Ohio softball pitching

Ohio Falls to McNeese State in Texas Tech Invitational

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The Bobcats’ softball team started their long weekend with an 8-4 loss to the McNeese State Cowgirls, the first of three in the annual Texas Tech invitational.

Ohio (6-4) came into the weekend winners of four of their past six. McNeese State (11-3) just had their eight game winning streak snapped last Sunday against 25th ranked Mississippi State.

Bobcats starter Savannah Jo Dorsey gave up nine hits and seven runs (six earned) in three innings of work before Danielle Steine was called in to pitch the final four.

While Ohio’s offense had a good day at the plate, McNeese State’s overly impressive performance was too much to overcome.

Ohio came out of the gate with the momentum, scoring three in the first inning to take a quick lead. A pair of leadoff hits by Taylor Saxton and Deana Cole were followed by an RBI double from Casie Hutchinson and a deep sacrifice fly from Madison Claytor to give Ohio a quick 2-0 lead.

Mikayla Cooper then shot a base hit into left field that was misplayed to allow Hutchinson to score and the Bobcats to go up 3-0 just like that.

Head coach Jodi Hermanek went on later to say how starting games this way are what will help the team be more successful in the future,

“I was proud of my team, coming out and striking on the scoreboard first,” she said. “We’re an aggressive team, and we need to make sure we continue to play the Bobcats way because when we’re aggressive and when we execute our plans, then we do things like get on the board first.”

The Cowgirls didn’t waste any time coming back. They put up three straight hits on the board to load the bases with no outs to start the second, scoring two from a Marisa Taunton single and one more from a passed ball. The game was tied up at three.

The two teams exchanged runs in the fourth inning to make the score 4-4. McNeese State’s Taylor Goree led off with a double and scored on a single by Shelbi Strickland. Casi Hutchinson came to bat in the bottom half and belted one out of the yard in right field to even the score again.

Again, McNeese St. followed an Ohio score with a big inning of their own. Taunton was hit by a pitch, Erika Piancastelli walked, and Morgan Catron got every bit of the ball to hit her second home run of the season, putting one out into the left field bullpen. The Cowgirls were up 7-4.

They tacked on one more in the seventh, Hailey Drew hitting a leadoff triple and scoring on a single from Tori Yanitor

The Cowgirls’ Emily Vincent kept the Bobcats offense in check outside of Hutchinson’s long ball. She relieved starter Jolie Trahan in the third and gave up just three hits and struck out four over her five innings of work.

“McNeese is probably one of the best teams we’ve been on the field against this season,” Hermanek said afterwards. “They came out with awesome offense and base running, and they struck the ball hard in play. If we come out in the middle of the game and we keep throttling and we keep putting some pressure on the defense when they made the pitching change, then things can fall our way a little bit more.”

Ohio has the opportunity to bounce back when the take on Stephen F. Austin and Texas Tech in a double header on Saturday, hoping to come back strong for a high place in the tournament.