we saw a little bit of that happen. We need to handle that pressure.”
Dorsey ended up getting the win, as she went two innings of hitless ball.
Basquez finished with two hits and her teammates Dorsey and Madison Claytor were her only other teammates to collect hits in the game.
Though the bats came out in force in game two of the day, it was not enough to defeat the Herd who reached Dorsey for eight runs.
The high note for Dorsey was the fact that she set the program single-season strikeout record, previously held by teammate McClary. The record had stood at 205, which McClary set in her freshman season of 2012.
“I’m very proud of it, that’s very cool,” Dorsey said.
Basquez completed a trifecta in hitting home runs to each extremity of the outfield as she hit long balls to right and left. The last came in the seventh inning with Ohio down 8-5. It sparked Ohio in the last frame as Adrienne Gebele followed with another home run to bring Ohio within one. The last home run marked Basquez’s eighth of the season.
“I feel like I played pretty well,” Basquez said. “Obviously I didn’t score all the runs or anything, I just came up and did what my team asked me to do.”
“I think she’d doing a great job, and has a good approach,” Hermanek said. “Making some good adjustments in the box… she’s not trying to do too much.”
Unfortunately for Ohio, Dorsey struck out and Claytor popped out after the Basquez and Gebele homers to seal the Marshall victory.
“I liked the approach, I liked the fight,” Hermanek said. “But there’s definitely some opportunities we couldn’t come through with.”
It was a five-run first inning that gave the Thundering Herd the commanding advantage early. A Taylor Winton home run gave Marshall all the momentum it needed to have an impressive offense day.
Ohio had several mental lapses in the second game. Only one play came as a true error, but it still hurt the ‘Cats.
Basquez, Gebele, and Dorsey all finished with two hits each, accounting for six of the team’s 11 in the second game. Casie Hutchinson contributed with two RBIs and a home run in the three-run fifth inning for Ohio.
“Seven should have been enough to win it,” Dorsey said. “We definitely rallied at the end and that was good to see that we could fight all the way through.”
Kristen Searcy (2B) and Timmie Rappe (LF) made their first starts of the season in the game, with Searcy getting her first hit of the season with a single.
Lindsey Fadnek picked up the win for Marshall and she is now 6-7. Dorsey fell to 19-14 with the loss after picking up the win in the first game.