Story Courtesy of Ohio Media Relations
AKRON, Ohio - For the first time since 2008, the Ohio University softball team (26-21) advanced to the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament championship game after an 8-3 victory over top-seeded Western Michigan in the semifinals. The Bobcats scored all eight of their runs in the first three innings, including a four-run first.
Freshman Raven King (Alpine, Utah) finished the game 1-for-2 at the plate with a home run, two RBIs, two runs scored and a walk. Seniors Paige Kemezis (Hackensack, N.J.) and Melissa Bonner (Kings Mills, Ohio) each totaled two hits and a run scored. Kemezis added two RBIs on a double in the third, while Bonner drove in a run as well.
In the four-run bottom of the first for Ohio, Kemezis, Bonner and senior Emily Wethington (New Palestine, Ind.) notched back-to-back-to-back base hits, which culminated in an RBI single for Wethington. After a Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) sacrifice fly to deep left field made the score 2-0, King capped the inning with a two-run home run to left center. The blast was King's sixth of the year.
A Bonner RBI single in the second grew the Ohio lead to 5-0. Bonner drove in junior Alexis Joseph (Alvin, Texas) after a one-out walk and a stolen base put her in scoring position. The Bobcats made their lead 8-0 in the third with three more runs. Junior Brooke Morgart (Wayne, Ohio) used an RBI single to score the first Ohio run of the frame, and a two-out, two-run double by Kemezis capped the inning.
Western Michigan (22-28) cut into the deficit in the top of the fourth. Kayla Houston hit a one-out double off the left field fence that drove in Courtney Rousseau. The Broncos added two unearned runs in the fifth to make the score 8-3.
Over the final two innings, Wethington allowed two hits; however, the Broncos' base runners did not get further than first base.
Wethington earned the win after she pitched six innings in the contest. She earned her 21st win of the year. She struck out five batters and moved to 21-10 on the year. Meredith Whitney suffered the loss for Western Michigan. She fell to 14-13.
As a team the win was the fifth in a row and marked the longest winning streak this year for Ohio.
The Bobcats await their opponent in the championship game. Ohio will face one of three teams depending on who comes out of the other side of the bracket. The three remaining teams include top-seeded Western Michigan, sixth-seeded Central Michigan and seventh-seeded Miami. Ohio has tallied one win against each team already in the 2011 MAC Softball Championship.