Feb. 26, 2016
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GREENVILLE, S.C. – It was a good day to be a Buckeye. Twenty eight runs. Twenty eight hits. Six home runs. Just three runs given up over 12 innings. And most importantly, two wins by an aggregate score of 28-3.
THE SHORT STORY
The Buckeyes (7-3) started out play at this weekend’s Spartan Classic with a bang, picking up a 13-0 run-rule victory over Virginia Tech before routing Furman in the nightcap, 15-3. Both games were played at Pepsi Stadium on the campus of Furman.
STARS OF THE DAY
Cammi Prantl: 5-5, two doubles, one home run, five RBI
Alex Bayne: 5-7, three home runs, six RBI
Shelby McCombs: 3-7, one home run, four RBI; 5.2 IP, seven strikeouts
Shelby Hursh/Katya Duvall: 7.0 innings pitched combined, one hit, six strikeouts, zero runs
Becca Gavin: First three career hits, including a two-run home run vs. Furman
Game One: Ohio State 13, Virginia Tech 0
The Buckeyes’ offense erupted for 13 runs on 12 hits in a 13-0 five-inning victory over Virginia Tech at Pepsi Stadium.
At the plate, the trio of Alex Bayne, Shelby McCombs and Taylor White paced the offense with 10 RBI. McCombs went two-for-three with a two-run home run, her second round tripper in the last three games, while a two-run single by White was part of a seven-run second inning.
A fast-starting Buckeye offense put three runs on the road in the top of the first thanks to a two-run single from McCombs and RBI single from White. That was all the offense that Ohio State’s pitching staff would need, as starter Shelby Hursh retired the Hokies in order in the bottom of the inning before the flood gates opened in the second.
The Buckeyes’ big inning started with walks from Cammi Prantl and Maddy McIntyre before Bayne singled them both home to make the score 5-0. An infield fly sacrifice off the bat of Anna Kirk made it 6-0 and then White’s two-run single pushed the lead to 8-0. Becca Gavin then picked up her first career hit and eventually scored on a two-run single by Prantl. In all, Ohio State seven runs were scored on six hits and gave it a commanding 10-0 lead after just two innings.
Hursh was able to work around a lead-off double in bottom of the second by getting two strikeouts and pop up. In the top of the third, Bayne continued to swing her hot bat, blasting a solo home run to right field – her team-leading fourth home run of the season. Following a hit batter and pop out by Leonard, McCombs connected on a two-run home run to make it 13-0. The RBI were the sixth and seventh for her in the last three games.
In the circle, Hursh was relieved in the bottom of the third by freshman Kat Duvall, who preceded to strikeout the side in her Buckeye debut. Duvall pitched the final three innings of the game and didn’t allow a hit while striking out three. Hursh went two innings with three strikeouts and just one hit allowed.
Seven different players collected hits, led by two apiece from McIntyre, Bayne, Leonard, McCombs and White. The victory also marked the 100th win for head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly and her staff at Ohio State. They are the fastest group of coaches in program history to reach the century mark.
Game Two: Ohio State 15, Furman 3
The Buckeyes’ offense showed no letdown in the second game of the day, putting up season highs in both hits (16) and runs (15), including an eight-run seventh inning that blew the game wide open.
Prantl and Bayne swung the hottest bats of the night, combining to go seven-for-nine with three home runs and six RBI (Bayne: 3-5, two HRs, three RBI; Prantl: 4-4, two doubles, one HR, three RBI, three runs scored).
In the circle, McCombs was in total command, going 5.2 innings, scattering three hits while striking out seven and giving up just two earned runs.
Ohio State once again struck first in the top of the first thanks to a home run to left field by Bayne. After Furman stranded a runner at second in the bottom of the first, the Buckeyes put two more on the board in the top of the second thanks to two-out Prantl home run that sailed over the right centerfield wall.
From there, McCombs cruised along, getting a 1-2-3 inning in the second and escaping a two-on, one-out jam in the third by getting a 6-4-3 double play. In the fourth, Prantl drove home White on a RBI single to make it 4-0. Furman once again had two on and one out in the bottom of the fourth, but McCombs struck out back to back batters that ended the threat.
A three-run sixth inning was highlighted by a double steal and second and home that gave Ohio State a 5-0 and Bayne’s second home run of the night, a towering shot that just stayed fair down the left field line. Furman scored three times in the in the bottom of the sixth thanks to two hits and one Ohio State error, but eight Buckeye runs crossed the plate in the top of the seventh to erase any doubt.
In the circle, Ray relieved McCombs after 5.2 innings and pitched the final 1.1 of the game with three strikeouts. On the day, Ohio State hit .444 as a team with 11 extra base hits and a .825 slugging percentage. McCombs, Hursh, Ray and Duvall combined to strikeout 16 over 12 innings while walking just seven and allowing two earned runs (1,17 ERA).
Day two of the Spartan Classic will pit the Buckeyes against Morehead State at 11 a.m. and Virginia Tech at 5 p.m. Both games will be played on the campus of USC Upstate.