Feb. 11, 2018
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Ohio State stretched its win streak to four games as it combined for 20 runs behind hot bats and impressive pitching in a pair of victories. The Buckeyes started the evening with a 10-1 triumph over FAU before getting past NIU, 10-2, in the nightcap.
Game One: Ohio State 10, FAU 1
IN A NUTSHELL
A season-high 13-hit effort was executed by Ohio State’s offense as it cruised to a dominant victory. It was a career night for Niki Carver and Shelby McCombs, who combined to go seven-for-nine with four RBI and two runs. Becca Gavin started the fourth-inning explosion that would lead to six runs on five hits with a two-RBI double through the left side.
COUNTING THE RUNS
Ashley Goodwin’s single up the middle was the spark in the fourth as OSU put the game out of reach. She was pinch run for by Amy Balich, who was joined by Boren (walk) and McCombs (single) to load the bases. Balich and Boren ended up scoring on a two-RBI double from Gavin. The next up, Sturgeon and Carver each had a RBI singles to plate two more. OSU added two runs on an error by the second baseman to round out the rally at 7-0.
It was Goodwin getting things going once again in the fifth on a double to right center. After moving over to third, McCombs singled through the right side to bring her in.
The Owls posted their lone run of the game on a fielding error in the bottom of the fifth.
Ohio State cushioned its advantage in the seventh as Carver got the biggest hit of the game, a two-out home run. It was the first collegiate homer for the freshman infielder.
IN THE CIRCLE
McCombs (2-0) was in command the entire evening as she tallied a career-high 12 strikeouts. She gave up just two hits and only walked one of the 26 batters she faced.
Game Two: Ohio State 10, NIU 2
For the second time this weekend, the Buckeyes bested the Huskies by eight runs. Morgan Ray was phenomenal on the night as she delivered a career-high 12 strikeouts, including six straight through the sixth and seventh innings to earn her second victory of the season.
The Scarlet & Gray wasted no time as White opened the game with a leadoff single through the right side. Lilli Piper doubled to left field and Emily Clark reached on a fielder’s choice to stack the bases. White went on to score on a wild pitch before Bri Betschel had an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.
It was a trio of runs in the top of the second, starting as Sturgeon laid down a bunt single and covered three more bases to score thanks to a throwing error by the third baseman. Clark stepped up and connected on a two-run homer, her second of the weekend.
The Huskies responded in the home frame on a bases-loaded wild pitch and foul catch, cutting the deficit to 5-2.
Carver’s hot night continued in the third as she drilled the first triple of her career to plate a pair of runs. After a scoreless fourth and fifth innings for both teams, Piper swung on the first pitch of the sixth and sent the ball soaring for her first home run of 2018. With two outs and three on, Sturgeon singled to bring in another run.
Ohio State didn’t let up in the top of the seventh as Piper hit a RBI double to right center to post the final run of the game.
The Buckeyes will close out the FAU “First Pitch” Classic against Boston University on Sunday at 11:15 a.m.