Updated Sun, Apr 13, 2014 7:14 pm
Casie Hutchinson stepped up to the box and grounded her cleats into the dirt, ready to swing for the fences. Her hit didn’t quite make it that far, dropping into shallow right field, but with the home crowd roaring behind her back, that was the last thing on her mind as her hit brought Alexia Cortez home.
Hutchinson’s single in the bottom of the seventh brought home the winning run for the Bobcats and gave Ohio a thrilling 3-2 victory over Bowling Green at Ohio Softball Field on Sunday.
“We started out strong and we ended strong,” Hutchinson said. “We’re always going to pull it out and get it done.”
Ohio (23-17, 8-2) found itself down twice on its fourth game of the weekend, but a solo homer by Adrienne Gebele and a clutch hit by Kaylin Clarke brought in tying runs for the home side before Hutchinsons hit gave the Bobcats a 4-0 record over the weekend.
The Falcons (16-21-1, 4-6) opened the scoring with a solo shot in the top of the first. But Gebele responded with a solo homer of her own in the bottom of the second that tied it up at 1-1.
It became a pitching battle after that, and Lauren McClary and Bowling Green starting pitcher Braiden Dillow allowed just two earned runs apiece. McClary struck out seven batters in four innings, while Dillow pitched 4 2/3 innings and struck out three.
Savannah Jo Dorsey came in for the Bobcats during the top of the fifth and pitched admirably, giving up two hits and striking out three batters. The Falcons’ replacement, Jamie Kertes, didn’t fare as well, giving up three hits and one run to Hutchinson that ended up deciding the game.
“I’m so proud of this team,” Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek said. “Playing four games against your conference opposition, you know, stakes are high every single time we come out here. It is a great accomplishment.”
The Bobcats will be on the road for much of the rest of the regular season, only returning to Athens on May 2, right before the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Ohio next game is against Miami (OH) on April 18 for a doubleheader in Oxford, Ohio.