COLUMBUS, Ga. Tory Haddad hit a three-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning to cement the Ohio State softball team’s 5-0 win over Illinois State late Friday night at the South Commons on the second day of the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Buckeyes are now 15-3 on the season after winning their last four games, including three tournament contests.
The Redbirds fall to 6-7 on the year.
“I was really happy with the way the team came up with some big hits when they needed to,” head coach Linda Kalafatis said. “(Courtney) Pruner started things off, then (Vanessa) Spears and (Tory) Haddad obviously had huge RBI hits for us. I thought that Kim Reeder didn’t start off as strong as she normally does, but she stepped up her game and did what she needed to do down the stretch.”
The game came after a long day of rain delays and tornado warnings for the Buckeyes. The team spent parts of the morning in the stairwells of the hotel as sirens wailed outside. Some five inches of rain fell in the area overnight, in addition to strong winds, causing the tournament schedule to be re-tooled. Illinois State had the first pitch at 8:44 p.m.
Courtney Pruner started off scoring for the Buckeyes in the bottom of the second inning by blasting her fourth homerun of the season, sending the ball well over the centerfield wall. The junior from Akron, Ohio, moved into a tie for fifth place with the hit in the career record books with 18 homers in two-plus seasons.
Ohio State went on to load the bases with the help of a Karisa Medrano single and an error by the Illinois State shortstop for Vanessa Spears, who plated Alicia Herron on a single up the middle. Rebecca Schultz was called out at home to end the inning, but the Buckeyes held a 2-0 lead going into the third.
They stretched the lead to five three innings later after once again loading the bases in the bottom of the fifth off three walks, including an intentional BB to Sam Marder, by the Redbird pitcher. Haddad narrowly missed a homer of her own, instead sending the ball just inside the right field fence on a bases-clearing double to give Ohio State a 5-0 lead.
“I think it was a great team win today,” Haddad said after the victory. “We faced some adversity with all the rain and uncertainty about the schedule during the day, but everyone rallied when they needed to and came away with the win.”
In the circle, Kim Reeder earned her eighth win of the season (sixth by shutout) after striking out nine batters and giving up five innings in her sixth complete game.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to action at 11 a.m. Sunday against Houston. Stay tuned to OhioStateBuckeyes.com for any schedule changes in wake of the impending winter weather forecasted for north and central Georgia.