Dorsey’s Historic Day Leads to Ohio Sweep of Kent State

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Ohio Softball Coach Jodi Hermanek didn’t hesitate when asked if she knew she was going to run Savannah Jo Dorsey through the entire second game.


“Yes,” she interjected before the reporter could finish his question. An awkward pause set in as the media waited for a longer answer, but Hermanek’s had said it all. Of course she left Dorsey in as the hurler continued to rack up strikeouts and keep the Golden Flashes off the board, even 150 pitches in.

“I mean, that’s what we need — a big pitcher to do big things for us,” Hermanek said.

Dorsey’s two-game total of five hits and 23 strikeouts makes her the winningest pitcher in Ohio history (56) and led the team to a sweep over Kent State, winning the games 4-1 and 4-2.

She started the day by giving up just one hit and recording 10 strikeouts. Everyone knew Dorsey would continue into the second game; the question was: how many innings?

The Bobcats (22-13, 4-3) tested Dorsey a week prior against Kentucky. She pitched the first game, which went to eight innings, and stayed in the game for five innings of the second. This time, she went one more inning and made Ohio pitching history in her third year of eligibility.

“If anyone knew the truth of the things she’s endured in her athletic career, they’d put her up on a pedestal,” Hermanek said. “They’d just be so elated by the things that she contributes.”

Dorsey was kept off the field during the 2015 season and redshirted due to injury, so it was surprising to see Hermanek put her in the circle for over 200 pitches in four hours.

Madison Claytor (left) and Savannah Jo Dorsey (right) talk between pitches
Madison Claytor (left) and Savannah Jo Dorsey (right) talk between pitches

She’s having a phenomenal 2016 by becoming Ohio’s all-time leader in wins and strikeouts, while boasting a 1.76 era.

Dorsey wasn’t thinking about the records against Kent State (22-12, 5-3), though. She didn’t know about the record at the time. Dorsey wasn’t in her best form, specifically with her change-up, in one of the most significant performances of her career.

“I think we got by with less command today than we usually do,” Dorsey said. “Madison [Claytor] is one of our best scouters and she’s really smart about the game, so it’s all about trusting her and just believing in what she calls and then throwing it full force.”

Dorsey found help in the middle of the Bobcats batting order, too. A double from Claytor in the fourth inning and a three-run homer over the center-field fence by designated player Madison Geno gave Ohio the four runs needed to top the Golden Flashes.

In the second game, Claytor and Geno were driven in by Casie Hutchinson’s home run. Another bomb from Mikayla Cooper gave the Bobcats a second home run on the day. The double header brought the fifth and sixth times the Bobcats scored four or more runs since a mid-March tournament in Bloomington, Indiana, where Hermanek said the team left its bats.

Morgan Geno hit her second career home run against Kent State
Morgan Geno hit her second career home run against Kent State

“When we were out in Muncie we decided to drive by and pick them up,” she said. “Finally in a lineup of speed we put some power with it today, and I was just really proud of the girls coming out today and putting it to work.”

Even with the help, Dorsey’s performance stands as one of the many signature pieces of her three years that already place her as the best pitcher in Ohio history.

It’s fitting that she became the winningest pitcher in school history by pitching a full doubleheader with the majority of outs being strikeouts. And it came against Kent State, which entered the day with one conference loss.

“Kent State’s better than us on paper,” Dorsey said. “But we know who we are.”