Ohio softball safe at first

Ohio Picks up First Two Conference Losses

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Game One

A runner clad in maroon and gold sitting on third base will be the overwhelming image for many Ohio fans in the first game of a doubleheader against Central Michigan on Friday.

The overarching theme in the first game will be that two bad, multi-run innings saw the Bobcats pick up their first Mid-American Conference loss to Central Michigan, 8-1.

The first of those two innings occurred in the top of the first when the Chippewas took advantage of some questionable pitching by freshman Sydney Compston and homered twice — one that brought home two runs and the other a solo homer with two outs — to give Central a commanding 4-0 lead.

“We need to come out with more fight,” Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek said. “We need to all come together and play like a team.”

Ohio (9-20, 2-2 in MAC) came right back and used a leadoff triple by junior Amanda Dalton and a double by sophomore Casie Hutchinson to bring home its only run of the game.

For the rest of the game, the Chippewas (12-15, 2-2) were dominant on the offensive end.

It seemed that each CMU batter got a bat to the ball, whether by blasting multiple fouls balls past the Ohio Softball Field lights or drilling balls into the only place where a Bobcat fielder couldn’t reach them.

Even many of the ground outs and fly balls seemed hard to control at times.

Despite the Chippewas strong offensive showing, senior Lauren McClary did well to keep Central in check.

McClary has been one of Ohio’s best pitchers this season since Savannah Jo Dorsey succumbed to injury and her six innings in the first game proved why.

Even when in tough situations, McClary was able to dig herself out.

After allowing a bases-loaded walk in the top of the seventh, she immediately responded with a out at second and a strikeout to end the inning.

The Bobcats showed some signs of life late on, but it got worse in the second game.

Game Two

If a Central runner on third was the image for the first game, surely the sound of Katelyn Rentschler’s bat and the ball sailing over the outfield wall was the theme of the second.

Rentschler ended the game with three homers, six RBIs and three hits in four at bats and led her team to a 14-3 walloping of Ohio.

But Rentschler didn’t do it on her own, a nightmarish fourth inning, in which the Chippewas scored nine of their runs, was what really did the Bobcats in.

Senior Kaylin Clarke will pick up the loss for this one but none of the Ohio pitching staff had a great outing in the second game.

Compston technically performed the best of all of them, only allowing two runs on two hits in 1.1 innings. The fact that each of the other pitchers — Clarke and McClary — allowed either far more in less time or a lot over a small amount of time is indicative of the team’s overall performance in the game.

“We have to be smarter,” Hermanek said. “We have to command our pitches off the zone and around the zone.”

These losses saw Ohio drop its first two home games of the season, but it has the chance to get something out of the weekend when it faces Eastern Michigan on Saturday at 4 p.m.

If the Bobcats are to win, Hermanek believes that they need to let games like the ones on Friday get them ready to play better.

“Games like that just really make me sit here and think ‘what more can we do?,’” she said. “That’s the message that we left with today. It’s going to take the whole roster and everyone in a Bobcat uniform to win these games.