TULSA, Okla. – The Ohio State softball team lost, 8-0, in six innings against Tulsa Sunday afternoon to conclude the Holiday Inn Tulsa-City Center Festival at the Hardesty Complex in Tulsa, Okla. The Buckeyes (5-14, 0-0 Big Ten) finish the tournament with a 1-3 record.
Tulsa freshman pitcher Aimee Creger limited the Buckeye bats to one hit, pitching a complete game with eight strikeouts and two walks to improve to 7-1 on the season. The Tulsa bats were strong throughout the game as the host team scored two runs in the first, three in the third, one in the fourth and two additional runs in the sixth to win the game by run rule.
Freshman Audrey Plant started for the Buckeyes and falls to 1-2 on the year, pitching three innings with five hits, five earned runs and two walks.
The Golden Hurricane posted the openings runs of the game in the bottom of the first with two RBI doubles – both with two outs on the board. Following a walk to Samantha Cobb, TU second baseman Skylar Swanson knocked an RBI double to right center to make it 1-0. The next batter, Lacey Middlebrooks pulled a ball down the left-field line for another RBI double to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the second, TU left fielder Jessica Stoelke reached base after a bunt single, but Plant stayed focused on the batters and got out of the inning with a pop up and ground out.
In the bottom of the third, the Golden Hurricane made it 5-0 following a three-run home run by right fielder Lauren Menke. With two outs and nobody on base, Swanson walked followed by a base hit to left field by Middlebrooks. The next batter, the Tulsa right fielder swung on the first pitch off Plant and hit a high-fly ball to left field with the wind pushing it just over the ivy wall.
Freshman pitcher Kasie Kelly started the bottom of the fourth for the Buckeyes, replacing Plant in the circle. After a lead-off walk to Cassidy Bowen, the next four Tulsa batters put the ball in play to load the bases. Samantha Cobb hit into a fielder’s choice after shortstop Alicia Herron made a diving play to her right, getting the force out at third base. However, Bowen plated a run on the play to make it 6-0. The Buckeyes got out of inning after Kelly got Middlebrooks to fly out to dead center field with Brittany Goodchild making the catch in front of the fence.
In the top of the fifth, freshman catcher Melissa Rennie broke up the no-hitter with a solid single to left field with one out, but Creger retired the next two batters, ending the offensive momentum for the Buckeyes.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Golden Hurricane plated two runs to claim the run-rule victory. Pinch hitter Shelby Blanton hit an RBI single, while Swanson closed the game with an RBI double with Blanton scoring the final run.
The Buckeyes now have a week off to prepare for the San Diego State Tournament March 18-20 to conclude the tournament season in San Diego, Calif.