Feb. 16, 2018
RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 22/21 Ohio State suffered its first loss of the season in a 5-4 eight-inning setback to North Carolina State on Friday night to open the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Buckeyes drop to 5-1 while the Wolfpack improves to 4-2.
Ohio State tied the game on a two-run home run from Niki Carver in the top of the seventh to force extra innings. Unfortunately, an obstruction call at home plate in the bottom of the eighth gave N.C. State the game-winning run.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Buckeyes quickly went ahead in the opening frame behind a two-run homer from Lilli Piper. It started when Carver reached on a fielder’s choice. Next up, Piper sent the ball sailing over the right field wall for her second home run of the season.
In the circle, Shelby McCombs gave the Wolfpack a tough time as she had a no-hitter bid through four innings. During that stretch, the Buckeyes recorded 10 consecutive outs.
During the home half of the sixth, the Wolfpack stacked the bags on an error and back-to-back walks. Timberlyn Shurbutt followed up with a grand slam to put N.C. State ahead 4-2.
The Buckeyes kept swinging for the fence in the top of the seventh. After Taylor White earned a leadoff walk, Carver golfed the ball over the left field wall for a two-run home run to tie the game at 4-4.
Neither team could break up the stalemate as the game headed to extra innings.
Ohio State threatened in the eighth when a single up the middle by McCombs and fielder’s choice put a pair on. Coming in as a pinch runner for McCombs, Andi Farrah stole third but a strikeout and groundout halted the rally.
The game would end on a controversial call in the bottom of the eighth. With a runner coming in from third base, the Buckeyes applied the tag at home for the out. However, the umpires met to discuss the play and cited OSU for obstruction, thus awarding N.C. State the run.
BY THE NUMBERS
Carver paced the offense as she went 2-for-3 with two runs, two hits and two RBI. Piper had two hits, two RBI and one run in four at-bats. McCombs posted two hits and Kallie Boren had one, a double.
McCombs (3-1) spent 6.1 innings in the circle, where she struck out eight batters and allowed three hits, four runs (three earned) and two walks. Morgan Ray tossed one inning of relief and gave up one hit and one run with two strikeouts.
Ohio State returns to the Dail Stadium tomorrow to face Louisville and N.C. State at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively.