April 14, 2017
— Ohio State Softball (@OhioState_SB) April 14, 2017
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A two-hit shutout from senior pitcher Shelby Hursh and timely hits off the bats of Anna Kirk (RBI double) and Becca Gavin (solo home run) were enough for Ohio State to edge Indiana, 2-0, on Friday night at Buckeye Field. The Buckeyes improve to 25-10 (9-3 Big Ten) while Indiana is now 18-23 (4-8 Big Ten).
THE SHORT STORY
Hursh and Indiana’s Tara Trainer dueled in the circle in a game with just seven hits collectively between the two teams. Fortunately for the Scarlet and Gray, one of those five hits was a run-scoring double from Kirk in the second inning and a solo home run from Gavin the bottom of the fifth. Behind Hursh, Ohio State’s defense made several clutch plays to keep the Hoosiers off the scoreboard.
HOW THE RUNS WERE SCORED
• Ashley Goodwin started out the bottom of the second by working a seven-pitch walk against Trainer and was pinch ran for by Andi Farrah, who stole second during Maddie Marotti’s at-bat. That stolen bases proved to be pivotal, as Kirk then drove Farrah in to make it 1-0 on a double to left center. It was the first of two doubles of the game for Kirk, who raised her average this season to .323.
• Holding the slimmest of leads, Gavin gave the Scarlet and Gray a key insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when she hit a no-doubter over the left field fence on a 1-2 pitch from Trainer. Like the run that came before it in the second inning, this one also was with two outs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
• Indiana threatened to get on the scoreboard before Ohio State even had a chance to bat in the top of the first. A one-out single by Rebecca Blitz got her on base and a passed ball moved her to second. Hursh was able to get a strikeout from Taylor Uden, walked CaraMia Tsirigos and then watched as Rachel O’Malley lined out to Emily Clark at second base.
• Ohio State loaded the bases in the bottom of the first without registering a hit as Alex Bayne, Clark and Taylor White all walked. Trainer was able to work out of the jam by getting Gavin to pop out to second.
• Indiana’s best scoring chance came in the top of the fifth as the first batter of the inning, Bella Norton, walked and an ensuing error of a fielder’s choice left two on with nobody out. Lilli Piper, however, made a nifty snag on a ground ball and get an out at third, another fielder’s choice with an out at third made it two away and Uden then struck out swinging to end the threat.
• Another defensive gem came in the top of the sixth when Clark caught a line drive back to her at second base and quickly doubled off Tsirigos at first base. Tsirigos had legged out an infield single to start off the inning.
• Hursh walked the first batter in the top of the seventh but a nice catch by White in center field gave the Buckeyes the first out of the inning and a pair of groundouts ended the game.
HURSH IN CONTROL
Now 10-4 on the season, Hursh pitched her seventh complete game of the season and fifth complete game shutout. She struck out five, walked five, and didn’t allow a hit between the second and fifth innings. Her ERA now stands at 2.16 over 87.1 innings with nearly a strikeout per inning and .224 batting average against.
AT THE PLATE
Trainer allowed just give hits to Ohio State but all of them were for extra bases. Kirk doubled twice (once in the second and again in the fourth inning). Clark also added a double to lead off the third inning, Marotti did the same in the sixth and Gavin homered in the fifth. Maddie Marotti stayed hot at the plate, following up her 3-for-3 performance in the nightcap in Wednesday with another hit on Friday. Over the last 10 games, she’s batting 368.
Ohio State and Indiana continue their series with a 2 p.m. contest tomorrow at Buckeye Field that will be carried live on BTN Plus. A link to live stats can be found on the schedule tab of OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Fans can also check the website for updates on possible schedule changes because of weather conditions.