First inning leads and consistently excellent pitching from their two-pitcher rotation is becoming the Bobcats’ theme this season.
Ohio scored four runs in the first inning of their two-game sweepÂ of Toledo over the weekend â€” a 4-2 come-from-behind victory in the first half ofÂ Friday’s doubleheaderÂ and a 8-0 thrashing in the back half â€” to move into a tie for second place in the MACÂ with Kent State.
Ohio can thank Savannah Jo Dorsey and Danielle Stiene for those wins, as the team’s rotation has been impressive in each MAC win this season.
A few days after pitching back-to-back complete games andÂ breakingÂ the all-time wins record previously held by Emily Wethington, Dorsey struggled to find a groove early on.
She gave up two leadoffÂ home runs, one in the first inning and another in the second. But Dorsey got rolling after that,Â only giving up two moreÂ hits for the remainder of the game.
With Toledo’s offense subdued, the Bobcats’ sprung to life.
Morgan Geno continued her recent hot streak, recording her eighthÂ RBI in the third inning to tie the score at 2-2. It remained a pitcher’s battle until theÂ sixth inning, when Michaela Dorsey’s RBI double to left field allowed Jamie Wren to score the winning run before Deanna Cole’s RBI single finished off the inning.
The Bobcats had nine hits off Toledo in the first game, which foreshadowed their offensive superiority in Friday’s second game.
Wren was the only starter who failed to get a hit in the second game, as Ohio amassed 14 hits in 31 at bats. And that, combined with perhaps Stiene’s best collegiateÂ performance to date in the circle â€” she only allowed two hits from the 24 batters she faced â€” was enough to move the Bobcats into second place in the MAC.
The final two games of the series were postponed and cancelled, respectively, so Ohio has a few extra days of rest before traveling to Kent to play a game againstÂ the Golden Flashes.
The Bobcats seem to be hitting form at the right time of the season, and if they can replicate their performance against Kent earlier in the season, they can move past them into sole possession of second place in the MAC.
Their biggest challenge will come in the comingÂ weeks when they play first-place Miami in Oxford. But with Wren potentially able to join the Bobcats’ rotation as their sole left-handed pitcher, the offense clicking and Dorsey and Stiene tearing through the opposition’s lineups, the RedHawks may be looking over their shoulder until that day at Miami Softball Stadium.