HOUSTON, Texas – The No. 14/16 Ohio State softball team won a 2-0 contest vs. No. 22/21 Louisville Sunday in its first of two games on the day at the Marriott Houston Hobby Classic in Houston, Texas. The Buckeyes (3-1) gave the Cardinals (4-1) their first loss and now have beaten two Top 25 opponents this season after downing No. 17/15 Baylor, 4-3, Saturday.
Ohio State starter pitcher Lindsay Bodeker earned her first win of the season, finishing with seven strikeouts while allowing just three hits in a complete game.
As she did the day before, senior catcher Sam Marder got things going for the Buckeyes, hitting a two-run shot over the left-field fence in the first inning. Dee Dee Hillman was walked at the leadoff spot and Louisville brought in Tori Collins to replace freshman Chelsea Leonard on the mound with Marder up at-bat. The Calabasas, Calif., native notched her 46th career homer and third of the season as she delivered the eventual gamewinning run.
The Buckeyes continued pressing early in the first, with sophomore shortstop Alicia Herron knocking a double down the third-base line before the Cardinals recorded two outs. Batting sixth, Rachael Shepherd walked, putting runners on first and second but Ohio State would leave them there.
In the top of the third, Bodeker went to work after Louisville loaded the bases with just one out. Cardinal Kristin Austin walked, Jordan Trimble hit a double and Jennifer Esteban bunted to get on base but Bodeker, a native of West Chester, Ohio, fanned the next batter and the Buckeye defense closed out the inning with a putout as Herron fielded the ball and connected with junior Rachael Shepherd at first.
Moving on to the bottom of the fifth, senior Leah Ledford started another Buckeye charge, singling with a line drive to left field and sophomore Vanessa Spears laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Ledford into scoring position. With two outs, Marder was intentionally walked but Herron flied out to left for the third out.
The Scarlet and Gray made some great defensive plays in the top of the six to hold off the Cardinals. Rebecca Schultz dove to catch a pop-up in foul territory, Dee Dee Hillman sprinted to the centerfield wall to nab a deep fly ball and Whitney Cooper grabbed a pop-out to second to close the side out in order.
In the top of the seventh, Bodeker closed out the game with two strikes in a row after a Louisville base runner was thrown out for interference.