COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State opened its new stadium by shutting out Michigan State, 8-0, Saturday afternoon in six innings at New Buckeye Field in front of a program regular-season record 675 fans. The win is the 10th-consecutive for the 17th-ranked Buckeyes and gives them a 21-3 record on the season, while the Spartans fall to 10-14 on the year.
Kim Reeder threw out the first pitch at 2:03 p.m. and went on to pitch six innings of shutout ball, striking out a career-high tying 12 batters and giving up just three hits. Reeder is now 11-2 on the season and moves to within four wins of second place on the all-time wins list (Katie Chain, 67). Courtney Pruner helped lead the offensive charge by hitting the first homerun in the new stadium, a three-run blast to left center, in the bottom of the sixth.
The first four innings went by in a defensive blur, as Reeder and the Buckeyes did not allow a hit until the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the fifth, however, Ohio State’s bats came on fire. Tory Haddad plated Sam Marder with a sac fly to right field, starting the four-run rally that continued with an RBI single by Whitney Cooper and a double from Alicia Herron. Herron tallied the fourth and final run of the inning, coming home on a long single by Rebecca Schultz.
Ohio State produced more of the same in the bottom half of the sixth. Hillman and Marder once again took first and second base with walks, making way for Pruner who promptly sent a shot over the left centerfield wall to stretch the lead to 7-0. It was the sixth homer of the year for the Akron, Ohio, native as she moved into a tie for fourth all-time with 20 career round-trips.
The Buckeyes cemented the eight-run advantage and the run-rule victory with a double up the middle by Herron that sent Kady Caughenbaugh home as a pinch runner for Haddad.
Ohio State out-hit the Spartans 10-3 on the day and produced its 10th error-free game of the season.
The Buckeyes complete their weekend series against Michigan State at 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.