PHOTO: Nick Mullens/WOUB

Uncharacteristic Errors cost Ohio in MAC Championship

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Ohio’s senior class had their chance to win back to back conference tournament championships for the first time in school history.

And for five innings at Firestone stadium it appeared that Ohio would raise the trophy once again.

Once the sixth inning started in game one of the MAC championship series, it was all Toledo. Ohio made eight errors in the final eight innings of the day.

Even after these errors, Ohio still had the sixth best fielding percentage in the MAC.

Toledo stormed back for a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning in game one to force a game two.

“Short term memory and move on,” Roark said.

In the deciding game two, Ohio held a 1-0 lead after three innings but Toledo scored nine runs in the fourth and fifth inning to win the championship.

“Toledo was the better team today,” Roark said.

Charlee Pond and Alex Day were named to the all tournament team.

Game 1

For a second straight time against Toledo, Allie Englant helped Ohio take a lead in the first inning.

Englant walked on four pitches, was bunted over to second by Katie Yun, then scored on back to back wild pitches.

Ohio loaded the bases on three straight walks but were unable to score as Pond’s blooper was caught and Natalie Alvarez was doubled up trying to get back to first.

Despite Ohio taking a 1-0 lead, neither team would get a hit until the fifth inning.

After McCrady gave up the first hit of the game, she walked a Rocket to put runners on first and second with only one out.

McCrady responded with a strikeout and forced Samantha Golden to fly out to Englant in shallow left field.

Englant led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to the center field fence.

Yun followed up Englant with the second consecutive hit with a perfect bunt. Yun took advantage of some confusion from the Toledo defense and was able to take second base on the play with nobody covering the bag.

Day would continue her big senior season MAC tournament with a sac fly to deep right field, putting the Bobcats up 2-0.

Natalie Alvarez doubled the Ohio lead with a single to left, scoring Yun and pinch runner Justice Ruggles. Alvarez advanced to second on the throw to the plate.

Pond would give Ohio some more insurance runs with the help from an error by Megan Choate. Taytum Hargrave, who pinched run for Alvarez raced home on the error to make it 5-0 Ohio.

Toledo would start a comeback attempt when Kaitlyn Bergman left the yard with a two run shot to cut the Ohio lead to three.

Ohio had a chance to end the inning but a Yun throwing error gave Toledo second life.

Pinch hitter Morgan Paaverud came through with a two out single to center field that would score Bekah Yenrick, making it 5-3 Ohio.

Ohio then made many uncharacteristic errors in the seventh inning.

After a leadoff single Englant and Day made errors and McCrady walked two hitters to even the score at five and keep the bases loaded with one out.

Aubrey Reed sent a fly ball to Mackenzie Brunswick in center field, but Brunswick was unable to prevent Katie Cozy from tagging up and giving Toledo the lead.

Ohio would threaten in the seventh inning with a Pond double off the wall but that would be all Ohio could create in the inning and fell 6-5.

Game 2

Ohio got the lead again in the first inning. Yun started things off by getting hit by a pitch.

Day reached second on an error by Golden. Geno then walked to load the bases.

Alvarez came up clutch again with a bloop single to give Ohio an early lead 1-0.

In the bottom of the third inning Amy Ill had a double to left field but after the hit, struck home plate umpire Charles Blackwell causing a brief delay for him to receive treatment from the trainers.

Ohio would wiggle their way out of the inning as Brunswick made a running catch in center field.

Toledo would strike in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Bergman would double to open the inning and score on a bunt single from Raelyn Nyren.

Toledo would open up the game after a Kylie Norwood single to center field.

Brunswick was unable to keep the ball in front of her and it rolled all the way to the wall, allowing the bases to be cleared.

That play would be the last pitch McCrady threw until the fifth, as the Sophomore was taken out of the circle for the first time all tournament.

“Madi pitched a lot of innings this week and started to run out of gas,” Roark said.

Kendall Meeks would step in for Ohio.

Toledo wasn’t done scoring though, after a steal attempt by Toledo, Alvarez threw the ball to second to try and catch the runner stealing.

That throw sailed into center field as neither Pond nor Yun made any attempt at stopping the ball. That allowed Norwood to score from third.

Day would give Ohio some life in the top of the fifth with a double down the right field line to score Holland.

Two errors in the bottom of the sixth inning allowed Toledo to score four runs off Kendall Meeks before Ohio put McCrady back in the circle to try and avoid getting run ruled.

McCrady would get Ohio out of that inning and pitch a shutout sixth inning to give Ohio one last chance to try and comeback from a 9-2 deficit.

Geno stepped to the plate with the bases loaded but popped out, to end the game and the senior classes career in Athens.

“This senior class will go down as one of the greatest in Ohio history,” Roark said.