Ohio Splits Exhibition Doubleheader

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​Ohio University’s softball team opened the fall campaign with a double header against the Marshall Thundering Herd Saturday. The Bobcats split the two games with Marshall, winning the shortened second game by a score of 6-0 in three innings.

​After Marshall started off the first game with a two-run first inning, the Bobcats loaded the bases before catcher Madison Claytor stepped to the plate. Claytor hit the 0-1 pitch deep in the left-center field gap, where Marshall center fielder Morgan Zerkle ran it down on the warning track, ending the Bobcat scoring chance.

​Claytor, who finished the day 2-for-5 with three RBI’s and a run scored on six plate appearances, was a tough out for the Thundering Herd all day.
​“[Claytor] stroked the ball extremely hard,” head coach Jodi Hermanek said. “She saw the ball really well. Sometimes the ball is going to be played and sometimes its not.”

​Claytor’s two RBI double in the third inning of game two was one of 5 hits in the six run inning for the Bobcat’s. This inning was one of two extreme offensive outbursts on the day by the ‘Cats.

​To begin the bottom of the seventh inning in game one, the Bobcats trailed 9-1 with just three outs left for a comeback. After Kaylin Clarke led off the inning with a walk, junior Sam Bowlsbey hit a long two-run home run off of the scoreboard beyond the center field wall. Bowlsbey’s big fly sparked a rally for Ohio that would see six different Bobcats cross home plate.

​The rally would come up two runs short however on the 11th batter of the inning, ending the first game 9-7. Two separate six-run innings showed Hermanek more than just well-rounded offense. She was encouraged by the fight in her team.

​“We’ve always been fighters. I know we are going to fight until the umpires pull us off the field,” Hermanek said. “I really liked seeing us hit with runners in scoring position and keep rallies going.”

​Coming off of last seasons MAC tournament championship win, the ‘Cats lineup features plenty of experience, starting four seniors and two juniors. Amid the experience, sophomore Taylor Saxton is also a key returner for Ohio. She hit for a .429 batting average in the MAC tournament.
​Saxton proved difficult to handle for Thundering Herd pitchers, reaching base a total of four times in six appearances on the day. She saw the most pitches on the team, seeing nearly five per plate appearance.

​“She has so many tools, being a slapper with speed,” Hermanek said. “She did a good job getting in deep counts.”

​Saxton’s discipline could prove helpful to other hitters in the Bobcat lineup, as no hitter immediately following Saxton faced a two strike count. This could be attributed to the extra-time on deck during those lengthy appearances.

​Ohio will take the field next Saturday in a home doubleheader with Charleston, where they will look to continue their offensive ways.