Ohio Softball Blanked In MAC Tourney Opener

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In a game dominated by pitching, the Ohio Bobcats (26-28, 9-14 MAC) fell in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The Bobcats were defeated by the Bowling Green Falcons, 2-0.

Both teams combined to record just six hits, but timely hitting in the fifth inning won the game for the Falcons.

 Leftfielder Marisa Shook led off the inning with a single. With one out, third baseman Chloe Giordano laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Shook to second base. Catcher Adrienne Dick then delivered an RBI-single with two outs to score the first run of the game.

Following the score, Bowling Green loaded the bases and scored again when Ohio starter Lauren McClary walked in a run.

McClary took the loss and now carries a 10-17 record. She pitched a solid four innings before allowing the Falcons’ two runs in the fifth.

In all, the sophomore pitched 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks.

Unfortunately for McClary, Bowling Green pitched better.

Starting pitcher Jamie Kertes, whose performance was awarded with the win, pitched four innings and allowed just one hit.

Up, 2-0 Paris Imholz took to the circle for the Falcons in the bottom of the fifth and turned in a dominant performance. In the fifth inning she struck out the side. She earned the save after pitching three scoreless innings and striking out six Bobcat hitters.

Both pitchers were able to shut down the Bobcats’ offense.

“I think as the game went on we were (attacking less than) we started,” Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek said. “The counts got a bit deeper in the pitchers’ favors rather than ours.”

Hermanek was still satisfied with her pitching staff’s performance.

After allowing two runs, McClary was removed from the game and Hermanek brought in Savannah Jo Dorsey to relieve her starter. Dorsey pitched 2.1 strong innings in which she did not allow a hit or a run to score.

“I thought (McClary) was extremely solid off of the mark,” Hermanek said. “Her first four innings were extremely solid outcomes. I thought (Dorsey) did an awesome job of coming in and really going after those hitters.”

Ohio will be back in action Thursday. It will face the loser of the No. 5 Miami vs. No. 4 Northern Illinois game that is set to start at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Both Miami and Northern Illinois swept their season series with Ohio.

Hermanek said her team must win when it counts now.

“We just need to lay it all on the line, play with no fear of hesitation,” Hermanek said.

Ohio will try to avoid a third straight 0-2 MAC Championship Thursday at 11 a.m. All tournament games will be played at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.