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Buckeyes pull within two late in the game

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 14/17 Ohio State softball team (12-6) pulled within two of Notre Dame late in the game, but the Irish went on to score five unanswered runs in the top of the seventh to defeat the Buckeyes, 12-5, at the aTen Construction Tournament in Riverside, Calif. The loss is Ohio State’s first at the tournament.

The Irish held a 7-1 lead over the Buckeyes until the Scarlet and Gray recorded four runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 7-5 contest.

With two outs on the board, OSU posted four hits and four runs in the sixth to get back in the game. Batting third in the inning in the No. 7 spot, junior Rachael Shepherd hit her second home run of the season, a solo shot over the centerfield wall, to jump start the Buckeye offense. With a pair of singles to the left side, senior Rebecca Schultz and junior Brittany Goodchild got on base with Ohio State home run leader Sam Marder up to bat. The senior hit a three-run homer over the right-field fence, her 10th of the season and 53rd career, to cut Notre Dame’s lead to just two runs.

However, ND’s Jody Valdivia (6-2) held Ohio State scoreless in the bottom of the seventh after the Irish added five runs in the top of the inning.

The loss snaps Ohio State’s win streak at four as the Buckeyes move to 12-6 on the season while Notre Dame improves to 9-4.

Redshirt junior Lindsay Bodeker received the loss and falls to 3-5 on the year, giving up seven runs, five earned, in 5.1 innings. The starting pitcher recorded five strikeouts and forced 11 groundouts. Senior Megan Miller pitched an inning for OSU, giving up five runs, four of them earned, in the seventh. Notre Dame’s Valdivia went all seven innings, striking out six while allowing eight hits and walking four.

In the fifth, Katie Simonton scored while pinch running for Marder. With two outs, sophomore Alicia Herron hit a clutch RBI double to center to put Ohio State on the board.

For the game, the Buckeyes left nine runners on base as the squad loaded the bases in both the second and the seventh. In both innings Ohio State already had two outs and was unable to bring the runners home.

Marder led the squad with three RBI and 12 putouts at first base while Herron and Shepherd each had a single RBI. Shepherd went 3-4 at the plate while Herron was 2-4.

With inclement weather in the forecast for Sunday morning, Ohio State will now play East Tennessee at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, its final game of the tournament.