Sept. 25, 2016
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A pair of pitching gems highlighted the second and final day at the Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic for the Ohio State softball team. Sophomore Morgan Ray gave up just one hit over five innings with seven strikeouts for Team Gray in a 8-0 shutout of Walsh while Lena Springer tossed a no-hitter as Scarlet came from behind to top Toledo, 2-1.
THE SHORT STORY
After giving up a bunt single to the first batter of the game vs. Walsh, Ray settled in and allowed just two base runners the rest of the way. Team Gray’s offense was led by the combination of Alex Bayne (2-2, double, triple, one RBI), Spencer Sansom (2-2, two RBI) and Becca Gavin (2-3, one RBI). A four-run bottom of the first proved to be all the offense Team Gray would need.
Against Toledo, Springer was nearly flawless, allowing just three baserunners via walks while striking out three. A first-inning error, however, allowed Toledo to score, and that run held up until there were two outs in the seventh inning. Anna Kirk delivered the game tying hit that scored Amy Balich, an error at second base extended the inning and then Taylor White provided the game winner, a single to center field that scored Kirk for the final 2-1 margin.
GRAY ROLLS PAST WALSH
Team Gray started fast on Sunday morning, getting the first two batters on via a Bayne double and error by Walsh’s shortstop. A well-executed double steal brought Bayne home to make it 1-0 and it quickly became 2-0 on Emily Clark’s double to left center. Sansom (RBI double) and Gavin (RBI single) also provided run scoring hits in the inning.
After allowing the first batter in the second inning to get on, Ray retired the next three and her offense made it 5-0 in the bottom of the second on a RBI triple from Bayne. Team Gray threatened to break the game wide open in the in the bottom of the third but stranded the bases loaded. In the fourth inning, however, Sansom drove home her second run of the game, scoring Clark, who had reached base on a walk.
The game ended in the bottom of the fifth when two runs came across the plate, the first on a throwing error by the third basemen that allowed Maddie Marotti to cross home plate. A bases loaded walk to White made it 8-0.
WELL ROUNDED ATTACK
Six of the 10 players in Ohio State’s lineup collected hits against Walsh, including four for extra bases. Newcomers Lilli Piper and Sansom combined to go three for five with two RBI and a run scored.
Ray retired 15 of the next 17 batters after giving up Walsh’s only hit in the top of the first. Two of her seven strikeouts ended innings.
WHITE PROVIDES WALK OFF WINNER VS. TOLEDO
Springer and Toledo’s Heather Webb dueled for 6.2 innings, but Team Scarlet finally got the better of Webb in the seventh. Trailing 1-0, Scarlet led off the inning with a single to left field by Balich. She was sacrificed over to second by Shelby McCombs and following a groundout by Bailee Sturgeon, Kirk tied the game up with one swing of the bat, a RBI single to center.
A critical error at second base extended the game, allowing Bri Betschel to reach first and Kirk advance to second. It also brought up White, who blooped a single into shallow center field and Kirk raced home, beating the throw for Toledo’s Marriah Wise.
Ohio State nearly broke through in the third inning, as Kirk had the games first hit, a single to left field, which was followed by a Betschel single and White walk. A hard hit line out to left and fly out to center ended the rally, however.
Springer’s no-hitter included three strikeouts and just three walks. In the top of the first, Toledo scored its only run via an infield throwing error. She quickly recovered and retired the next two batters to thwart the rally.
Toledo got another baserunner in the second thanks to another Team Scarlet error, but that runner was stranded at third when Springer struck out Ashley Rausch. From there, the Rockets would get just one on base the rest of the game, as Springer worked perfect 1-2-3 innings in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
A GOOD DAY FOR THE PITCHERS
The combined stat line of Ray and Springer on the afternoon: 12.0 innings, one hit allowed, zero earned runs, 10 strikeouts. They teamed up to not allow a hit over the final 11 innings of action.
Ohio State’s 2016 fall schedule continues next weekend with a trip to Kent, Ohio to face Kent State in a doubleheader beginning at noon.