AKRON, Ohio – It was a game that featured a pair of spectacular diving catches in center field, but in the end it was Ohio’s home-run-robbing bottom of the seventh grab that led it to a 3-2 victory over the Miami University softball team on Thursday. The loss eliminated the RedHawks from the Mid-American Conference Tournament and ended their season at 20-34. The Bobcats improve to 27-28.
Ohio struck first with two runs in the top of the second off starter Jenna Modic. Megan Mattera came into the game in relief in the top of fourth, and gave up a solo home run in the top of the fifth that gave the Bobcats a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Ohio loaded the bases with two outs. Adrienne Gebele hit a shot to center field that went over the fence, but Tiyona Marshall jumped up and caught it to save the grand slam.
The catch seemed to change the momentum of the game in favor of the RedHawks. Prior to that, Ohio pitcher Savannah Dorsey had allowed no runs on only four hits in the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Modic was hit by the pitch and replaced by pinch-runner Brandi Hernandez. A single from Kayla Ledbetter moved Hernandez up to second. Shanyn McIntyre laid down a sacrifice bunt to move each runner up a base. Allie Larrabee’s grounder was misplayed by the second baseman, allowing Hernandez to score. A foul out to deep left field by Kylie McChesney brought home Ledbetter on the sacrifice and made it 3-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, Taylor Shuey led off with a solid single to center field. The next two batters were retired leaving it up to Modic. Modic sent a shot to straightaway center field, in the same place that Gebele hit it earlier. This time Alyssa Wolfe reached over the breakaway wall and was able to hang on to the ball to rob Modic of the home run and give the win to Ohio.
Shuey finished the game 3-for-4. Marshall, Modic and Ledbetter also recorded hits for the RedHawks. Paige Myers pitched well in the loss, allowing only one hit in three innings pitched while striking out four.