February 8, 2019

Buckeyes Sweep Opening Day

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly recorded her 200th win at the helm for Ohio State as the Buckeyes swept their opening day of the 2019 season. Ohio State (2-0) blanked George Mason, 7-0, in its season opener before coming from behind to beat Ole Miss, 4-2 at the Friends of Jaclyn Tournament.

Game 1: Ohio State 7, George Mason 0

IN A NUTSHELL

Defense was the name of the game early on. George Mason advanced a runner to third in the top of the second but righty ace Lauren Rice fought back with consecutive strikeouts to retire the side. Including the strikeouts, Ohio State retired 13 straight Patriots over five innings.

The Buckeyes got on the board first in the bottom of the third, 1-0. It started with a triple from Lilli Piper, just the fourth of her career, and ended with Emily Clark’s sacrifice fly to plate the run.

Ohio Stat broke the game open in the fifth with six runs on six hits and three George Mason errors to take a 7-0 lead. Piper made it all the way around to third on a throwing miscue by the third baseman. Next up, Clark recorded the first home run of the season on a two-run dinger over left field.

The hits kept coming as Kallie Boren and Ashley Prange notched a pair of singles. Rookie Kaitlyn Coffman added to the tally when she knocked the ball to the right field wall for a two-run double. Megan McMenemy followed up with an RBI single before Niki Carver scored on a throwing error by the pitcher.

Rice (1-0) picked up her first win in Scarlet & Gray by tossing five innings of one-hit, three-strikeout ball. Skylar Hayward replaced Rice in the circle at the beginning of the sixth. She finished out the last two innings with two hits and two strikeouts.

Game 2: Ohio State 4, Ole Miss 2

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Rebels struck quickly in opening frame to go up 2-0 thanks to an RBI single by Brittany Finney and Ohio State error.

The momentum shifted in favor of the Buckeyes in the bottom of the third. Ohio State stacked the bags on Meg Otte’s bunt single, Betschel’s walk and Piper’s fielder’s choice. With no hesitation, Clark swung for the fence and demolished a grand slam to put OSU ahead 4-2.

RHP Morgan Ray (1-0) pitched the first complete game of the season for the Buckeyes. During her time in the circle, Ray gave up three hits and two runs while recording four strikeouts.

EMILY A.K.A. CLUTCH

Senior Emily Clark came through with big hits during Ohio State’s opening day. The Prospect, Ohio native registered both of the Buckeyes’ home runs – a two-run shot and grand slam. It was the fourth grand slam of her career. Overall, she posted a .400 batting average with seven RBI, two hits, two runs and a 1.600 slugging percentage.

COACH KELLY HITS 200 

Kelly Kovach Schoenly earned her 200th win as the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. During her seven years, the Scarlet & Gray have made three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and tallied at least 30 wins every season. Her record at Ohio State stands at 201-124-1 while her 13-year career record as a head coach is 389-276-2.

BUCKEYE BITS

  • With two wins, Ohio State is 17-2 during its opening weekend in the last five seasons.
  • The Buckeyes have won their season opener in five consecutive seasons.
  • It was the second straight outing in which Ohio State blanked George Mason. The Buckeyes handed the Patriots a 10-0 loss back in 2013.
  • The Ohio State-Ole Miss matchup was the first time the teams have ever played each other.

UP NEXT

The Buckeyes continue play at the Friends of Jaclyn Tournament tomorrow. Ohio State will face North Florida at 3 p.m. before taking on UCF at 5:30 p.m.