CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. Tory Haddad hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to blow open a 2-2 tie and lead the No. 23 Ohio State softball team to a 5-2 win over UC Santa Barbara Sunday afternoon in the Cathedral City Classic. The Buckeyes went 3-2 in tournament play and are now 12-3 on the season, while the Gauchos fall to 9-6 overall.
In addition to Haddad’s blast, junior All-American Sam Marder belted a solo shot to extend her team-leading homerun total to seven.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second off a Rachael Shepherd single to right field that scored Alicia Herron after the freshman shortstop reached on a walk. UCSB evened up the score in the bottom of the fourth before both teams scored in their respective half of the sixth to keep the score even at 2-2.
Ohio State then used three runs in the top of the seventh to pull the lead wide open. Shepherd followed up Haddad’s homerun by singling to right before being replaced by Katie Simonton as a pinch runner. Simonton stole second and was plated by Leah Ledford and her single to leftfield.
UCSB answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, but Kim Reeder struck out the final batter to preserve the win for the Buckeyes.
All three Buckeye pitchers spent time in the circle. Reeder (6-2) earned the win after coming in during the bottom of the sixth. Both teams tallied seven hits on the day.
The Buckeyes return to action next weekend at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. Ohio State is slated to take on Mississippi State and Hofstra Friday, followed by Saturday contests with Florida State and Houston before wrapping up play Sunday vs. Georgia.