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Alicia Herron went 2-3 at the plate

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The No. 16 Ohio State softball team responded Saturday with a strong defensive effort but was unable to come up with a tying run, dropping a 1-0 contest to North Florida Saturday at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. The Buckeyes, who allowed just two hits, fall to 13-9 on the year while the Ospreys move to 13-18.

Ohio State’s defense was solid, helping senior pitcher Megan Miller to throw three hit-less innings to start the game. In the bottom of the third, sophomore Alicia Herron made a difficult grab on a line drive up the middle to keep the Osprey offense at bay.

Still, North Florida was the first to put up a run, scoring in the fifth off a gaper to centerfield. After Devyn Findley walked and pinch runner Stephanie McAdam moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, Stephany Hall then dropped a single into shallow centerfield allowing McAdam to come home.

Miller (5-2) finished the sixth, retiring the batters in order and had four strike outs on the day with one walk.

The Ohio State offense had its best opportunity to score in the top of the second as the squad saw sophomore Herron, senior Whitney Cooper and freshman Megan Coletta all steal a base. Herron started things off, threading a single down the left field line before stealing second and advancing to third on an error by North Florida’s shortstop. Cooper took a base after being hit by a pitch and stole second all before OSU recorded its first out. Coletta hit into a fielder’s choice with the Osprey tagging Herron out, the second of the inning, as she came home. The inning ended with one hit, one error and two left on base.

For the game, Herron went 2-3 while Cooper and senior Sam Marder both went 1-2 as Ohio State outhit North Florida, 4-2.

The Scarlet and Gray next play Florida Atlantic at 3 p.m. Saturday. Live stats for the OSU-FAU game can be accessed from OhioStateBuckeyes.com schedule page while updates will be posted on Twitter.com.