Softball: Bumps and Bruises Lead to Free Bases

By
Brad Friedman

Dateline
Updated Wed, Apr 24, 2013 2:50 pm
See all articles

In Ohio’s 45 games this season, Bobcat batters have been hit by 45 pitches.

During the second game of Ohio’s doubleheader against Ohio State, Buckeye pitcher Alex DiDomenico plunked senior Tessa Bailey three times.

Talk about taking one for the team.

During the team’s 2012 campaign, Ohio hitters were only plunked 42 times through 57 games, placing them in second place in the MAC behind Northern Illinois at 44. Then sophomore Raven King led the team, getting hit by opposing pitchers 10 times on the year.

This year, Ohio leads the MAC in free bases by hit batters. Junior Alyssa Wolfe currently leads the squad, being hit 12 times; Bailey is close behind with nine.

Despite getting hit 13 times over the past two seasons, Wolfe confidently stated that she does not get frustrated when the umpire tells her to take her base.

“Anyway I can get on base, that’s how I have to do it,” Wolfe said.

Senior Caitlin Colvin, who has been hit five times this year, admitted that getting a little banged up can be frustrating when she would rather hit the ball herself, but she’ll take a free base any day.

“I’m just going to wear it for my team, I guess. I’m not one to back down ever; if they’re going to throw it at me, I’m going to let them hit me,” Colvin said.

The Washington state native tries to maintain a good attitude when getting hit.

“It’s about the team and I like it. People ask me ‘you got hit?’ Yeah, you have to take it like a champ and walk it off,” Colvin said.

Head Coach Jodi Hermanek said that getting hit is just like knocking in a single; it’s all about putting pressure on the opposing hitter.

“It’s not something that we aim to do, but at the same time, it’s our goal to make it count when they put us on,” Hermanek said.

The fifth year coach said recruiting hard-nosed players who believe in the classic “take one for the team” mentality is the best way to push through the various aches and pains.

The overall desire to just get on base is present throughout the team, and for good reason. Ohio has accumulated 51 stolen bases so far this season, making the Bobcats a threat when runners are on base.

Bailey and Wolfe are tied for the team lead with 11 stolen bases and Bailey even said she takes advantage of getting hit by trying to advance to second base.

As far as how batters manage to get hit, every player made their own claims.

Bailey admitted that she was crowding the plate during the game against Ohio State, but blamed the pitchers for her six other free bases. Colvin noted that she does not usually crowd the plate when she bats, so she put the blame on the opposing pitcher.

Wolfe said she bats with an open stance, so she naturally will come towards the plate when she gets ready to swing.

“I’m sure my scouting report says to throw inside,” Wolfe said.

The Bobcats will get another chance to improve their on-base percentage when they travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., to take on the Western Michigan Broncos Saturday at 2 pm.

Tags: