By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
The first home game for Miami University softball was a successful one, as the RedHawks kicked off the Miami Invitational with a 5-2 defeat against Oakland University.
Miami (10-7) struck first when senior second baseman Eryn McCarver drove a runner in to score. Junior right fielder Tanya Busby found her way home on a fielding error to give the ’Hawks a second run. Oakland responded in the following inning to cut Miami’s lead to 2-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the bats came alive for the Red and White as McCarver got a two-RBI single and freshman catcher Rylee Whispel singled another runner home. Oakland picked up another score in the sixth, but that was all it could muster on the afternoon.
Senior pitcher Remy Edwards put together a strong performance on the mound, allowing two hits in the first 5 innings before giving up four in the sixth.
“We came out with a lot of energy and were excited for our first home game,” Edwards said. “Our defense was on and we were hitting the crap out of the ball offensively. I was connecting good with Rylee, and that’s how we beat Oakland. I missed some of my spots today, but our defense was able to keep them to two bases most of the day. It’s good to go six innings after sometimes only going three after being hit a lot, so that’s good for confidence.”
Offensively, Miami had steady production all day as the team put 10 hits on Oakland. Senior outfielder Tiyona Marshall, McCarver, and Whispel each went 2 for 4 at the plate. McCarver recorded three RBIs, and Whispel had two.
Senior shortstop Kylie McChesney also registered multiple hits, going 2 for 3 and scoring a run.
However, the offense did have some missed opportunities. The ’Hawks went 4-11 with runners in scoring position and 0-2 with the bases loaded.
“It was our first game, and we were excited and nervous a bit,” head coach Clarisa Crowell said. “Our offense was able to break through at certain points in the game. It was a hard fought game, but we could’ve done better. There’s much room for improvement, and it’ll be good to see when we finally put it all together. We’ve only played 17 out of 56 games, so it’s a long season. It’s a good start to the tournament and we’ll be looking to get more wins. Our defense did great. The best thing you can say about a defense is that they play hard and show up every day. Our defense will keep us in ball games when we’re not hitting or pitching well.”
Miami turns their focus to the remaining games of the Miami Invitational this weekend. The RedHawks host Robert Morris University at 4:45 p.m. and Detroit University at 7 p.m. Saturday. MU faces University of Dayton in the final contest of the Invitational 3:45 p.m. Sunday.