April 15, 2017
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Indiana was able to hold Ohio State’s offense at bay enough to edge the Buckeyes, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon in front of another crowd of 1,000+ to even up the weekend series at a game apiece. The Buckeyes move to 25-11 on the season (9-4 Big Ten) while Indiana is 19-23 overall (5-8 Big Ten).
THE SHORT STORY
IU’s Emily Kirk didn’t allow a hit over five innings while Tara Trainer came in to work a two-inning save as Ohio State’s offense managed just three hits on the afternoon and wasn’t able to push across a run until the bottom of the sixth. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers scratched together single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
HOW THE RUNS WERE SCORED
• After a scoreless first three innings, Indiana’s Bella Norton started a two-out rally with a single up the middle, advancing Katie Lacefield, who had walked with one out. That hit, just the third of the game for either team, was pivotal as the next batter, Erin Lehman, singled to right field and scored Lacefield.
• Indiana made it 2-0 in the top of the fifth with a three-hit rally that was also aided by an Ohio State error. Rebecca Blitz led it off by reaching on an error at first and would eventually come around to score on a blooper just over the shoulder of Emily Clark. The Buckeyes were able to avoid further damage by getting the final two outs on a fielder’s choice and strikeout.
• The Hoosiers tacked on an important insurance run in the top of the sixth when CaraMia Tsirigos singled to center field, scoring Gabbi Jenkins, who reached on a sacrifice bunt.
• Ohio State’s first hit of the game, a double in the sixth inning from Alex Bayne, started a rally that resulted in the lone Ohio State run crossing the plate. After the Bayne double, Lilli Piper and Bayne were safe on a fielder’s choice and Clark drove Bayne home with a single to right field.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERD
• Starting pitcher Shelby McCombs worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the third, easily getting the first two outs before an infield single, stolen base and two walks gave the Hoosiers their first scoring opportunity of the afternoon. McCombs responded, however, by getting Rachel O’Malley to ground out to shortstop.
• With runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the sixth, Taylor White sent a ball toward the right field corner. However, IU’s Kayla Mathewson tracked it down for the second out and Trainer got Becca Gavin to fly out for the third out.
• Bri Betschel started a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh with a single to left field for the Buckeyes’ third hit of the game, but after a eight-pitch at-bat, Anna Kirk grounded out to shortstop for the game’s final out.
IN THE CIRCLE
McCombs suffered her first loss of the year after going five innings while giving up seven hits, striking out five and walking four. Katya Duvall pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
PACKIN’ THEM IN
With an announced attendance of 1,067, Ohio State played in front of its sixth straight home crowd of 1,000 or more fans. In nine home games thus far, the Buckeyes are averaging 1,134 fans/contest with four crowds of 1,100 or more.
The Buckeyes’ series with Indiana concludes tomorrow with an 11 a.m. contest at Buckeye Field. Admission and parking, as always, is free. The game will be streamed live on BTN Plus and a link to live stats can be found on the schedule tab of OhioStateBuckeyes.com