COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Buckeyes clinched their series with the Terrapins after a 9-5 win on Saturday afternoon at Buckeye Field. Ohio State moves to 31-11 overall and 12-6 in Big Ten play while Maryland drops to 18-32 with a 7-12 conference record.
Emily Clark has shown everyone at Buckeye Field just what her power can do as she earned back-to-back games with a two-run home run. Through two contests with the Terps, she has five RBI, three hits, three runs, a triple and a 1.571 slugging percentage.
HOW IT HAPPENED
For the second time this weekend, Ohio State put up a two-spot in their opening frame. Bailee Sturgeon started the game by reaching on an error by the third baseman and advancing to second on the throw. Staring down a pair of outs, Clark smashed a two-run dinger over right field.
The Terps joined the scoring in the top of the third. They had the bases loaded and a fielding error allowed a run to come in. Thankfully, a heads-up play by Carley Gaskill kept another run off the board by making the throw to Becca Gavin for the out at home plate.
Niki Carver kicked off the home half with a double to right field. Sturgeon singled to the shortstop to move Carver to third and Lilli Piper roped a RBI double to right field. Shelby McCombs reached on a fielder’s choice and Clark was intentionally walked to stack the bags. Ashley Goodwin drew a bases-loaded walk for another tally.
The Buckeyes broke the game open in the fourth with five runs on four hits and an error. Ohio State quickly had the bases covered on a walk by Gavin and singles from Carver and Sturgeon. Piper punched a two-RBI single up the middle and McCombs followed with a RBI double to left field. The runs kept coming as a groundout gave Piper a chance to scamper home. Amy Balich entered the contest as a pinch runner before Goodwin walked. In the next at-bat, Taylor White reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on the throw. Meanwhile, Balich went to third and decided to book it home after a throwing error by the shortstop for a 9-1 advantage.
Maryland began to respond late in the game. In the top of the fifth, Amanda Brashear singled to left field before Anna Kufta doubled to right to score her. The Terps really showed a spark in the seventh after a pair of singles had two runners on. A timely triple to center field by Brashear brought both Terps in and a sacrifice fly wrapped up the contest.
IN THE CIRCLE
Right-handed ace Shelby McCombs pitched her eighth complete game to pick up win No. 14. She allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and fanned a pair.
The series finale will take place at noon on Sunday. Ohio State will honor its senior class following the game.