EAST LANSING, Mich. – Senior RHP Morgan Ray struck out a career-high 13 batters and the offense erupted for 16 hits as the Ohio State softball team erased a five-run deficit to overpower Michigan State, 15-6, in six innings on Friday night at Secchia Stadium. With the win in the series opener, the Buckeyes improve to 27-14 overall and 10-5 in the Big Ten while the Spartans fall to 15-26 with a 3-10 mark in conference play.
- Emily Clark paced the offense by going 4-for-4 with four runs and five RBI. She tied her career marks in hits and RBI while setting a new career high in runs scored.
- Ashley Prange matched her career bests on three hits and drove in two runs.
- Kallie Boren finished the night with three RBI, two hits, two walks and one run.
- Lilli Piper scored four runs and walked three times, both of which tied her career highs.
- The Buckeyes had season highs with 15 runs, 14 RBI and four stolen bases.
- Eight starters recorded a hit, including five players with at least two.
IN THE CIRCLE
Ray took over the pitching duties with no outs in the top of the first. After settling down, she threw six innings of three-hit, three-run (two earned) ball. The righty ace fanned 13 of the 26 batters she faced and had three innings with a trio of strikeouts.
- Michigan State quickly took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a RBI single, two-RBI double and two-shot homer by Kaitlyn Eveland.
- After Piper and Clark both walked, the Spartans decided to make a pitching change in the third. The new hurler did not throw Boren off her game as she blasted a three-run homer, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
- Ray walked a pair in the home half before retiring the next three batters on swinging strikeouts.
- Building on the momentum, the Buckeyes exploded for five runs on four hits and an error in the fourth.
- Claire Nicholson drew a walk and Spencer Sansom doubled down the right field line, the first extra-base hit of her career. Bri Betschel reached on a fielding mistake by the shortstop before Piper walked with the bases loaded for a run to score. Up next, Clark drove a two-RBI single through the right side. On the same page, Piper and Clark executed a double steal to tack on a run. Prange kept the hits coming with a RBI single through the left side.
- MSU added a tally in the bottom of the fourth on a wild pitch.
- Ohio State had another five-run, four-hit inning to extend the advantage to 13-6.
- Sansom singled while Betschel and Piper had four-pitch walks, covering the bags. Clark stepped up and drove in all three on a double to center field. Boren walked down to first base before Prange singled through the left side, scoring Clark. Kaitlyn Coffman got in on the action with a RBI single up the middle.
- Piper got in on the home run action with a solo dinger and Niki Carver’s sacrifice fly sent a run in during the sixth.
- Michigan State had four pitchers spend time in the circle.
- Ohio State scored in four of the six innings.
- The Buckeyes had the bases loaded three times.
- Ohio State batted .500 with a .750 slugging clip.
- Spencer Sansom tallied a career-high two hits and two runs.
- Bri Betschel had two runs and one hit, extending her hitting streak to seven games.
- Ashley Prange and Emily Clark had their ninth and eighth games, respectively, with multiple RBI.
The Buckeyes and Spartans are back at it tomorrow at 11 a.m. on the Big Ten Network.