Story Courtesy of Ohio Media Relations
AKRON, Ohio- Timely hitting and a solid pitching performance from Emily Wethington helped Ohio stave off elimination as the `Cats upended Bowling Green 4-1 to advance in the consolation bracket of the Mid-American Conference Tournament Thursday at Firestone Stadium.
Ohio (20-31) will now play the loser of the Ball State-Northern Illinois game being played this evening tomorrow at 11 a.m.
Wethington (New Palestine, Ind.) showed why she was a First Team All-MAC performer, striking out 10 while scattering five hits and two walks and working her way out of several potentially damaging situations in a complete-game effort. Melissa Bonner (Kings Mills, Ohio) and Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) led the Green and White offense with two hits apiece while going 2-for-3 with a run scored each. Wethington, Shalene Petrich (Chehalis, Wash.) and Deanna Hartsough (Santa Ana, Calif.) each tallied a hit and an RBI.
Paige Kemezis (Hackensack, N.J.) smoked a one-out double down the left field line and then stole third to give the `Cats an early threat in the top of the first, but BGSU (13-29) managed to force a pop out and a strikeout to thwart Ohio's hopes of getting on the board early. The Falcons responded with a threat of their own in the bottom of the inning. A costly Ohio error gave them runners on second and third with nobody out, but the `Cats forced a pair of popouts and a strikeout to get out of the inning unscathed.
After quiet second and third stanzas, Ohio struck first with two runs in the top of the fourth. Petrich singled through the left side to start the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. She then stole third and came across on a Falcon throwing error for the first run. Gellerman followed with a double down the left field line and then came across shortly after on a double to left center from Hartsough. That would be all the `Cats would get as BGSU got the next two outs to get out of the frame.
The Falcons came back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning on a homer from Susan Sontag. BGSU continued to threaten as it put two runners on with just one out. Ohio was able to work its way out to keep the score at 2-1. The `Cats then responded with their third run of the contest in the top of the third. Bonner reached on a leadoff walk before eventually moving to third on a pair of sacrifices. She finally came across on an infield single from Wethington with two outs.
BGSU continued to keep the pressure on the `Cats, putting runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth, but Ohio was able to get a strikeout to get out of the jam. The Falcons put runners on the corners with two down in the sixth, but once again, Ohio was able to wiggle its way out unscathed.
The Green and White got a little insurance with a run in the top of the seventh. Caitlin Colvin (Bonney Lake, Wash.) drew a leadoff pinch-hit walk before being replaced by Brooke Morgart (Wayne, Ohio). Bonner followed with a single to left and both moved up on a sacrifice bunt. Petrich then laid down another well-placed bunt that allowed Morgart to come across for Ohio's final run of the contest.
Wethington put the middle of the Falcons' order down in the bottom of the seventh with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to seal the win and keep the `Cats alive in the tournament.
For complete results and a schedule of the tournament, fans can check out MAC Tournament Central.