Softball: Ohio Gets Swept By Ball State

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The Ohio Bobcats (19-20, 4-8) lost their seventh straight game on Sunday after they were defeated by the Ball State Cardinals, 8-4. The Bobcats could not overcome the big bats of the away team, and now own a losing record.

“(Ball State) capitalized with runners on (base) in big ways and they’re a good hitting team for sure,” Ohio head coach Jodi Hermanek said after losing both games of a two-game series.

Ball State’s bats did most of their damage in the fifth and seventh innings. The Cardinals hit a three-run home run in both innings that made for a lead that was too steep to climb for the Bobcats.

Ball State struck first in the game with a sacrifice fly by Jennifer Gilbert in the third inning that brought in a run.

Ohio answered right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third. With Tessa Bailey on first base, Lauren Gellerman hit a double to deep right-center field to bring in the first Bobcat run. A wild pitch and passed ball brought Gellerman home and Ohio took the lead, 2-1.

Ohio pitcher Lauren McClary was able to contain Ball State’s offense until the fifth. After a walk and a bunt single, Hanne Stuedemann hit her team’s first home run of the day, and Ball State took the lead, 4-2.

The blast knocked McClary out of the game, and Savannah Jo Dorsey came in for relief. McClary pitched 4.1 innings, struck out four hitters and allowed four runs on five hits. 

The Cardinals tacked on an unearned run in the sixth inning on an error, and started the seventh inning with a 5-2 lead.

With runners on first and second, Ball State’s shortstop Selena Reyna hit a three-run homer to center field to score her team’s final runs.

Down 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh, pinch hitter Kaylin Clark lead off the inning with a single. Chelsea Hortman came to the plate next and hit a two-run bomb that went over the scoreboard in center field.

“It really got the energy going,” Gellerman said. “We saw that we can do this … it gave us hope but then we still fell short.”

Hortman homered in the seventh for the second straight game with her team down, but both times her efforts were not enough to get a win for the Bobcats.

Gellerman still found some positives in the comebacks the Bobcats have made. “Even coming down to the last inning we can put up a fight, she said. “We didn’t just give up. Even though we were down by a lot we still put up a fight.”

Coach Hermanek was also able to find some positives amid a seven-game losing streak. “Offensively I felt more confident with our last two games,” she said. “We looked a lot better in the box.”

Ohio will be back in action on Wednesday, April 17 for a doubleheader against Marshall.

“They are a solid team,” Hermanek said. “They’ve got a good girl on the mound. We need to come out and work her inning by inning and try to win each inning offensively and defensively.”

First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 4 p.m. at Ohio Softball Field.