Star freshman pitcher intent on topping mom’s outstanding OU softball legacy

Rona (Huber) Dorsey was a pitcher for Ohio University in the 1980s. (Provided | Ohio Athletics)

Freshman pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey plays at the OU softball field. Savannah continues the legacy of her mother who pitched for the Bobcats in the ’80s. (Dustin Lennert | Picture Editor)

While most Ohio students will be showing their mothers the Bobcat ways during Mom’s Weekend, freshman pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey grew up with an understanding of Ohio traditions.

Dorsey’s mother, Rona (Huber) Dorsey, was also a pitcher for the Bobcats in the 1980s. During Rona’s career, she compiled 30 victories — the seventh-most in program history — while she also finished with the third-best career ERA of 1.65.

Although Savannah is just 29 games into her freshman season, she is already continuing the family success, as she has posted eight wins and struck out 85 batters in 77 1/3 innings pitched — both are team-highs.

“I think that (Savannah) is doing well, but she isn’t even at the best of her game yet,” Ohio coach Jodi Hermanek said. “It’s exactly the reason we have been waiting two years for her to get here since her commitment; she just balances out our staff so well.”

The roots of their mother-daughter relationship stem from softball, as Rona was Savannah’s high school coach at Central Crossing in Grove City, which is just a 90-minute drive from Athens.

During her junior season, Savannah earned first team all-Ohio accolades, which resulted in a scholarship offer from the Bobcats. However, Rona said she did not try to persuade her daughter in choosing Ohio over any other schools while Savannah was in the process of deciding where to play collegiately.

Savannah said many factors contributed to her commitment to Ohio, but she decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps. However, she also claimed to not have much knowledge of Rona’s legacy as a Bobcat.

“I know that coach called her ‘the legacy’ and I’ve always looked up to her as a college pitcher,” Savannah said. “I think it’s really cool that she went here too, but I guess I should probably do some research, because whatever records she has I plan on beating.”

After picking up the win in a complete game shutout of Kent State last weekend for her first experience in Mid-American Conference play, Savannahs already putting her skillset that she’s acquired from time with her mother to the test.

“In terms of experience and pitching, this season I’m happy, but I think I can always do better,” Savannah said. “Most of the reason I’m good is because she’s been so good her whole life.”

While Savannah is just a freshman, she has already received MAC East pitcher of the week honors, but as of now, Rona said she is alone with records and accolades.

With three and a half seasons of eligibility remaining, Savannah will continue to not only try to top her mom’s records, she will be constantly reminded of the legacy.

“I think that she will pass my records, at least I hope,” Rona said. “She has a long way to go, but I think that she can definitely do better, but she’s surrounded by a good team right now.”

Whether it is through her pitching skills or as she warms up to Bob Marley’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” — Rona’s favorite song.

cl027410@ohiou.edu

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