CLEARWATER, Fla. – The No. RV/23 Ohio State softball team faltered in its opener against No. 8/7 LSU Saturday morning, falling 7-2, but bounced back with hot bats in a 10-2 five-inning win over Utah. The Buckeyes move to 4-3 on the season.
GAME 1: LSU 7, Ohio State 2
LSU broke the stalemate in the bottom of the second on a pair of RBI singles for a 2-0 advantage.
The Tigers then added four runs in the third. The Buckeyes limited the damage by turning a 3-6 double play to close the inning. A solo home run in the fourth extended LSU’s lead.
Things started to turn around in the top of the sixth for Ohio State. Kaitlyn Coffman opened the frame with a walk and Claire Nicholson took a pitch to the elbow. Summer Constable entered as a pinch hitter and moved the runners into scoring position on a grounder. Next up, Otte connected on a two-RBI single to right field, putting the Buckeyes on the board and cutting the deficit to 7-2.
Morgan Ray was charged with the loss for the Buckeyes, dropping to 1-2 on the year. She gave up six runs (five earned) off six hits but had also had six strikeouts in six innings of work.
GAME 2: Ohio State 10, Utah 2 (5)
The Buckeyes didn’t waste any time as Prange used a single to short to open the bottom of the first. Betschel would reach on a fielder’s choice before Lilli Piper drew a walk, setting up Clark. In the clean-up spot, Clark drilled a three-run home over left field, giving Ohio State its first lead of the weekend. The scoring continued with an RBI single up the middle by Carver, pushing the lead to 4-0.
The hits kept coming in the second after Prange doubled down the left field line and Betschel singled up the middle to bring her home. With runners on the corners, consecutive wild pitches allowed Betschel and Clark to score.
Ohio State tacked on a pair of runs in the third. After retiring the Utes in order, Prange and Nicholson covered the corners until Betschel punched the ball into right field for a two-RBI single.
Utah joined the scoring in the top of the fourth with an RBI single. Niki Carver responded for the Buckeyes in the home half when she went over the middle on a solo home run.
A RBI single in the fifth helped the Utes add a run but a pop up ended the game in five.
Lauren Rice improved to 2-1 this season after 4.2 innings in the circle. She allowed two runs (one earned) and seven hits while striking out a pair.
The Buckeyes wrap up their time at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational on Sunday at 10 a.m. ET versus No. RV/24 Notre Dame on Field #8 at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex.