Buckeyes have won six out of last seven games, improve to 5-1 in the Big Ten with pair of 1-0 wins
COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 17-ranked Ohio State softball team picked up a pair of 1-0 wins over Minnesota Saturday at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. The teams were scheduled to play a Saturday-Sunday series, but decided to play both games Saturday in anticipation of inclement weather forecasted for Sunday in the Twin Cities.
Ohio State improves to 28-6 on the season and 5-1 in the Big Ten, while the Golden Gophers drop to 20-21 overall and 3-3 in the conference.
“We faced a terrific pitcher in Briana Hassett, but our kids found a way to execute and pull out two wins,” Kalafatis said. “Reeder and Bodeker were excellent in the circle and I loved the intensity that our team played with today.”
Kim Reeder and Lindsay Bodeker threw the first and second games, respectively, each earning shutouts as they Buckeyes secured their 13th and 14th games without giving up a run. Bodeker earned a career-high tying 13 strikeouts in the circle, while Reeder pitched her seventh complete-game shutout of the year.
GAME ONE: The first game of the Ohio State-Minnesota doubleheader was a true pitcher’s duel, pitting Reeder, the owner of the second-lowest ERA in the Big Ten, and Briana Hassett, the NCAA leader in strikeouts, against each other. The pair combined for 19 strikeouts nine for Reeder and 10 for Hassett -but it was Reeder who received the necessary run support to earn her 14th win of the season.
The Buckeyes put up the lone tally of the game in the top of the seventh with a single down the left field line from Dee Dee Hillman that plated Leah Ledford after she reached on an infield single to the shortstop. Hillman finished the first game with three hits, going 3-for-3 from the plate and standing as the only player on each team to put up a multi-hit game.
GAME TWO: Once again, it only took one run for the Buckeyes to secure a win over the Gophers. In the top of the second, Alicia Herron singled through the left side and advanced to second on a passed ball. Courtney Pruner struck out swinging, but took first on another passed ball by Hassett, advancing Herron to third. Rachael Shepherd put a bunt down in front of the pitcher, reaching first and sending Herron home for the first and only run of the game.
Herron and Shepherd finished the game with two hits apiece, while Hillman added a fifth to account for the entirety of Ohio State’s offensive output. With four hits on the day, Hillman effectively ended a five-game hitting slump.
The Buckeyes return to action Wednesday with a doubleheader at Indiana, beginning at 2 p.m. The Hoosiers are 5-26 overall and 1-5 in the Big Ten after dropping a pair of contests to Northwestern Saturday.