By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Write
After winning five of its last seven games, Miami University softball faced a tough test at the Husky Classic in Washington. The RedHawks (9-7) fell to Ohio State University 8-3 in 8 innings, lost 4-1 in 8 innings against Seattle University, downed Seattle 4-2, got smoked by the No. 19 University of Washington 15-1 in five innings and took the rubber match against Seattle 8-5.
"Despite having some travel issues and getting there early, we were ready to play this weekend," head coach Clarisa Crowell said. "We managed to take OSU to eight innings and we played well even though we didn't win. It was the same thing against Seattle; we just couldn't get that timely hit but the kids kept competing. We played a great game against them on Saturday and Washington's one of the best hitting teams in the country, but we were ready to play despite the score and we put it behind us. We had some different challenges this weekend, but we played well and kept competing."
Ohio State got off to a 3-0 lead after the top of the third inning before senior shortstop Kylie McChesney scored off a fielding error. Miami struck again in the fourth with a RBI single from freshman catcher Rylee Whispel, while McChesney picked up an RBI as well. The score held until a five-run eighth inning output from OSU essentially put the game away. Junior pitcher Amber Logemann was great on the mound, as she allowed two earned runs in 5.2 innings of work.
The 'Hawks drew first blood in the first matchup against Seattle as freshman infielder Kat Lee got an RBI single in the second. The offense quieted down after that as the score remained 1-0 before Seattle scored runs in the sixth and eighth to pull away late. Senior pitcher Remy Edwards returned to form as she struck out seven and allowed only one earned run in 6.2 innings.
Seattle scored first in the following game with two runs in the first, but the Red and White answered in the third and fourth innings. Sophomore second baseman Eryn McCarver had a RBI double, Lee picked up an RBI, junior outfielder Tanya Busby scored on a fielding error and Edwards rounded out the scoring with a RBI single. Logemann was lights out in the game as she struck out 10 and gave up one earned run in a complete game effort.
The team got on the board first against Washington with a second inning home run by senior outfielder Bree Lipscomb before the Huskies took control of the game and dropped 15 runs over the next three innings to force a run rule decision.
The third meeting with Seattle started similar to the last one, with the opponents jumping out to an early 3-0 lead in the second before Miami responded with a RBI double from senior outfielder Tiyona Marshall and a two-RBI single from McCarver in the following inning.
The 'Hawks were in control from that point on as Marshall had a RBI single in the fourth, McCarver scored on a fielding error, sophomore utility player Jenna Jones and McChesney drove in runners in the fifth and McCarver scored another runner off a double in the sixth.
Seattle added runs in the sixth, but Logemann struck out seven and allowed two earned runs in 5 innings of work.
"This weekend, we were in positions where we had to fight and get runs across, and we did well with that overall," McCarver said. "We still need to put everything together; we had one great game on offense and one game on defense. We're so close to putting it together. This weekend, we showed that we can hang with the best. We're focused on getting ready for MAC play and we're excited for the next game."
The RedHawks are scheduled to make their debut in Oxford as they host the University of Louisville 6 p.m. Wednesday.
"We have lots of things to work on but we also did some good things," Crowell said. "We're working on getting prepared for conference play, and it'll be nice to finally play at home. I like our competitiveness and energy. Weekends like this will pay off in MAC season when it's 2-2 in the ninth, so we have to keep playing hard. We need to continue to hit, but get more timely hits and have other kids up so we're not relying on the same people."