Updated Sun, May 4, 2014 12:14 am
Ohio’s Savannah Jo Dorsey watched the pitch that had just left her hand sail off of Kayti Grable’s bat for a two-run homer that deflated the home crowd’s intensity. Dorsey refused to be rattled and simply looked at catcher Madison Claytor, nodded, and proceeded to throw two strikeouts to end the top of the first.
The Bobcat pitcher was the deciding factor in the game on Saturday as she led Ohio to a convincing 6-2 win over the Northern Illinois Huskies for the first game of the weekend series.
The homer was a turning point in the game, but it proved to harm Northern Illinois more than it helped them, galvanizing Dorsey in the circle as she struck out 13 batters to tie her career-record and only allowed just three hits all game for an ERA of 2.64.
“It felt like a zero-zero ballgame,” Dorsey said. “That was our mentality. I knew that the offense would pull though, like they always do. So, it was fun to go out there afterwards because we could start the ballgame over again and know that we were going to come out on top.”
The game also saw coach Jodi Hermanek return to the dugout after giving birth to her newborn child. With the boost of having their coach in the dugout and a new little fan in the crowd, Ohio (28-23, 12-7) really got going.
Amanda Dalton hit a single in the first Ohio at-bat to record the Bobcats’ first hit and Alexandria Basquez took the plate after two more at-bats and dug in with determination and fired a monster slam past the left field fence for a two-run homer to knot the game up at 2-2.
Basquez wasn’t done, as her single that was fielded by the Huskies’ second baseman hit Taylor Saxton on its way to second base and allowed Dalton to score. The single gave the Bobcats their first lead of the game and they wouldn’t let it go. Ohio scored three more runs in the third to put the game out of reach for the Huskies.
The runs included Dorsey’s strong double to center field that brought home two runs and Claytor’s deep bomb that ended up being a fly out but brought Adrienne Gebele across the plate for the last run of the game.
Dorsey worked hard to put away the remaining Huskies and did an admirable job, facing 27 batters and only allowing two hits after the first inning.
“It was fun pitching out there on the mound today,” Dorsey said. “It’s easy to pitch when you’re having fun and today we had a lot of fun.”
Ohio will play the second half of the weekend series Sunday at 1 p.m. It’s also Senior Day and the last home game of the season. The Mid-American Conference Tournament begins Wednesday, May 7.