Defense the key for softball in big wins

One of those sayings that you get as tired of is hearing that pitching and defense wins championships. However annoying it might be to hear that phrase again, it held true yesterday for the softball team.

The arms of Liz Vrabel and Jody Johnson and the defense led to two Falcon victories yesterday at the BGSU Softball Field.

The first game, which the Falcons won 2-1, was once again dominated by two time Mid- American Conference pitcher of the week Liz Vrabel. Vrabel gave up just one run, which was unearned, on four hits while striking out seven and walking three. The win improves Vrabel’s record to 9-6.

The Falcons received a major scare in the second inning when a ground ball went off the leg of Vrabel. Although Vrabel stayed in the game and pitched well, coach Leigh Ross-Shaw felt the incident shook up Vrabel.

“I think it rattled her a little bit because she wasn’t hitting her spots as well after that happened,” Ross-Shaw said. “She still threw great though.”

Vrabel has allowed just two runs in her last 22 innings of work. The Redhawks, however, did get four hits off of Vrabel. The four hits equal the amount of hits

Vrabel gave up in her previous 15 innings of work coming into the game.

In the first game, the Falcons also got what may be referred to as “The Catch” in the softball department for quite a while.

In the top of the seventh inning with one out, Miami pinch hitter Allison Maxey hit a drive to deep left center field. Kandice Machain dove towards the fence with her back to the field and made the catch. It was a catch that drew very high praise from Ross-Shaw.

“It was the best softball catch I have ever seen,” Ross-Shaw said.

It was an ironic twist for Ross-Shaw, who literally had a dream about the catch.

“I told the team I dreamt that I made a catch like that last night, so when I saw it it was kind of amazing,” Ross-Shaw said.

In any event, the catch saved extra bases and possibly the game for the Falcons.

The second game, a 3-1 Falcons win, was filled with more great pitching and defense from the Falcons. Jody Johnson picked up where Vrabel left off, giving up just one run on four hits while walking three and striking out four in all seven innings. The win improved Johnson to 3-4.

The Falcons also got another huge defensive play in the second game, this time in the sixth inning.

With a runner on second and two outs and the Redhawks down 3-1, Miami third baseman Keri McCready hit a shot between third base and second base.

Shortstop Libby Voshell dove to her right to smother the ball. Voshell was able to get control of the ball and flip it over to Gina Rango at third, who made the tag to end the inning and the Miami threat.

The Falcons will need more of the same as they head to Muncie, Ind., for a pair of doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.