Ohio Softball Eliminated From NCAA Tournament

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Ohio ran into a blue buzz saw for the second straight day, this time falling to DePaul, 5-1, marking the end of the Bobcats’ season in the first round of the NCAA regionals in Lexington, Ky.

A day removed from a loss to the Kentucky Wildcats, Ohio was shut down by Blue Demons starter Kirsten Verdun, who pitched six innings, allowed two hits and walked one while striking out 11 to win her 31st game on the year.

“We were still hitting the ball … it just wasn’t falling into place today,” Alexandria Basquez said. “It wasn’t like we were completely struggling, I felt like we were still hitting. There are some things we couldn’t change, but we still fought all the way through.”

Savannah Jo Dorsey, pitching in her sixth straight start, threw six innings. She yielded 10 hits and five runs while striking out four – leaving her two short of 300 on the season. She finished the season as the Bobcats’ all-time single-season record holder for strikeouts in a season with 298 – 93 better than her current teammate Lauren McClary, who set the record in her freshman year. Dorsey finished with a 25-18 record on the season.

“Two more would have been 300, which sounds like a better number” Dorsey said. “I wish someone would have told me that in the sixth inning, but next year I’ll be at 300,” she said with a laugh.

Dorsey was hit hard to start the game, as the first three batters hit singles to get the offense going for the Blue Demons.  With one out, Megan Coronado ripped a single to the right-center gap to score three DePaul runners. A fielding error on a ground ball by Amanda Dalton resulted in Coronado scoring from second.

Dorsey settled in, and proceeded to give up one run on six hits over the next five innings, but the Ohio offense could not manufacture runs.

Verdun was the Demon to play add-on when she walloped one to right for DePaul’s fifth run.

Dorsey picked up two of Ohio’s four hits, with a triple to center and a double down the left field line.

Ohio did not go down without quietly, as Erin Lashley scored on a hard-hit ball by Dakota Pyles off of pitcher Hannah Penna’s glove. However, with runners on second and third, Dalton struck out to end the game, and Ohio’s season.

“[I’m] just proud of the opportunity that we kept creating for each other in the seventh and watching the girls fight until the end,” Ohio head coach Jodi Hermanek said.

2014 marked Ohio’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 19 years – a goal attained by the seniors that they had been working towards for four years.

“It just means a lot that I was able to help this team’s success and actually be here”   Basquez said.

“[I’m] so proud of everything that we’ve accomplished this season” Hermanek said. “So proud of the history that this team has laid out for Ohio University softball, and it makes us hungry for more.”