Ohio softball wall with Bobcat image

Bobcats Bounce Back Against EMU

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The sound of softballs slapping off the bat, immediately followed by a roar from the Ohio fans in attendance, rang around Ohio Softball Field as another ball sailed past the outfield wall.

The Bobcats offense was operating at full capacity on Saturday as they took the first game of their weekend series against Eastern Michigan in five innings, 12-2.

Ohio (10-20, 3-2 in Mid-American Conference) never trailed during the game and Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek attributed that to pregame preparation and focus.

“Our biggest focus today was coming in and eliminating distractions,” Hermanek said. “After yesterday, not just the loss but the way we lost. The manner in which we lost. It was huge for us to come out and not work from a deficit today.”

Kaylin Clarke was a big reason that the Bobcats never found themselves behind in the game.

She started in the circle for Ohio and had a solid game, allowing seven hits for only two runs and being on the end of a couple costly errors.

Clarke’s real impact came on the offensive end, where she had seven RBIs and two runs on three hits. Her three-run homer — that went over the scoreboard in the bottom of the second —really showed the power and ease with which she played with.

“It was awesome,” Clarke said. “Yesterday was a struggle for me, offensively and defensively, so I knew today would be a big game to come back with. I did what I could on the mound and at the plate and I’m glad it was enough.

“Together, as a team we were just awesome today.”

Her team was awesome indeed, as almost everyone recorded a hit or got on base.

The Bobcats also played great team defense to keep Eastern (9-20, 1-3 in MAC) out of the game.

A second inning Mikayla Cooper throw at home, that prevented a run from being scored, comes to mind. A double play by Amanda Dalton in the third, where she stretched to make the catch and slung it to first to close the inning and leave a runner on third, sticks in the mind as well.

Ohio faces the Eagles again on Sunday at 1 p.m. and if the Bobcats are to win again, Clarke believes that continuing to play as a team will be imperative.

“I think we need to just keep playing as a team, clicking as a team,” she said. “We were just in the game every pitch, every ball. So I think that is just going to be important, staying together as a team.”