May 21, 2016
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Ohio State rebounded from a 2-0 loss to Arizona in its NCAA opener to stay alive by topping Marist 6-1 on Saturday evening at Lee Stadium on the campus of the University of Tennessee. With the win, the Buckeyes (34-19-1) set up a date with the Volunteers (42-15) tomorrow at noon for a trip to the regional final vs. Arizona.
GAME ONE: Arizona 2, Ohio State 0
Arizona’s Katiyana Muaga hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning and the Wildcat pitcher Danielle O’Toole was able to work around a seventh-inning double as Ohio State dropped a hard-fought 2-0 decision in a game that began on Friday but had to be finished on Sunday due to weather.
HOW THE RUNS WERE SCORED
After playing two and a half scoreless innings on Friday and waiting out a two-hour rain delay, the first two runs of the contest came across the plate on Saturday in the bottom of the fourth via a two-run home run off the bat of Muaga. It was her 21st home run of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The first hit of the game came in the top of the second when Maddy McIntyre led off with a single to center field. She was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Emily Clark, advanced to third following a groundout by Jess Machovina but was stranded there due to an inning-ending strikeout.
Another potential big inning came and went in the top of the third. With one out, Becca Gavin worked an eight-pitch walk and then Taylor White reached on an error by Arizona first baseman Nancy Bowling. However, Wildcats pitcher Danielle O’Toole worked out of the jam thanks to a ground out and fly out.
Following a two-hour rain delay and the eventual suspension of the contest on Friday, play resumed on Saturday and Hursh struck out two of three batters in the bottom of the third. McIntyre was then hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the fourth, but was stranded at second following a pop up, ground out and strikeout.
Another base runner for Ohio State reached in the top of the sixth, as Bayne worked a six-pitch walk. However, a fielder’s choice was the first out of the inning and that was followed by a 9-3 double play that ended the threat.
The 10th double of the year off the bat of Clark started the top of the seventh inning, giving the Buckeyes a runner in scoring position. A strikeout and two ground outs, however, ended the game.
IN THE CIRCLE
Hursh went the distance for the Buckeyes, going six innings while striking out seven and scattering just five hits. In the fifth inning, she picked up three Ks by striking out the side.
Kelly Kovach Schoenly, head coach: “It was a great game. Obviously two very tough opponents, I thought it was a good battle, I thought both pitchers threw very well. They just did a little more than we did to get the victory.”
Maddy McIntyre, senior shortstop: “We were excited to play yesterday, hoping we could have played a little longer. I thought we did a good job refocusing each time. I guess we could have done a little better offensively, refocusing sooner. We acted like it was the beginning of the game again, instead of picking up right where we left off, but that’s part of the game.”
Shelby Hursh, junior pitcher: “I think in the Big Ten we play in all kinds of weather so we are kind of used to how you have to handle that. It’s out of our control. I think we handled it well, but like Maddy said, just refocusing better today.”
GAME TWO: Ohio State 6, Marist 1
Home runs off the bats of White, Clark and Bayne proved to be more than enough offense for Hursh, who scattered four hits over seven innings to help the Buckeyes win an elimination game against Marist (45-13).
HOW THE RUNS WERE SCORED
Taylor White delivered the first big hit of the game, a two-run, two-out triple off to the right field wall. The blast scored Clark, who singled through the left side to lead off the inning, and McIntyre, who worked a two-out walk. The triple was White’s fourth of the year and made her the fourth player this year with at least 30 runs and 30 RBI.
White added to her big day in the bottom of the fourth when she sent a 2-1 pitch off the scoreboard in left center field to increase Ohio State’s lead to 3-0. It was her sixth round-tripper of the year.
After making an impressive catch on the run to end a Marist threat in the top of the fifth, Clark had an immediate impact at the plate in the bottom of the frame. Following a single to center by Bri Betschel, Clark hit a two-run home run to left center, giving the Buckeyes a 5-0 lead.
Bayne then hit her team-leading 19th home run of the season in the next at-bat, lifting one over the right field fence. The solo shot tied her with Sam Marder (2009) for Ohio State’s single-season home run record. Additionally, Ohio State is now 17-0-1 in games in which Bayne hits a home run.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After a quick 1-2-3 inning in the second, starter Shelby Hursh gave up a two-out single to left field. The Red Foxes threatened to get a rally going, but a Clark scooped up a ground ball on the run and made a difficult throw in time to first baseman Jess Machovina to end the top of the third.
The first serious Marist scoring threat came in the top of the fourth when Rebecca Freeman sent a hard shot to right field, but Bayne played it perfectly off the wall and held her to a single. After a walk, Hursh struck out Gabrielle Kelliher swinging, stranding runners on first and second.
Marist put the first two batters in the seventh inning on via walks, but a pair of fielder’s choices and a fly out to center field thwarted any rally. The Red Foxes run came on a passed ball with two outs.
DID YOU KNOW
Marist game into today’s game as one of the nation’s top base stealing squads with 154 on the year (2.7 per game). However, they were not able to swipe one bag on the Buckeyes’ defense.
Kelly Kovach Schoenly, head coach: “The girls responded well to the challenge of just being better, of being themselves. I think that the first game, we were just tentative. This game we were aggressive. Really proud of the way they attacked the ball.”
“I just want to say thank you to Buckeye Nation. You guys have been fantastic with all of your support. Those of you that are here and those of you that are watching us and supporting us, you have no idea how much it means to the girls to know that the entire Buckeye Nation is supporting them. We feel it. Thank you. We’re going to try to make you even more proud tomorrow.”
Taylor White, sophomore outfielder: “We were just really excited to get the hits that we’ve been waiting for and score the runs. We were just excited because we got solid hits and solid contact on the ball, and three of us hit it out, so we’re happy.”
Emily Clark, freshman second basemen: “I really think that we were really nervous in the first game. It’s a big deal that we’re here. We just wanted to come out and play with a purpose and just get to tomorrow.”