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April 28, 2017

Final Stats

This @taytaywhi doubles gives the #Buckeyes a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/QcKL7fvR6K

— Ohio State Softball (@OhioState_SB) April 28, 2017

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A two-run double from Taylor White in the third inning and a three-hitter in the circle from the combination of Shelby Hursh and Morgan Ray lifted Ohio State to a 3-1 series-opening victory over Iowa on Friday night at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes are 29-13 on the year, 12-6 in the Big Ten while Iowa is 16-28, 7-11. The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was postponed and is tentatively schedule to be played tomorrow afternoon.

THE STORT STORY
In a pitchers dual, Hursh and Ray limited Iowa to just three hits and worked out of critical jams in the third and sixth inning to make a two-run double by White and RBI single from Emily Clark stand up. Hursh went the first 5.2 innings, fanning five while allowing three hits and walking one. Ray came on for record the final out in the sixth and then worked a perfect seventh inning for her first save of the season.

HOW THE RUNS WERE SCORED
• After a scoreless first two and a half innings, Becca Gavin led off the bottom of the third with a perfectly placed single that landed just inside of the fair line in right field. Two batters later, Bri Betschel blooped a single over the shortstop’s head to put a pair of runners on for White. The junior from Granada Hills, Calif. ripped a double that got all the way to the left centerfield wall, easily scoring Gavin and Betschel to give the Scarlet and Gray a 2-0 lead. It was White’s 22nd and 23rd RBI in conference play.
• Iowa started the top of the fifth with a pair of doubles, the first coming from Allie Wood and then another off the bat of McKenzie Schneider, who cut the Ohio State lead in half to 2-1. A critical base running error, however, by Schneider allowed the Buckeyes to get a much-needed double play and following Katy Taylor’s strikeout, Ohio State was out of the inning.
• Still clinging to a 2-1 lead, the Buckeyes tacked on an important insurance run in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out rally. Lilli Piper started it with an infield single and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Clark drove her home with a single that just snuck past the second baseman, making it 3-1.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
• Iowa put a pair of runners on base in the top of the sixth after two batters were hit and a third walked. That prompted a pitching change, as Ray came on with two outs and got Angela Schneider to ground out to second, ending the threat.
• Ray finished off her first save of the year thanks to a non-eventful seventh inning. The first batter lined out to right field, and last two struck out, both swinging. Ray and Hursh combined to fan seven Hawkeyes on the night.
• Right after Ohio State had taken a 2-0 lead, Iowa put the lead-off batter in the top of the fourth on via a Ohio State error. She was erased, however, when Gavin throw her out trying to steal second. It was 11th runner that she’s thrown out this season. She ended the top of the second with a caught stealing at third base.

STARS OF THE GAME
Hursh: 5.2 IP, W (13-5), 5 Ks, 3 hits allowed
Ray: 1.1 IP, SV (1), 2 Ks, 0 hits allowed
White: 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI
Clark: 1-3, 1B, 1 RBI

STREAKS AND SNIPITS
• Prior to night, Ohio State and Iowa had not met since the 2014 regular season finale series in Iowa City. The Buckeyes have won three of the last four meetings.
• The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was postponed because of weather and is tentatively scheduled to be made up tomorrow afternoon.
• Ray have given up just five hits in her last four appearances and lowered her ERA tonight to 2.21.
• Gavin extended her reached base streak to 13 straight games.
• White’s 24 RBI in conference games leads the Big Ten.

WHAT’S NEXT
Stay tuned to the Buckeyes’ official Twitter account (@OhioState_SB), Facebook and OhioStateBuckeyes.com for future information about this weekend’s schedule. The second game of the series is tentatively schedule to played tomorrow afternoon.